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Ohio tops rival Miami again to earn No. 2 seed in tournament

Carter has 16 points, 17 rebounds

ATHENS – Jason Carter had 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to lead Ohio to a 69-55 victory against Miami and the No. 2 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Friday night at The Convo.

All five Ohio starters scored in double figures. Gavin Block finished with 13 points, Kenny Kaminski scored 12 points, Jordan Dartis had 11 points, and Jaaron Simmons tallied 10 points.

"I think all 15 guys in our locker room are confident we're going to win a championship," Kaminski said. "That's been my goal since the second I stepped foot on campus. It's the one thing I tried drilling into Jason and (freshman guard) Rodney's (Culver) head since they stepped foot in here – that we're a winning culture. We do things right."

Michael Weathers led the RedHawks (11-20, 4-14 Mid-American Conference) with 17 points, while Jake Wright scored 13 points off the bench.

Kaminski connected on a 3-pointer on Ohio’s first possession to make it 3-2, and the Bobcats (19-10, 11-7 MAC) did not trail again. Dartis’ free throws at the 6:49 mark made it 17-15 and put Ohio up for good. It began a 15-4 run to close the half, eventually giving the RedHawks a 30-19 deficit.

Dartis free throws, followed by a Block 3-pointer, made it 43-27 early in the second half, and the lead reached 18 on a Kaminski trey with 4:55 to go. Miami rallied to within 60-53 with 1:29 remaining but got no closer.

Ohio dominated Miami on the boards, 49-29, in a game where neither team shot especially well: the RedHawks 39.6 percent and the Bobcats 35.6 percent. Ohio used 20-of-24 free-throw shooting to its advantage.

"Really liked the way our guys played defensively tonight," Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. "We maintained our defensive intensity, and, probably just as importantly, we didn't allow them to get out in transition very often.”

It was the 200th Battle of the Bricks matchup, and Ohio won for the 12th time in its last 13 meetings with its rival.

Kaminski was among the seniors honored in their final home game, along with injured forward Antonio Campbell and walk-on guard Drew Crabtree.

"I feel accomplished," Kaminski said. "I can honestly say I put everything I had into this team. I think it was a good way for us to go out tonight. I don't think that's happened all year. That's a team that wants it, in my opinion."

No. 7 Toledo and No. 10 Bowling Green meet Monday at Savage Arena for the right to play Ohio in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

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