Published Sun, Dec 18, 2011 12:27 am Dateline
Updated Sun, Dec 18, 2011 12:49 am
Ohio shot a blistering 61.7 percent from the floor and buried Wright State with a 20-5 first half run to improve its record to 9-1, matching the start by the Bobcat basketball season in the 1969-70 season.
Ten different players entered the scoring column for Ohio, who's multifaceted scoring attack was too much for a Wright State team who entered the contest averaging only 55 points a game.
No such problems existed for Ohio. The Bobcats hit the 80-point mark for the fourth time this season, and three players scored in double-digits, lead by D.J. Cooper's game-high 20 points.
"I hope that makes us a tougher to team to play against," head coach John Groce said. "When you play us you cant just key on one guy. We have a lot of different guys and mix of guys who can really score it."
Ivo Baltic's 15 points and Reggie Keely's 11 were the other double-figure scorers for Ohio, as the Bobcats front court players dominated the paint, outscoring the Raiders 30-18 inside.
Cole Darling scored 11 points for Wright State, which shot only 38 percent from the field. Ohio forced 21 Raider turnovers and turned those turnovers into 30 points.
Ohio never trailed during the game and lead by as many as 32.
"We played well in all phases," Bobcats guard Walter Offutt said after the game. "We've been playing together really well and I couldn't be happier about it. If we continue to play together the sky's the limit for this team."
A story-line coming into the game was the return of Offutt to the Nutter Center to play his old team. Offutt transferred to Ohio from Wright State and was more than ready to play his old team.
"I wanted this one real bad," Offutt said. "I'm proud of our guys. In my dreams I envisioned a big win and we got it. We're rollin' right now."
His coach chalked it up as another game for one of his star players.
"Offutt has a lot of pride," Groce said. "He wanted to play well tonight, but he plays hard every night. He wasn't playing any harder than he normally does. HIs energy is always infectious."
Correction: Next up for Ohio basketball is a road test at Northern Iowa. If the Bobcats win in Cedar Rapids, the 10-1 start would be the best start for Ohio men's basketball since the 1940-41 season.