Instant Reaction: Ohio Loses 50-49 to Winthrop

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It was a poor day shooting for Jim Christian’s Ohio team at the Convocation Center Saturday, as the Bobcats lost to Winthrop 50-49, ending their 16 game winning streak at home.

Strong first half: Ohio came out with the same mentality they had against Oakland last week by banging the ball down low with their big men.

The Bobcats outscored Winthrop 16-8 in the paint in the first 20 minutes, and Reggie Keely led the team with 12 points.

While Keely did the scoring down low, Ivo Baltic managed to pull in eight rebounds in the first half. The Bobcats had 17 rebounds in the first half, while Winthrop had 11.

Ohio shot 45.8% from the field and 50% from three in the first half. The Eagles only shot 31.8% and 12.5%, respectively.

In spite of the high shooting percentage, four of Ohio’s five starters did not score in the first half. As a core, the starters scored a combined three points. D.J. Cooper finished the half with zero points and three assists.

Different second half: Winthrop retook the lead six minutes into the half on a 15-5 run, which Ohio was never able to recover from. During that run, the Bobcats shot just 1-of-12 from the field and 0-of-4 from three. Winthrop’s Andre Smith led the way with six points to start the half.

Ohio’s shooting declined drastically in the second half, shooting 26.9% from the field and 30% from three. After having strong bench production in the first half, Christian went to his bench less in the second, as they only had nine points from their reserves.

Winthrop’s Derrick Henry scored the game-winning free throw with 4.7 seconds remaining in the game and finished with 14 points, nine of them in the second half. Cooper also began to score in the second half, finishing the game with eight points.

Cooper frustrations: Throughout the first half, Cooper struggled to find his shot.

When the second half began, Cooper’s frustrations continued, as he forced several shots from deep. He finished the game shooting 3-of-12 from the field for eight points and had zero assists in the second half. He was 1-of-5 from three.

He also missed the game-winner attempt from the left wing.

Bench scoring: Ohio’s bench outscored the Eagles 22-2 in the first half. Reggie Keely had a solid day off the bench, leading the team with 14 points. Six players contributed scoring off the bench for the Bobcats.

The bench is what ultimately kept Ohio close throughout the entire game. The starters struggled, shooting a combined 6-of-30 from the field and accounting for 18 of Ohio’s 49 points.

Big man help: The key to the game was the difference in production inside by the Ohio big men in the first and second half. After dominating down low with 16 points in the paint, Ohio began to shoot from the outside more and only had six points in the paint in the final 20 minutes.

Keely, after having 12 points in the first half, finished the game with only 14. Baltic was dominant with eight rebounds early, but only finished with 10, which was a season-high for him. Jon Smith finished the game with zero points and four rebounds.

The Bobcats saw solid production from Kadeem Green, who entered the game for the first time Saturday. The 6-foot-8 transfer played four minutes and had two points and a rebound.

Next up: Ohio will travel to Massachusetts Dec. 19 to take on the 5-3 Minutemen. The game is set to tipoff at 7:30 p.m. in the William D. Mullins Center.