Instant Reaction: Ohio Loses 84-76 To Robert Morris

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Ohio fell to 6-1 on the season after a physical 84-76 loss at Robert Morris Saturday night. Behind Karvel Anderson’s 28 points, Robert Morris boosted a huge lead early and didn't allow Ohio to come back, ending the Bobcats' perfect season.

First half comeback: The Bobcats found themselves down 30-12 with 7:09 remaining in the first half, but huge play off the bench by Stevie Taylor kept Ohio in the game.

The Bobcats went on a 19-7 run to end the half, where Taylor scored all of his 11 points. During that stretch, he shot 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and hit two free throws. Taylor’s hot hand helped the Bobcats, as they only shot 38.5% from the field.

D.J. Cooper was among the Ohio players who struggled to find their shot early. The senior point guard was 1-of-6 from the field for 2 points. He attributed four first half assists.

The Bobcats also received a strong half from Walter Offutt, who contributed nine points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

Second half struggles: The Bobcats shot 36 times in the second half – 20 from the three-point arc – but only managed to hit 15. After going 54.5% from the three-point line in the first half, Ohio fell to 35% in the second.

D.J. Cooper, despite getting a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists, continued to struggle shooting the ball in the second half, shooting 5-for-11 from the field.

The second half scoring was close – Robert Morris 47, Ohio 45 – but the Bobcats doubled the number of shots.

Defensive struggles: Heading into Saturday, Ohio gave up 54.7 points a game and held teams to 38.6% from the field. The Bobcats gave up 84 points to Robert Morris on 56.4% shooting, but foul trouble is what killed Coach Jim Christian’s club.

Ohio committed 25 fouls and sent Robert Morris to the free throw line 35 times. The Colonials converted on 28 of those. The inability to control themselves on defense frustrated Christian, as he told the team in timeouts to be smart with their fouls.

Lights out shooting: Before tonight, Anderson was averaging 9.7 points a game and shooting 27% from three. He shot a staggering 8-of-8 from behind the arc to lead the Colonials with 28 points.

Christian on Robert Morris’ shooting: “Percentage wise, they weren’t good shooters coming into tonight, but they’re in their building. That’s what happens. You let a guy get going early, as the game goes on, he gets a lot of confidence and that’s what happened.”

Next up: Ohio hits the road again to take on Memphis (4-2). The Tigers were ranked earlier in the season before dropping two straight to VCU and Minnesota. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at the FedExForum.