On a homecoming of sorts for D.J. Cooper (Chicago, IL), the sophomore guard scored 29 points while also tallying 8 assists in helping to lead the Bobcats to a 67-65 victory on the road at Illinois State in Normal, Ill. Despite being out rebounded 44-31 and not leading by any more than three points, the Bobcats managed to gain the victory.
After an Illinois State trey by Alex Rubin, the Redbirds led 7-0 four minutes into the contest. Cooper would fight back and cut the lead minutes later, but the Rubin hit another three and the Redbirds still led 14-6 after eight minutes of play. However Ohio responded with a 12-6 run highlighted by two treys by Cooper and one by Nick Kellogg that sliced the lead to one, 22-21 ISU. A back and forth battle to end the half would would leave the score at 29-27 Redbirds. The Redbirds hadn’t lost a game after leading at half since March of 2009.
The second half would start with Illinois State jumping out twice to three point leads but both times the Bobcats would answer with treys from T.J. Hall and Kellogg respectively. At the 14:16 mark of the second half the Bobcats finally broke through and took their first lead of the night after a Devaughn Washington fastbreak slam gave Ohio a 39-37 lead. A few minutes later though, after a John Wilkins three, the Redbirds tied it back up at 45-45 with eleven minutes to go.
However, a late run by the Redbirds would give them a five point lead, 55-50 with six minutes to play in the ballgame. But once again D.J. Cooper would turn it on and score the next five straight points to tie the game at 55-55. He also accounted for the next four Bobcat points that made the score Illinois State 62-59 with three and a half minutes to go. Two free throws from ISU’s Tony Lewis would tie the game at 65. But with 30 seconds to go in the ballgame D.J. Cooper drove to the lane and laid the ball of the backboard in to give the ‘Cats the 67-65 lead.
The Redbirds would fall short on two missed threes by Justin Clark and Alex Rubin as time expired to give the Bobcats the 67-65 victory.
Nick Kellogg tallied 19 points for the Bobcats. Leading the Redbirds in scoring were Jackie Carmichael with 16 and Tony Lewis with 15. The Bobcats shot about 40% and the ‘Birds shot about 42%.
With the win the ‘Cats move to 5-3 and the Redbirds move to 6-3. The Bobcats will play host to IUPUI (4-5) on Sunday at 2 PM. IUPUI will play at #2 Ohio State on Thursday night before heading to Athens to take on the Bobcats.
About the Author
Written by Jacob Corrigan
I am a freshman at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and I major in Broadcast Journalism/Public Relations. I currently intern with WOUB Radio and Ohio U Media Relations. I'm from Cleveland so I am also an avid Browns, Indians, and Cavs fan.