Basketball Notebook: Bobcats fall to Sooners, remain winless on road

Ohio senior forward Ivo Baltic slams a dunk during Ohio's Nov. 16 win against University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The Bobcats have yet to win on the road after Saturday's defeat against the Sooners. (Jason Chow | File)

The Bobcats are still without a road win after a 74-63 loss to the Sooners Saturday.

Pregame

After scoring a season-high 93 points in a blowout of Maryland Eastern Shore last Saturday, Ohio will look to keep its offense rolling on the road, in the Bobcats’ first meeting with Oklahoma in program history.

The Bobcats (8-4) have not notched a win away from The Convo in their first three attempts, as they are allowing their opponents to score an average of 29 more points in road games than in home games.

Oklahoma (7-3) had its 36-game home win streak against non-conference opponents snapped in its most recent game against Stephen F. Austin 11 days ago.

The Sooners' only other losses came from Arkansas and No. 13 Gonzaga. However, Oklahoma has already recorded victories against Oral Roberts, West Virginia and Texas A&M, earning the Sooners an RPI of 25, compared to Ohio’s ranking of 142, according to CBS Sports.

At the top of the Sooners’ scouting report is senior forward Romero Osby, who is listed as 6-foot-8 and averages 13 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Look back at the Bobcats' last game, a rout against Maryland Eastern Shore, here. Read beat reporter Jim Ryan’s game preview here. Also, follow along with The Post Sports on Twitter for game updates.

 

First Half

Coach Jim Christian keeps the same starting-lineup switch he debuted against Maryland Eastern Shore. Ohio Starters are as follows: D.J. Cooper, Walter Offutt, Nick Kellogg, Ricardo Johnson and Reggie Keely.

Keely scores the game's first bucket, but Oklahoma quickly tied the game with a pair of free throws following a foul by Ricardo Johnson — who experienced foul trouble in his first start against MES.

Keely laid in another basket, assisted by Cooper, who then hit a three-pointer in Ohio's next possession.

Oklahoma then connected on shots on each of its next two possessions, shortening Ohio's lead to just one-point.

Following the first media timeout with 15:34 remaining, Ohio held a 7-6 lead.

Both teams then traded baskets, allowing the Bobcats to remain ahead, before Baltic stepped to the free throw line and connect on his first free throw makes of the season. He had not made one since Feb. 22 last season.

Oklahoma's Andrew Fitzgerald then made a pair of free throws following a foul by Kellogg, before Cooper responded with another three-pointer in the Bobcats' ensuing possession.

Offutt then connected on a three-pointer before the second media timeout. Bobcats ahead 17-12 with 11:49 remaining.

Oklahoma experienced early shooting woes, as they made just 5-of-17 shots from the field in the first 10 minutes, but with 8:12 remaining the Sooners took an 18-17 lead, before Keely laid in another basket.

Another media timeout midway through the first half with Ohio ahead by just one point. Bobcats shooting 44 percent, while Sooners a mere 35 percent.

Both teams then went on to each miss three shots, before Keely makes yet another basket in the paint. He is 4-of-4 through the first 14 minutes.

However, T.J. Hall committed his second foul in the span of a minute, giving Oklahoma's Amath M'Baye a three-point play.

M'Baye stole the ball on the Sooners' next possession and finished with a dunk to give the Sooners the lead, but was given a technical foul for doing a chin-up on the rim. Offutt stepped to the line after the foul and missed both free throws.

Ohio trailed 23-21 with 3:27 remaining at the final media timeout of the half. Ohio had made just one basket in the previous four minutes.

Stevie Taylor then made a three pointer for his first score of the game, Ohio down just one point, as Oklahoma's Steven Pledger had made a jumper on the Sooners' previous possession.

Ricardo Johnson then got called for a technical foul, despite making a layup on the previous possession. Pledger made both shots at the charity stripe for the Sooners.

Oklahoma's Romero Osby made two more free throws after being fouled by Ivo Baltic. Sooners made four free throws in 13 seconds.

Baltic responded with a three-pointer with 30 seconds to play, to tie the game entering halftime.

 

HALF: OHIO 29, Oklahoma 29

The Bobcats finished the first half shooting 45 percent from the field, compared to 30 percent from the Sooners. But, Oklahoma made 9-of-12 shots from the free throw line after 11 Ohio fouls. Bobcats did, however, make five shots from downtown to make up the differences at the line.

Keely and Cooper led the Bobcats with eight points, while Romero Osby scored 12 points for the Sooners. 

 

Second Half

Osby made a pair of free throws for the Sooners to break the deadlock, following a Keely foul.

M'Baye then made a fast break layup for Oklahoma, but Keely responded with a three-point play on the Bobcats' ensuing possession.

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield then made a three-pointer, before a layup from Sam Grooms on the team's next possession. Bobcats trailed 39-32 with 16 minutes to play at the media timeout.

Oklahoma jumped out to their biggest lead of the game, following another free throw and a layup from M'Baye. Sooners up 41-32 at a timeout with 14:54 to play.

Jon Smith made Ohio's second field goal of the half on a layup fed by Cooper.

Both teams then traded baskets, as Pledger made a pair of jumpers for the Sooners, with a jumper from Baltic in between.

Cooper then made a layup followed by a fast break layup and a three-pointer from Offutt. Bobcats scored in six-straight possessions.

However, Pledger made a three-pointer and a jumper for the Sooners. He scored nine straight for Oklahoma. Bobcats trailed 54-43 with 10:06 to play, with the Sooners on a 9-3 run, shooting 10-of-11 from the field in the half.

Offutt connected on a three-pointer following the media timeout, as Cooper then sunk a layup on a fastbreak. Bobcats trailed 54-48 with 7:49 to play at another media timeout.

Jon Smith committed a foul prior to the timeout on Oklahoma's M'Baye, who sunk both attempts. Smith then finished a dunk on Ohio's next possession.

However, Oklahoma's Cameron Clark responded with a pair of dunks of his own, followed by another Jumper from Pledger. Oklahoma back up by 10 points with five minutes to play.

Keely responded with a jumper, but Pledger makes a three-pointer for Oklahoma, giving him 18 points in the game.

Sooners score six more points to extend their lead to 17 points with less three minutes to play.

Baltic stepped to the free throw line to make two shots and end the Sooners' scoring run, before Stevie Taylor makes his second shot from downtown in the game.

Oklahoma made a pair of free throws, followed by a fastbreak layup from Stevie Taylor and a layup from Kadeem Green.

Bobcats were outscored 45-34 in the second half.

 

FINAL: Oklahoma 74, Ohio 63

Ohio (8-5) fails to win its first road game of the season, after allowing Oklahoma to go on multiple scoring runs in the second half, in which it shot 71 percent. The Bobcats have lost five of their last seven games, overall.

 

Statistics

Cooper: 14 points, seven assists, two rebounds.

Offutt: 11 points, one assists.

Keely: 13 points, eight rebounds, one assists.

Baltic: nine points, three rebounds, two assists.

Taylor: eight points, two assists.

Bobcats committed 18 turnovers, leading to 22 Sooner points.

————

Plesger: 18 points, six rebounds, one assist.

Osby: 16 points, five rebounds.

M’Baye: 16 points, six rebounds.

Sooners shot 71 percent from the field in the second half.

 

Reactions

"There isn't one thing, it's a lot of things. I think first and foremost we are playing some pretty good teams, but that's not an excuse. We can't turn the ball over as much as we are or allow teams to go on runs with eight minutes to go in a game — we need figure out a way to win," — Christian, on failure to achieve a road victory thus far.

"I think from a conditioning standpoint after coming back from break, we had some guys that had a tough time coming back, since we didn't have the practice time that we wanted. It just allowed (Oklahoma) to go on some huge runs," — Christian, on a week since the past game with short practice time because of Christmas.

"We just need to start knocking down shots. Nick Kellogg missed two wide-open threes and Reggie missed a couple of shots at the basket as well --- Travis (Wilkins) was also out, which hurt tonight not being out there," — Christian, on lower production from the Bobcats tonight.

 

Up Next

The Bobcats will return to The Convo against Marshall next Saturday, after another week off between games. Ohio is 8-1 at home, with their only loss coming from the hands of Winthrop by one-point.

Marshall is 7-6 on the season and will play Delaware State Wednesday before making the trip to Athens. The Thundering Herd lost most their most recent game at Kentucky by 28 points, while also having lost to Cincinnati in mid-December — their most notable opponent thus far.

The Thundering Herd have not won a game on the road this season.

 

cl027410@ohiou.edu

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