GAME NOTES: The Ohio University Bobcats look to move to 5-1 in Mid-American Conference road games for the first time since the 1984-85 season as they visit McGuirk Arena to face off with the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Ohio, which has not won five MAC games since the 2001-02 campaign, notched its second in a row on Saturday by downing Bowling Green, 72-63, at home at the Convocation Center. The victory was the ninth in 10 games for Jim Christian's squad, which is leading the nation in assists with 18.7 per game. The high tally of helpers is in large part due to the efforts of senior point guard D.J. Cooper, who paces the team with 13.9 points and 7.9 assists per tilt.
Keno Davis' Chippewas lost for the sixth consecutive time on Saturday as they were routed, 87-72, by Kent State on the road. The series of setbacks has dropped CMU to a last place, 2-8 standing in the conference race. CMU has been unable to pick up too many wins this season despite the solid play of senior guard Kyle Randall. The UNC Greensboro transfer averaged just 5.7 ppg as a Spartan in 2011-12 before transferring to the MAC to net 17.2 ppg.
Ohio holds a 44-25 all-time series lead over CMU, but the Chippewas have been victorious in the last two games played at McGuirk Arena.
Randall's fourth-consecutive 20-point game couldn't push Central Michigan past a hot-shooting Kent State team on Saturday. Neither side could miss in the early stages which led to 84 total points being posted in the opening 20 minutes. After shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and going 5-of-15 from distance in the first stanza, CMU was limited to 8-of-21 shooting from the floor after halftime. The Chippewas started four freshmen around Randall for the second straight game. Chris Fowler finished the contest with four assists to arrive at 114 on the season, leaving him one shy of the CMU freshman record.
The Bobcats were led by Reggie Keely's double-double of 15 points and 10 boards in their nine-point win over BGSU on Saturday. T.J. Hall and Walter Offutt both added 12 points for Ohio, while Cooper contributed 10 points to go along with a game-high eight assists to help his team opened league play with eight wins in nine tries for the first time since the 1984-85 campaign. With a victory over the Chippewas, the Ohio senior class will break the school record for wins by a class with 88 career triumphs. Keely also needs just 16 points to reach 1,000 for his career. If Keely reaches the 1,000 point plateau, it will mark the first time in Ohio history that a class includes three, 1,000 point scorers. Cooper (1,915) and forward Ivo Baltic (1,018) have already eclipsed the mark.
Ohio is a very deep and experienced squad by MAC standards. Akron is the only team capable of defeating the Bobcats when they play up to their potential. While CMU is really struggling to find production outside of Randall, Ohio should have no problem collecting its milestone road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio 79, Central Michigan 66
02/13 10:32:18 ET
Copyright ??2010 Athlon Sports, Inc. Athlon Sports and the Athlon Sports logo are trademarks of Athlon Sports, Inc. | About Us