Published Sat, Dec 29, 2012 10:32 pm Dateline
Clad in black for the final game of 2012, Ohio Men’s basketball failed to end the year in the win column, falling to 8-5 on the season in a 74-63 loss to Oklahoma.
Up and Down First Half:
The Bobcats started strong and shot well on the road, jumping ahead 17-12 at the 12:11 mark in the first half. In fact, Ohio was on pace for a 40-point half through the first eight minutes of play. But from there to the 2:00 mark, the Bobcats went cold offensively, scoring just four points in 10 minutes and relinquishing the lead. But the Bobcats ended the half with eight points in the final 1:57, two threes from Stevie Taylor and Ivo Baltic and a Ricardo Johnson layup, to tie the game at 29 at the half.
Out and Running:
Oklahoma came out of the locker room running on its way to a 41-32 lead, resulting in an Ohio timeout. Out of the timeout Ohio found its stride offensively, but so did Oklahoma’s Steven Pledger. The Bobcats traded punches with Pledger for the next ten possessions, as Pledger scored nine consecutive points to keep Oklahoma ahead by seven at the 11:00 mark. Two Sooner buckets later, Ohio trailed 54-43 at the media timeout with 10:09 remaining.
Close…But No Cigar:
Over the next three minutes Ohio was able to chip away at Oklahoma’s lead and get back in the game. A three pointer by Offutt and a layup by Cooper cut the lead to 54-48 at the 7:58 mark. Another layup by Cooper and a Jon Smith dunk on the other side of the media timeout cut the Sooner lead to 56-52. But that was as close as the Bobcats would come for the remainder of the game. Two consecutive fastbreak scores by Oklahoma’s Cameron Clark pushed the lead back to eight points and forced an Ohio timeout. The Sooners never looked back, cruising to a 74-63 victory.
Oklahoma outscored Ohio 45-34 in the second half on over 70 percent shooting to take the crown in the unofficial battle of the OU’s. Pledger led the way with 14 of his 18 points after the halftime intermission. Amath M’Baye and Romero Osby joined Pledger in double figures for the Sooners with 16 apiece.
Saturday’s loss pushed the Bobcats to 0-4 on the road this season, as not even the presence of Norman natives Tyler Tettleton and Beau Blankenship could help Ohio to its first win away from home. In those four losses, Ohio has given up an average of 81.75 points and turned the ball over 15.0 times per game. Up next, the Bobcats return to the Convo for a bout with Marshall and their MAC opener vs. Buffalo. The next road game for the Bobcats is Jan. 12 at Western Michigan.