Men’s basketball: Ohio cruises past Kent State

Posted on:

< < Back to

Ohio head coach John Groce summed the game up well.

“Tonight was one of those nights where it kind of all came together.”

Ohio blew out Kent State 87-65 on Wednesday night in the Convocation Center to even its record in MAC play to 2-2.

Ohio opened the game strong, leading by 10 points with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. Kent State (12-5, 2-2 MAC) fougth back, but Ohio took a three-point lead into halftime.

The second half saw an all-around dominant performace by the ‘Cats. Ohio opened the second half on a 21-2 run, and this time the Golden Flashes could not recover.

Although Ohio (14-4, 2-2 MAC) had struggled shooting the ball in its recent losses, Groce had confidence the shooting stroke would return.

“I knew it was a matter of time because these guys are too good of players,” Groce said. “I thought our shot selection tonight was excellent.”

Three-point shooting was a big concern coming in to Ohio's fourth MAC contest. In its last four games, Ohio shot less than 20 percent from beyond the arc. The ‘Cats turned it around, and finished the game 11-21 from 3-point range.

Ohio had five players score in double-figures led by Walter Offutt with a career-high 19. D.J. Cooper ran the offense well and dropped 18 points. Nick Kellogg finished with 15 on 5-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Ivo Baltic scored 11, and Reggie Keely chipped in with 10.

Although Kent State shot 53 percent from the field for the game compared to 44 percent for Ohio, the big difference in the contest was rebounding. Ohio dominated on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 37-25. The ‘Cats pulled in 16 big offensive rebounds, which led to 22 second-chance points for Ohio.

“They went hard every time,” Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff said. “We didn’t match their intensity.”

So tonight it all came together for the Bobcats. The challenge will be keeping up this level of play the rest of conference play, starting Saturday when the Miami Redhawks come to town.

“One of the things these guys have told me they want to do is be more consistent as a program,” Groce said. “We have a chance to do that on Saturday at 2 o’clock.”