Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Wins in First Game Without Campbell Against Northern Illinois

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When it was announced on Thursday that Antonio Campbell would miss the rest of the season with a foot injury, Ohio knew someone had to step up.

Many thought forward Jason Carter, who played in place of Campbell, would have to fill the void against the Northern Illinois Huskies. Carter wouldn’t disappoint.

His 15 points and 12 rebounds allowed Ohio to pull a 78-69 road victory.

“Sometimes you really need a win and tonight was one of those. It felt like we lost 65 in a row,” head coach Saul Phillips said.

Carter hit many critical shots down the stretch when both teams were fighting for momentum. Mike Laster also proved key for Ohio, having career highs of 14 points and three 3-pointers.

Jaaron Simmons had another solid game for the Bobcats, scoring 23 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out five assists. Jordan Dartis also chipped in with 14 points.

“We couldn’t do this without Mike, Jaaron was an absolute beast,” Phillips said, praising individual contributions from his team.

Phillips also praised Dartis, who hit a critical shot that gave Ohio the momentum needed to go a 9-0 run, sealing the game.

Down the stretch, Ohio got it done without the ball, proving why they’re considered the best defense in the Mid-American Conference. Over the final 3:14, Ohio held the Huskies to just five points.

The game started off sloppy with six total turnovers in the first four minutes. The match would remain tied or within striking distance for the majority of the first half. The two teams traded points until a Dartis triple gave Ohio a 29-23 lead which would be extended to 39-32 at the end of two quarters.

Northern’s Marin Maric had 16 points and was a force down low with 11 rebounds. Eugene German also chipped in with 15 points. 

With their star out, Dartis, Carter and Simmons must play strong basketball for Ohio if the team hopes to be a threat in the MAC and for a tournament run in March.

Ohio (12-5, 4-2) is back home on Tuesday evening, as they will take on the Toledo Rockets.