Ohio Tops Rival Miami, 74-62

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Badly in need of a convincing road victory, the Ohio Bobcats shot their way into such a win over the rival Miami RedHawks, 74-62 Wednesday night. The Bobcats (14-5, 5-0) had only one win away from home going into the game, a two-point defeat of Western Michigan January 12.

Ohio shot 52 percent from the field and made 12 three-pointers on the night, 48 percent. Point guard D.J. Cooper reversed his fortune on offense. Cooper made just one shot from the field in the Bobcats’ previous victory over the Toledo Rockets and finished with seven points. This time around, Ohio’s star guard dropped 17 points on the RedHawks on 5-11 shooting.

Ohio played sloppily in the first half, allowing Miami into the paint early. The RedHawks scored their first eight points from the lane as they broke out to a quick lead.

The Bobcats recovered quickly, shooting their way out of many first half mistakes. Despite eight turnovers in the half, Ohio drained five three-pointers to carry a seven-point lead into halftime, 36-29.

Ohio came out of the break playing much like fans have grown accustomed to seeing, creating turnovers and getting out on the fast break. It helped that the hot shooting continued for the Bobcats at the onset of the half. Cooper, Ivo Baltic and Nick Kellogg combined to hit five consecutive threes to put Ohio up 18 with 15:24 to play.

The Bobcats cruised through most of the second half, never trailing by less than 10 points. Ohio’s defense forced Miami into shooting just 34.9 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from three on the game.

The victory is an important one in a difficult five-game stretch for the Bobcats. With Oxford in the rearview mirror, Ohio now travels to Kent State (11-8, 2-3). Three of ‘Cats’ next four games are on the road, including a trip to Akron to square off with the Mid-American Conference-leading Zips.