Updated Wed, Dec 14, 2011 3:19 pm
For the first time in 26 years, Ohio University and Marietta College will play basketball against each other.
Wednesday night's match-up will be the 92nd meeting all-time between the schools, but the first time since the 1985-86 season. Ohio leads the all-time series 73-18, has won eight straight overall and the last 15 games in Athens in the series. Marietta and Ohio began playing each other in the 1909-10 season, with the Pioneers winning 22-21 in Athens.
This year's Bobcat men's team is 7-1 for the first time since 1969-70. The season-opening mark is also tied for the seventh-best start in school history.
Ohio has won four straight games, including wins on the road at Oakland (MI) and Portland (OR). The Bobcats are 22nd in national RPI (according to realtimeRPI.com) and are the 18th-best mid-major college basketball team in the country (according to collegeinsider.com).
Bobcat point guard D.J. Cooper recorded his first collegiate triple-double against the Pilots and was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week. Cooper scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished 10 assists in Saturday's 18-point win.
Marietta, out of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), is coming off the best season in school history, when John VanderWal's squad finished 27-4 and made the Division-III "Sweet 16" for the first time in school history. The Pioneers have returned all five starters from that historic team, are 6-1 in 2011 and are ranked ninth overall in D-3 by d3hoops.com.
Former Pioneer Alex Couladis ('75) played against Ohio twice in his career, and said playing in the series (or rivalry, depending on who you talk to) was an experience.
"Over the years it's been pretty lopsided," Couladis said. "After I graduated...[Marietta] stayed within three points of them, but it's certainly fun playing in the Convo, even getting beat up pretty bad."
Listen to the whole interview with Couladis above