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[Joe Collins | WOUB]

Ohio beats Northern Illinois 77-68 for sixth straight win

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — With just four games to play in the regular season, Ohio looked to take one step closer to clinching a spot in the Mid-American Conference postseason tournament Tuesday night. They took that step with a 77-68 win against Northern Illinois in the Convo.

It did not come easy for the Bobcats. All five of Northern Illinois’ starters were in double figures highlighted by Hunter Darweshi’s 17 points. The Huskies shot just 1-19 from three but that was the only place on the hardwood they struggled. Northern Illinois was able to dominate on the inside to the tune of 50 points in the paint.

“They made some tough shots, a lot of our guys were there, and they just happened to finish,” Dwight Wilson said.

Wilson was the key to the offensive attack for the Bobcats. He finished the night with 24 points and 10 rebounds. 14 of his 24 points came in the second half when Ohio shot just 2-13 from beyond the arc.

Dwight Wilson goes up for a shot against Northern Illinois
Dwight Wilson goes up for a shot against Northern Illinois [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
Wilson’s scoring was not the only highlight of the night for him. Early in the first half, he grabbed his 1,000 rebound of his college career.

“I can only thank God, he’s put me around people that support me, develop me and honestly for being in college this long to get 1,000 rebounds,” Wilson said.

It was tough sledding in the second half until two minutes to go when Wilson finished a tough layup over a defender. Ohio then got a stop on the defensive end. During their next offensive possession, Jaylin Hunter hit Elmore James on a cross court pass and James drained a corner three to force a Husky timeout. That put the Bobcats up seven with just a little over a minute left.

“Just thankful really. It felt great, we got a great atmosphere here, especially with all the amazing fans we have,” James said. “Just the way our team stuck together that kept confidence in me throughout the whole game so I can only thank my teammates and these amazing coaches. I just love it here.”

James finished with 10 points and scored seven of those in the second half. Going 3-3 from the field in the final 20 minutes.

DeVon Baker goes up for the shot against Northern Illinois
DeVon Baker (22) goes up for the shot against Northern Illinois [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
“He’s one of those guys that just comes every day and works,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “He’s a worker. As a coach, you’re most proud when you see a freshman like that. Sometimes they can get frustrated and disappointed. He stayed even keel and when his opportunity came, he took advantage of it.”

Ohio finished the game on a 13-4 run and even opened its biggest lead of the game, 12 points, with just 33 seconds left.

The Bobcats travel to Oxford Saturday for the second rendition of the Battle of the Bricks.