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Bench provides spark in Bobcats' victory

Ohio runs away from Eastern Illinois in 2nd half

ATHENS Ohio had strong games from Ben Roderick and Aidan Hadaway off the bench and pulled away in the second half for a 78-67 victory against Eastern Illinois on Friday at The Convo.

Roderick scored 15 points in 21 minutes, with Hadaway adding 11 points in 14 minutes. Starters Miles Brown (14 points) and Dwight Wilson (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Bobcats (2-3).

The Panthers (1-5) led early in the second half 43-40 on a Yaakema Rose 3-pointer and tied the game at 45 on a Rose basket in the paint, before the Bobcats began to take over.

Wilson scored, followed by an AJ Clayton 3-pointer, and after a basket by Nick Ellington for Eastern Illinois, Ohio got a Wilson basket, two Roderick free throws and a Roderick 3-pointer to go ahead 57-47 with 11:07 remaining.

A separate 8-0 run, capped by a Brown trey, made it 65-51, and the lead reached 18 points at 74-56 on two Gabe Wiznitzer free throws with 5:39 to play.

Eastern Illinois had its biggest lead in the first half at 22-14 on a Kyle Carlesimo 3-pointer at the 10:54 mark. The Panthers then held the lead until a Roderick jumper tied the score at 32 with 2:14 left in the half. A Jaylin Hunter steal and layup gave the Bobcats a 37-35 lead at halftime.

Hunter struggled shooting, going 3 of 11, but he passed out seven assists with five rebounds to go with seven points. DeVon Baker was just 2 of 13 for four points. AJ Clayton had eight points and seven rebounds.

Rose led all scorers with 23 points, but other than him, only Ellington, with 11 points, reached double figures for the Panthers.

Eastern Illinois shot 45.1% from the field, to 42.2% for Ohio, but the Bobcats had 19 offensive rebounds to get many more chances. They also knocked 12 3-pointers as Brown was 4-for-4 and Roderick 3-for-5.

Ohio hosts Alabama State at 2 p.m. Sunday at The Convo.

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