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Dartis' hot start leads Ohio past Detroit

Bobcats hold on after Titans get close late

ATHENS – For the second straight game, Jordan Dartis was on fire, leading Ohio to a 91-81 victory against Detroit Mercy on Saturday at The Convo.

Dartis went 6 of 9 on 3-pointers and scored 26 points, while Jason Preston was two rebounds shy of a triple-double. He finished with 20 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.

In the last two games, Dartis has gone a combined 14 of 22 on 3-pointers and has scored 58 points. On Saturday, 22 of his points game in the first half alone on 5-of-7 3-point shooting.

"When I'm open, Coach wants me to shoot it and my teammates want me to shoot it," Dartis said. "They found me when I was open and I just kind of do my job. I haven't felt like that in a little while, so it felt great."

Ben Vander Plas added 16 points and six rebounds, while Sylvester Ogbonda had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Antoine Davis had 33 points and eight assists for the Titans, but he also committed nine turnovers.

Dartis scored Ohio’s first 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, to get the Bobcats (5-3) out to an 11-2 lead barely more than two minutes into the game. His fourth and then fifth 3-pointer of the first half call came in the first four minutes, with his four-point play stretching the Ohio lead to 20-5.

Vander Plas scored the next five points after, and the Bobcats had a 20-point lead only five and a half minutes into the game.

Ohio pushed the lead to as big as 25 points in the first half, but Detroit (1-5) closed on a 7-0 run to get to within 50-34.

Dartis’ only second-half 3-pointer helped stop a Titans run. They cut their deficit to 60-50 when he hit from deep with 12:31 remaining.

Later, Detroit got to within 73-71 on a Davis 3-pointer with 6:10 to go, but he missed on a chance to give the Titans the lead, and Vander Plas hit two free throws. Davis hit another trey with 4:10 to go to make it a one-point game, 77-76, and again Vander Plas made two at the line. He added a layup after that, and the Bobcats were able to pull away.

"We made a couple of adjustment on our ball screen coverage, which I thought helped us," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. "Give Antoine (Davis) a lot of credit, he is a phenomenal player. We knew he had the capability of going off in the second half and carrying these guys. He did it last year, he did it this year. There's a reason why he's top-10 in the country in scoring. I thought we made some big plays down the stretch. Got the rebounds we needed and most importantly we made the free throws down the stretch that were all big."

Isiani went 5 of 9 on 3-pointers to score 15 points for the Titans. Justin Miller had 12 points.

Ohio hosts Rio Grande at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Convo.

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