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Wilson helps Bobcats hold off Huskies 76-73

Senior scores career-high 25 points, grabs 8 rebounds

ATHENS – Darius Beane missed a long, contested 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Ohio held off Northern Illinois 76-73 for its second straight win Tuesday evening at The Convo.

The Bobcats held a double-digit lead throughout most of the second half before the Huskies rallied to take it to the wire in the final minutes.

Dwight Wilson III had a career-high 25 points to go with eight rebounds to lead the way.

“He is going to continue to grow and grow,” Ohio coach Jeff Boals. “He is in a role that he has never been in. He’s never been a go-to guy, never played extended minutes, and he’s obviously a big part of what we’re doing. He and (Ben Vander Plas) have a good thing going. We’ve got to keep going to him until (Jason Preston) gets back.”

Ben Roderick added 13 points as all five starters scored in double figures for Ohio (6-4, 2-2 Mid-American Conference).

Zool Kueth scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Huskies, who played their first game after the firing of long-time coach Mark Montgomery. Kueth hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get Northern Illinois (1-8, 0-4 MAC) to within three with 2:31 remaining.

Freshman Mark Sears answered for Ohio with a 3-pointer of his own to make it 75-69 with 2:11 remaining, but the Bobcats had turnovers on two straight possessions to give the Huskies chances. Anthony Crump’s layup made it a four-point game with 38 seconds left.

After Sears missed on the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds left, Trendon Hankerson scored a layup to cut Ohio’s lead to four. Lunden McDay made one free throw. With one to give, the Bobcats fouled with 2.8 seconds left, and after another inbounds pass, Beane missed the potential game-tying shot.

Ohio took control early, going up 17-7 on a Roderick 3-pointer six minutes into the game. After Northern Illinois cut it to three, the Bobcats scored seven in a row, with a Sears layup giving them a 28-18 advantage with seven minutes left in the half.

A few minutes later, Roderick hit a 3-pointer and then converted a three-point play to make it 40-26, and Ohio eventually held a 42-31 lead at the break.

Wilson’s jumper with 16:59 remaining gave the Bobcats their biggest lead, 46-31. From there, the Bobcats maintained a lead of eight or more until the final five minutes.

Ben Vander Plas finished with 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and Lunden McDay added 11 points. Sears scored 10 points with seven assists.

Bean finished with 16 points, Crump scored 13 points, and Hankerson had 12 for the Huskies.

The Bobcats hit the road to face Toledo at 6:30 p.m. Friday on CBS Sports Network.

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