Bobcats beat the Miam U Redhawks 76-64.

Zabo leads Kent State Past Ohio

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Down one, on the road, with a chance to get back to 500, the Ohio Bobcats turned to their lone senior.

Mike Laster’s baseline jumper hit off the rim and fell into the hands of Kevin Zabo.

Despite making more threes and shooting a higher percentage, the Ohio Bobcats (8-8, 1-3) fell to the Kent State Golden Flashes (8-9, 2-2) 70-69.

With 4:23 left in the game, Gavin Block drilled a three to put Ohio down 65-64. Zabo’s jumper put Kent State up three. But Ohio responded right away. Teyvion Kirk, found Block in the corner for a three and the game was tied.

“I challenged him very directly on that [his shooting] at half time, and he responded to that well,” head coach Saul Phillips said on the post-game show.

Kirk’s runner with 2:01 left, gave Ohio their first lead since there was five minutes left in the first half.

Neither team scored until there was 21 seconds left in the game. Adonis De La Rosa’s layup gave Kent State the lead.

Ohio’s next possession was the fade away by Laster.

“We missed a point blank layup, fell down on a high-low and shot a fade away.” Phillips said on the post-game show. “However I go back to the first half when we couldn’t generate offense.”

In that first half, Ohio scored 31 points and shot 46 percent from beyond the arc. However, the Bobcats had 10 turnovers to just five for Kent State.

One player who was consistently generating offense was Zabo. Ohio had no answers for him all night long. The senior guard had a career-high 24 points and had a season-high in field goals made (eight), three-pointers made (four) and rebounds (six). Off the bench, Jaylin Walker had 15 points.

For Ohio, Kirk had 17 points, 7 rebounds and two assists. Laster had 11 points and Block and Dartis finished with 10 points each.

Ohio has now lost back-to-back games and is a half a game away from being tied for last place in the Mid-American Conference East Division. Ohio hosts the Toledo Rockets on Tuesday and tipoff is set for 7p.m.

“We need a win. We need a win more than we need water or oxygen. Period,” Phillips said. “That is my thoughts on the Rockets.”