Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Suffers Last-Second Loss to WKU

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Ohio Men’s Basketball found a scoring groove early on against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, but free throws sealed their fate in the end. Damari Parris knocked down one of his two free throw attempts with 1.8 seconds to play, he ended the game with 14 points, and handed the Hilltoppers a 67-66 victory. The Bobcats posted a 57 percent mark from the charity stripe, one that won’t help Ohio win the title of the worst free throw shooting team in the Mid-American Conference.

Ohio came out of the opening tip firing and rode Kenny Kaminski and company to a 21-4 lead, but the Hilltoppers never strayed from the game plan after shooting 1-of-10 from the field to start the contest. Parris captained a 19-4 run that put Western Kentucky right back in the game, and they refused to go away.

Kaminski caught lightning in a bottle for the Bobcats, finishing with a game high 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Kaminski was red hot from the opening tip and laced the three ball all night, finishing 6-of-14 from downtown. Jaaron Simmons complimented him with a stuffed stat sheet, pouring in 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists. Simmons — who struggled with his shot to open the season — has definitely found it of late. The junior reached double-digits for the fourth straight game and is shooting 58.3 percent from the floor over that span.

Western Kentucky was led to victory by Pancake Thomas. The guard had a 15-point night on 5-of-9 shooting. His ten second-half points kept the door open for the Hilltoppers and he was a key defensive cog against Jordan Dartis all night long. The Hilltoppers didn’t light it up on offense by any means but disciplined play on the perimeter and knocking down 18-of-27 free throws meant they didn’t have too.

Ohio played superb perimeter defense all night, holding Western Kentucky to 17 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Ohio’s own three-point shooting was another story, as Kaminski was the only Bobcat to hit multiple deep balls in the game. Jordan Dartis — Ohio’s best sharpshooter — was a no show against the Hilltoppers, completing the contest with three points on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor. Ohio star player Antonio Campbell notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards but finished 0-of-3 from downtown. When Campbell shoots the three ball poorly Ohio tends to struggle; he is a combined 1-of-10 from three-point range in the Bobcats’ three losses.

Ohio will now enjoy a holiday break before they take on the Urbana Blue Knights in the Convocation Center on December 30 for their final non-conference matchup.