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Men's Basketball: Ohio heads to Oklahoma in search of first road win
Heading into the holiday season, Oklahoma was riding a 36-game win streak against non-conference opponents, which it had held since falling to Stephen F. Austin in 2007-08.
It was the same school that snapped its streak, as the Lumberjacks downed the Sooners by a single point on their home floor last Tuesday — their most recent game, as they have been away from game action since.
Ohio will look to emulate the Lumberjacks’ success Saturday when it heads to Norman, Okla. to face the Sooners (7-3) in search of its first road win.
The contest will be the Bobcats’ last chance to notch a win away from The Convo before entering conference play, which begins on Jan. 9.
Ohio has allowed its opponents to score an average of 29 points more in road games than it has at home this season.
The Bobcats (8-4) bounced back from their fourth loss in five games by besting Maryland-Eastern Shore last Saturday.
They tied a school record with 29 assists in the win.
Ohio also had five players in double figures, and shot 57.4 percent from the floor, which tied its most efficient clip of the season.
The Bobcats’ trip to Norman is their first in program history, but after playing five games against first-time opponents so far this season — including Memphis, which ended disastrously for Ohio — new opponents have become relatively routine.
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.
Two-year starter Steven Pledger, a senior guard, is the Sooners’ second-in-command, as he averages more than 10 points per game.
Oklahoma’s strength lies in its depth, though, as four players average approximately nine points per game or more. Its starters also aren’t over-tasked, being that none average more than 26 minutes per game.
Ohio guards D.J. Cooper, a senior, and Walter Offutt, a redshirt senior, as well as senior forward Ivo Baltic, all average 29 or more minutes per game.
The Bobcats, which showed a different starting five for the first time this season against Maryland-Eastern Shore, could look to their bench to combat the Oklahoma’s depth.
Junior guard Travis Wilkins had a season-high 14 points on 4-for-7 three-point shooting in 21 minutes against the Hawks, while redshirt sophomore forward Kadeem Green was the Bobcats’ third big man in double figures, as he scored 10 points in as many minutes.
Redshirt junior forward Jon Smith also had 10 points, while senior forward Reggie Keely had 12.
The trio combined to shoot 76 percent from the floor in the win.
Oklahoma’s most notable win this season came against Oral Roberts, in which it rallied from a 10-point deficit more than midway through the second half en route to a one-point victory. It also beat West Virginia in the Old Spice Classic in late November, and topped Texas A&M on Dec. 15.
OHIO (8-4) vs. Oklahoma (7-3)
Lloyd Noble Center
8 p.m. Saturday