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Balanced Bobcats beat Flashes for 2nd straight win

Ohio never trails against Kent State

ATHENS Ohio had six players in double figures and never trailed while wining consecutive Mid-American Conference games for the first time this season with an 88-76 victory against Kent State on Tuesday night at The Convo.

Jordan Dartis paced the Bobcats with 20 points, while Teyvion Kirk had 17 points. Kevin Mickle scored 13 points with six rebounds, James Gollon had 13 points and seven rebounds, Mike Laster scored 11 points, and Doug Taylor finished with 10 points.

"We've worked as hard as we can at offense," Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. "We've allocated a lot of practice to that. I think the biggest thing you're seeing is a better understand of how to run a team out of a freshman point guard. And boy, is it starting to look fun out there. We're edging towards being the kind of team you don't want to see in the tournament in a hurry."

Adonis De La Rosa paced the Golden Flashes with 13 points. Jaylin Walker, Desmond Ridenour and Kevin Zabo scored 12 points apiece.

Ohio (12-15, 5-10 (Mid-American Conference) led 47-39 at halftime, pushed its lead to 11 and then had it cut to 62-60 with 9:12 remaining. The Bobcats followed with a 12-0 run for their biggest lead, 74-60.

Kent State (13-15, 7-8 MAC) got as close as 79-74 on a Walker three-point play with 2:43 to go. Kirk hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, and Taylor followed with a layup. A Dartis free throw made it a double-digit game again with 1:35 left.

"It's definitely coming together," Kirk said. "We're doing great on offense. Just getting everybody the ball, just making everybody a threat. Keeping people honest on defense, also just getting some stops."

With the game tied at 12 early, Ohio took control with a 7-0 run. Kent State tied the game at 27 and again at 32 before a 9-0 Bobcats run put them back in the lead.

Ohio shot 55.2 percent for the game, including 41.7 percent (10 of 24) on 3-pointers, and made 14 of 17 free throws. Kent State shot 44.9 percent, but was just 6 of 25 (24 percent) on 3-pointers, and 8 of 10 at the foul line.

"I just look at it as the focus we have," Dartis said. "We're just so free right now. We're not really worried about tournament seeding. We're just taking it one game at a time, just trying to better ourselves every day in practice and in games."

The Bobcats will try to win three straight for the first time this season when they play Buffalo at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Alumni Arena.

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