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Dartis' big 2nd half leads Ohio past Eastern Michigan

Junior guard scores 21 after halftime, ties career high with 7 3-pointers

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Jordan Dartis matched a career-high with seven 3-pointers while scoring 24 points to help Ohio snap its three-game losing streak with a 72-66 victory against Eastern Michigan on Saturday at The Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Dartis only missed three times from long range and was 6 of 8 on 3-pointers in the second half alone, scoring all but three of his points after the break. Mike Laster scored 16 points, and Teyvion Kirk had 12 points for Ohio, which picked up its first road win this season.

James Thompson IV had 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Eagles (11-8, 2-4 Mid-American Conference). Ty Groce had 15 points, Paul Jackson scored 12 points, and Tim Bond had 11 points but fouled out.

Dartis’ huge second half helped Ohio (9-9, 2-4 MAC) quickly erase a 31-24 halftime deficit. He opened the second half with a trey, Kirk hit two free throws, and after a Paul Jackson basket for Eastern Michigan, Laster knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game.

Bond hit a jumper before another Dartis 3-pointer tied the score at 35. Dartis then answered Groce 3 with one of his own. The teams went back and forth before Kirk scored a layup at the 15:05 mark that put Ohio ahead for good. Kevin Mickle added a layup and Dartis another 3-pointer to cap the 7-0 run, making it 48-42.

The Eagles got as close as 54-52 on a Groce 3-pointer with 9:28 to go, but two possessions later, Dartis buried another 3-pointer. He had another one at the 3:47 mark that extended Ohio’s advantage to 67-58, and Doug Taylor gave the Bobcats their biggest lead of the game at 11 with a basket after that.

Thompson IV scored on a tip-in to get Eastern Michigan back to within 71-65 with 1:32. Kirk followed with a layup, though, and the Eagles got no closer.

Eastern Michigan used an early 11-0 run to take a 13-6 lead. A 9-0 Ohio run put it ahead 20-17, and the Eagles scored the final six points of the half to go up by seven.

After shooting just 30 percent in the first half, including 2 of 6 on 3-pointers, the Bobcats bounced back to shoot 63 percent in the second half, including 8 of 12 on 3-pointers. The Eagles actually improved their shooting from 39.1 percent in the first half to 51.7 percent in the second but could not keep up.

Another big factor was turnovers. Ohio had eight in the first half and only one in the second, while Eastern Michigan had six before and nine after the break.

Mickle led Ohio in rebounding with seven in 19 minutes off the bench. Gavin Block had five rebounds and eight assists to go with 6 points. Kirk had three rebounds, three assists and four steals.

The Bobcats play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Akron.

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