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Carter helps rally Ohio past Miami in regular season finale

Bobcats hold RedHawks to 28.4 percent shooting


ATHENS – Ohio closed the game on a 19-6 run and closed out the regular season with a 66-57 victory against Miami on Friday night at The Convo.

Miami scored the game’s first seven points, went up by as many as 12 points and led throughout most of the game until Ohio’s strong finish.

Jason Carter nearly outscored the RedHawks by himself in the second half, finishing with 21 of his career-high 26 points after the break. Miami finished with just 25 points in the second half. Doug Taylor had 10 points and eight rebounds, and Jason Preston finished with 10 points and seven boards for Ohio (14-16, 6-12 Mid-American Conference).

"I thought it was a fitting way for the seniors to go out," Ohio Saul Phillips said. "It was kind of a grinding, physical game. I think that kind of defines who they have been throughout their careers here. We did a much better job in the second half of attacking at the rim. We got a little carried away with the 3s in the first half. When we started attacking the rim we started to get to the free throw line, and that was a big difference."

Nike Sibande led the RedHawks (15-16, 7-11 MAC) with 22 points, while Mekhi Lairy had a career-high 16. But Miami shot just 28.4 percent in the game, including 21.9 percent in the second half.

The RedHawks led 37-25 on a Lairy 3-pointer with 18:18 remaining, but the Bobcats chipped away. Ben Vander Plas’ dunk with 11:53 remaining got Ohio to within 41-40, and a Jason Carter jumper made it 45-44 at the 9:21 mark.

The Bobcats took their first lead 52-51 when Antonio Cowart Jr. banked in a deep desperation 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 4:13 to go. Ringo gave the lead back to the RedHawks with two free throws, but a Carter layup with 3:23 left gave Ohio the lead for good.

Carter made two free throws on the next possession, and Taylor threw down a dunk through contact with 2:20 to go to make it 58-53. He missed the free throw but made one about 45 seconds later. Jason Preston hit two more at the line to extend the advantage to 61-53 with 1:02 left.

Miami missed its final seven field goal tries, not making one in the final five and a half minutes. Ohio did not score until four minutes into the game.

The RedHawks went up 12-3 on a Sibande three-point play at the 14:02 mark, and the Bobcats did not make their second field goal until a Teyvion Kirk layup with 12:13 to go in the half.

Miami went up 27-15 on a Ringo 3-pointer with 6:07 left in the first half, but Ohio cut the lead to 30-25 just before halftime. The RedHawks then pushed the lead back up to double digits early in the second half.

With the win, Ohio moved into the No. 10 spot in the MAC standings and will travel to face No. 7 Northern Illinois in the first round of the MAC Tournament at 9 p.m. Monday at The Convocation Center in DeKalb, Illinois.






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