Ohio University redshirt sophomore guard Jaaron Simmons (#2) drives to the net against the Northern Illinois defense at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio on Saturday. The Bobcats defeated the Huskies, 80-69, and Simmons recorded his fifth double-double of the season. (Nicole Raucheisen/WOUB)

Simmons Leads Ohio to Win over Rival Miami

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The Ohio Bobcats (18-8, 9-5) picked up their fifth straight win Saturday afternoon against the archrival Miami Redhawks (9-18, 3-11)  76-64.

Last season, Ohio defeated Miami by a record 30 points. For part of the game, it looked like Ohio was going break that record. Redshirt senior Treg Setty made a layup to put Ohio up 51-31 with 14:23 left in the game. But Miami made a run. Over the next eight minutes, Miami outscored the Bobcats 21-6.

During the run, Dion Wade had six of his team-high 16 points, and Abdoulaye Harouna had five of his 15 points. Also during the run, Ohio had a stretch where it turned it over six times in nine possessions.

With 6:31 left in the game, Ohio led 57-51 and in danger of blowing yet another 20-point lead. Antonio Campbell made a layup. Next possession for Ohio, freshman Jordan Dartis came through again, as he drilled a three to extend the lead back to double digits, 62-51.

“He took the lid off the basket,” redshirt sophomore guard Jaaron Simmons said of Dartis’ timely triple.

“[Jordan] has a lot of guts,” head coach Saul Phillips said. “He is a winner, and on top of it, he is a good shooter, so when you combine those things, that is not a bad place for the ball to be at that time of the game.”

After that basket, the two teams traded free throws until 2:03 remained in the game. Simmons drained his third three of the day to put Ohio up 67-54. Simmons led all scorers with 25 points..

The first half was all Bobcats. Miami led 5-2 after two minutes and 20 seconds of action, but Ohio responded with a 17-0 run to make the score 19-5 with 11:36 left in the half. During the run, Simmons made a three, and Block went back-to-back from behind the arc. Miami scored seven of the next 11 points to cut the lead to 21-12 with 8:38. Neither team scored for the next three minutes.

Ohio broke that drought when Simmons found Campbell for an open three. Ohio extended its lead to 15-points with 3:13 left in the half after a three from Simmons. Campbell added another big game to his collection with 16 points and 20 rebounds against Miami.

The win keeps Ohio in second place in the Mid-American Conference and just one game back of leading Akron. Ohio played both games this week without redshirt junior Kenny Kaminski who is in concussion protocol. Phillips said he is optimistic he will be back on Tuesday when the team travels to Bowling Green.

The team cannot wait to have him back. Simmons said, “It is going to be scary.”