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Hunter, Wilson lead Ohio to first MAC win

Bobcats hold off Cardinals 76-71

ATHENS – Jaylin Hunter scored a career-high 23 points, and Dwight Wilson posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds as Ohio picked up its first Mid-American Conference win and handed Ball State its first MAC loss, 76-71, on Tuesday night at The Convo.

AJ Clayton added 16 points for the Bobcats (9-7, 1-2 MAC).

In a game of big runs, Ohio fell behind in the first half, erased most of its deficit by halftime, surged ahead in the second half and then held on.

Jarron Coleman had 17 points to lead the Cardinals (11-5, 2-1 MAC0. Jalen Windham added 13 points, and Payton Sparks had 12 points.

"It's great to be back in front of home fans,” Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. “The first two road games were tough ones. I think tonight we sustained their [Ball State's] blow, got a double figure lead—it was a 10-point lead with 5:22 to go—and I thought the guys did a great job of ending the half with momentum."

The Bobcats led 13-9 early before Ball State took control with an 18-0 run to go up by 14 points. The Bobcats answered with a big run of their own, scoring 13 in a row to get within a point before a Basheer Jihad basket before halftime made it 29-26.

Ball State had a 37-30 lead early in the second half, but Ohio used a 15-2 run to go up by six and then held a lead as big as 58-46 on a Clayton 3-pointer with 8:39 remaining and then 60-48 on a Clayton layup a minute later.

Coleman helped Ball State fight back, and his 3-pointer at the 2:29 mark made it 67-64. Miles Brown answered with a 3-pointer for Ohio, and after a Coleman layup, Hunter hit two free throws with 1:02 left to make it 72-66.

Sparks dunked to make it a four-point game, and after Wilson split two free throws, Windham connected from long range to get the Cardinals to within 73-71. Hunter split two free throws with 29 seconds to go, leaving Ball State a chance, but Sellers missed a 3-pointer, and DeVon Baker closed it out with two free throws.

Ohio hosts Kent State at 6:30 p.m. Friday at The Convo on CBS Sports Network.

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