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Bobcats hold off Panthers, 71-69

Campbell has 19 points, 10 rebounds

ATHENS – It was a struggle to put away, but Ohio took a 71-69 victory against Milwaukee on Wednesday night at The Convo.

Antonio Campbell had 19 points and 10 rebounds but fouled out with 3:15 remaining. Ohio (6-2) still found enough to hold on in the final minutes as Jaaron Simmons finished with 14 points and nine assists. Four other players scored between seven and nine points.

The Bobcats led most of the game, but their biggest lead of the second half was just six points. A Gavin Block jumper with 2:13 left gave them a 68-62 advantage, and it finally was enough for Ohio to stay in front.

A Dan Studer jump shot got the Panthers (4-7) within one possession, 69-66, with 13 seconds left, but Simmons hit two at the foul line a couple of seconds later to put the game out of reach.

Cody Wichmann led Milwaukee with 15 points, while August Haas and Bryce Barnes had 11 points each.

The Bobcats led just 36-35 at halftime, and the Panthers used an 8-0 run to take a 45-41 lead at the 14:20 mark. Ohio came back with seven straight points and did not trail again, though Milwaukee tied at 49, 51, 55 and 57.

Doug Taylor’s layup with 6:25 left put Ohio up for good, 59-57, and after a Brett Prahl free throw, Simmons and Campbell had consecutive baskets to push the lad to five. Campbell was called for his fifth foul on a made shot by Bryce Nze, making it 65-62, but he missed the free throw, and Taylor hit one from the foul line before Block’s jumper.

Ohio started strong, jumping out to a 15-6 lead in the first five minutes, and its advantage was still at eight points midway through the opening half before Milwaukee got back in it. Wichmann had back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Panthers on top, 31-28, at the 5:42 mark.

After two straight baskets by Block and a layup by Stull, neither team scored until a Campbell dunk on Ohio’s last possession gave it a one-point lead at the break.

Kenny Kaminski and Jordan Dartis each scored nine points, combining to go 6 of 13 on 3-pointers, Taylor finished with eight points, and Block had seven points and six rebounds.

Stull had a team-high eight rebounds, but the Panthers were beat on the boards, 41-31. They had fewer turnovers, though, 13-9.

Ohio shot 48.2 percent from the field but made just 10 of 19 free throws. Milwaukee shot 44.1 percent and was good on 11 of 18 foul shots.

The Bobcats host Cleveland State at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Convo.

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