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Simmons, Ohio dominate Bowling Green again

Bobcats shoot 63 percent, pull away with 16-0 run

ATHENS – Even at full strength, Bowling Green was no match for Ohio in the second half as the Bobcats got their first home win against the Falcons in three years, 95-75, on Saturday.

Three weeks ago, with four players suspended, the Falcons lost 96-72 to the Bobcats. This game was not much different.

Jaaron Simmons dominated with 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting and 11 assists.

“He’s one of the best point guards in the nation. Period. At any level,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said after Akron coach Keith Dambrot last night discredited Simmons’ 38-point effort against the Zips two weeks ago. “I know this. You don’t want to make him angry.”

When comparing Akron's loss to Kent State to its loss to Ohio, Dambrot suggested the loss to the Bobcats game was because Simmons had an abnormally good game, saying he was not sure if Simmons would score 38 if he was unguarded at the 3-point line.

Against the Falcons, Simmons was 5 for 5 in the second half with six assists.

"That's a pretty strong outing," Phillips said. "Boy, he came out and put on a show. Heard some comments he didn't like. Responded. So, that's Jaaron for you. He's a warrior."

Five other Ohio players reached double figures, led by Jason Carter with 19 points and five rebounds.

Just as it did they did in the first matchup, the Bobcats (17-8, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) took over in the second half. They led 41-35 at halftime and quickly pushed the advantage to double digits. Carter and Jordan Dartis had back-to-back 3-pointers that made it 55-41 with 16:32 remaining.

Carter sank a jumper to begin an 8-0 run. It was followed by a Kenny Kaminski 3-pointer, a Simmons free throw and a Doug Taylor layup to make it 63-43 at the 13:11 mark.

Bowling Green (11-16, 5-9 MAC) battled back to make it a 70-60 game on a Rodrick Caldwell 3-pointer with 8:32 to go, and it was 79-67 on an Antwon Lillard free throw with 6:32 to go. A Simmons layup began a dominant 16-0 run over the next four and a half minutes.

Simmons added another layup, Gavin Block hit two free throws, Dartis made one foul shot, and a Block layup pushed the advantage to a new high of 21 points at 88-67. Simmons assisted a Carter dunk and then connected on a 3-pointer and a layup to cap the run and make the score 95-67.

The Falcons scored the game’s final eight points.

Bowling Green led much of the first half, going up 29-23 on a Zack Denny Layup, but Ohio finished strong over the following seven minutes.

Kaminski, Simmons and Laster had field goals to tie the game at 29, and after separate free throws by Demajeo Wiggins and Ismail Ali, the Bobcats took the lead for good on a Kaminski 3-pointer with three minutes left in the half. Laster added a layup, and a Kaminski jumper extended the advantage to 36-31. In all, it was an 11-2 run.

Simmons hit a trey with 15 seconds left to double Ohio’s advantage at the break from three to six.

Kaminski finished with 14 points, Block and Dartis had 12 points each, and Laster finished with 10 points. Block had nine rebounds, and although he scored only two points, Taylor had eight rebounds in just 14 minutes.

Caldwell led the Falcons with 12 points, while Wiggins and Denny had 11 points each. Wes Alcegaire had 10 points, Dylan Frye and Lillard scored nine points each, and Rasheed Worrell had eight points.

Ohio shot 62.7 percent in the game, including 73.3 percent in the second half. It was 6 of 11 on 3-pointers and 10 of 12 on free throws.

"It's great for our confidence to put a winning streak," Simmons said. "For our fans, I think they see we’re here to stay."

Winners of three straight, the Bobcats play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Miami.

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