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Bobcats dominate 2nd half after poor start

Ohio runs away for 77-50 victory against Division II Urbana

ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio dominated the second half of a 77-50 victory against Division II Urbana to close out non-conference play Friday night at The Convo.

The Blue Knights (5-5) actually led 34-31 at halftime, but the Bobcats (8-3) outscored them 46-16 in the second half.

Kenny Kaminski led Ohio with 18 points, while Jordan Dartis scored 14 points. They combined to make eight 3-pointers.

The Bobcats scored the first 19 points of the second half to finally take control. A Gavin Block 3-pointer made it 50-34.

“The talk at halftime was just to wake up, play our game,” Dartis said.

Urbana’s first points of the second half came on an AJ Washington layup with 13:26 remaining, but Ohio continued to add to its lead after that.

Ohio led by double digits in the first half on a Rodney Culver layup and then again on a Jaaron Simmons follow-up dunk and finally again on a Doug Taylor free throw that made it 22-12 at the 10:26 mark, but Urbana ruled the final 10 minutes of the first half, beginning with an 11-2 run that made it a one-point game.

After a Dartis 3-pointer put the Bobcats in front by four, the Blue Knights scored eight straight points to go ahead by four and held their biggest lead, 34-29, on an Ethan Snapp 3-pointer.

Starting in place of Antonio Campell, who had been limited in practice because of a knee injury, Doug Taylor had 11 points. Simmons finished with 10 points and seven assists.

Jahmere Howze led Urbana with 14 points. DeQuan Abrom scored 12 points.

After shooting 50 percent in the first half, the Blue Knights shot 30 percent in the second half. The Bobcats improved from 36.7 percent before the break to 56.0 percent after.

“That’s why the second half was so much better – because we responded to what (coach) Saul (Phillips) was talking about at halftime,” Kaminski said. “That’s why it ended up a lopsided win.”

Urbana had 24 turnovers and was outrebounded 33-30.

“I think we settled in a little bit,” Phillips said. “Whether that’s rust, indifference, whatever it is, I don’t know, but it was gone immediately in the second half. Then you come out and hold them scoreless for eight or nine possessions and now you’ve got a run put on them and everything’s OK.”

Ohio begins Mid-American Conference play by hosting Western Michigan at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Convo.

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