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Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Kent State Fends Off Bobcats 89-82

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It was a rough night for the Ohio Bobcats defense Saturday night against the Kent State Golden Flashes.

Ohio gave up 89 total points, including 51 in the second half and winded up falling 89-82.

On its way to 51-second half points, Kent State drew 19 fouls and made 21 free throws compared to just 6 in the first half. But the real difference as both coaches said was that Kent State was able to get to the basket and Ohio could not stop them.

“I thought they did a good job of getting downhill on us,” head coach Saul Phillips said. “We did not guard the ball very well. It seemed like they were in the double bonus like that and that is a reoccurring theme for us.”

Coming out for the start of the second half, the Bobcats were down 38-37. To start the half Kaminski hit a, three and two free throws to give Ohio a 42-41 lead. Redshirt senior Treg Setty lost control of the ball. Kellon Thomas stole it and drove down the length of the court and hit an and-one layup thanks to an unnecessary foul from Setty. Thomas hit the free throw and KSU led 44-42.

Kaminski picked up his third foul with 13:16 to go in the game. Moments later, junior forward Antonio Campbell picked up his second foul of the game, which sent both to the bench. After just 7:07 of second half action KSU was in the bonus.

With the game tied at 46 Kent State, went on a 9-0 run capped off by a 3-ball from Galal Cancer. KSU then extended the lead to 13 after an-and one from Jimmy Hall. The two teams traded baskets until another Hall basket made the score 70-56 with seven minutes to play. Ohio did not go away, though. With just over three minutes to go, a 3-pointer by Setty cut the lead to 10 points.

With the score 78-67, Antonio Campbell and redshirt sophomore Jaaron Simmons (8 points, 9 assists) ran a perfect pick-and-roll to cut the KSU lead to nine. The next Ohio possession, the two did the same thing and it worked again. Ohio was down just seven. With 39 seconds to go, the two hooked up one more time to once again cut the deficit to seven. Kent State simply iced the game at the free throw line from there.

During the first eight minutes of the game, Kaminski hit three longballs on his way to 11 of his 21 points. A key moment in the first half was when Simmons picked up his second foul with six minutes to go and had to sit for the rest of the half. It hurt the Bobcats dearly as the first seven possessions with him off the floor resulted in four points and three turnovers.

Ohio was also without freshman guard Jordan Dartis. Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger reported that he suffered a head injury at practice on Friday and would be out of action.

“It was tough, [not having Dartis]” junior forward Antonio Campbell said. “He would have helped offensively”

Kaminski and Campbell had 21 points each for the Bobcats. In his return, Block chipped in 12 points for the ‘Cats. Kent State’s Xavier Pollard led all scorers with 23 points. Thomas had 21 points. Jimmy Hall had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The loss drops the Bobcats to 10-6 overall and 1-3 in MAC play. Kent State is 12-5 overall and 2-2 in MAC play. The Bobcats are back at the Convocation Center on Tuesday against Western Michigan.