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Without Campbell, Ohio can't find offense in 53-49 loss

Bobcats go with out field goal in final 5 minutes

ATHENS – Playing most of the game without Antonio Campbell, Ohio could not generate enough offense in a 53-49 loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday at The Convo.

Defense kept Ohio (11-4, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) in the lead most of the way, but the Bobcats managed only one point in the final five minutes.

Gavin Block’s layup with 5:22 remaining tied the game at 48, and he added a free throw at the 4:06 mark to put the Bobcats on top. Ty Toney scored for the Eagles on the next possession to put them up one.

Over the final three and a half minutes, Jaaron Simmons missed two free throws, Kenny Kaminski and Block missed 3-pointers, and Jordan Dartis missed a layup, all shots that could have put Ohio back in front.

Dartis missed another trey with 37 seconds to go, and Ohio elected not to foul. Tim Bond hit a clinching 3-pointer with 10 seconds to go, putting the Eagles up four.

"Frustrating night to say the least," Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. "We never got into any type of rhythm offensively. We did find gaps, but we didn't make plays and far too often ended up with a tough play at the end of a possession."

Jason Carter paced the Bobcats with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Dartis scored 12 points, and Kaminski finished with 10 points.

Toney led the Eagles (11-6, 3-1 MAC) with 17 points, Bond had 13, and James Thompson IV had 11 points in 22 foul-plagued minutes.

Ohio shot just 30.4 percent, including 25 percent in the second half, and was only 16 of 29 (55.2 percent) on free throws. Eastern Michigan improved to 40 percent by the end of the game after shooting 29.2 percent in the first half.

"We just didn't get a lot of movement going in our offense, and we kinda got a little stagnant and some turnovers killed us," said Block, who finished with eight points.

The Bobcats led 26-19 at halftime and kept control until midway through the second half when the Eagles used a 7-0 run to tie the game at 37. Neither team led by more than four after that.

Simmons struggled badly, making just 1 of 7 shots with four assists and four turnovers. Kaminski was 3 of 10, and Block and Dartis both were 3 of 9.

Phillips said he was unsure the extent of Campbell’s injury. He said it was not an excuse for the team’s struggles.

"I refuse to use that,” he said. “We have five guys out there. Whoever it is, it's on us to get it done."

Ohio plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Akron.

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