The Ohio men’s basketball team improved to 5-0 in conference play with a 74-62 win at Miami, thanks in part to stellar three point shooting.
Ohio shot 12-25 from behind the arc and hit five straight threes to begin the second half. The Bobcats jumped out to a 58-36 lead and never looked back.
“A road win in the division is what you need to be getting,” said head coach Jim Christian on the Bobcat Postgame Show. “That’s two in a row for us in the league so we have to be happy.”
Leading by only seven at halftime, Ohio came out and unleashed a barrage of three pointers to take a 22-point lead. But then, the ‘Cats took the foot off the accelerator.
“Coach is a little disappointed in us,” said senior forward Ivo Baltic. “We have to take care of that. That’s not going to happen Saturday (at Kent State).”
Fueled by extra possessions and Ohio turnovers, Miami began to climb back into the game and cut the lead to 10 with three minutes remaining. The Bobcats allowed Miami to grab 15 offensive rebounds throughout the course of the game.
“We did so many things that are not going to help us as we try and win on the road,” said Christian. “That is, especially from the free throw line, offensive and defensive rebounding late in the game.”
Miami was also fueled by miss free throws. The Green and White missed nine foul shots on the night.
“When you shoot better from three than you do from the free throw line, there’s some things you have to work on,” said Christian.
However, the RedHawks could not convert on the extra chances. Countless missed layups and shots in the lane led to a field goal percentage of just 35 for Miami.
D.J. Cooper once again led the way for the Bobcats, with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. But it was Ivo Baltic’s performance that sparked Ohio.
Baltic stole the show with a high-flying dunk, 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“I watch LeBron James highlights,” said Baltic. “I’ve been getting more dunks this year mostly because I watch him and how aggressive he is.”
“Ivo got Ohio’s first double-double tonight,” said Christian. “Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.”
Baltic also surpassed career milestones of 1,000 points and 600 rebounds during the game.
“A lot of that credit goes to D.J. Cooper,” said Baltic of the points milestone.
The win over Miami was Ohio’s third straight and second in a row on the road.
“I love the atmosphere,” said Baltic of the rivalry. “I love playing in this gym. I don’t see why other guys don’t like this place. Playing against your rival is one of the best things.”
The Bobcats road trip continues on Saturday when Jim Christian meets his former team, Kent State.
“We have to clean up a lot of things we’ve been doing because come Saturday, its going to be different,” said Christian.