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Ohio holds off Northern Illinois for first MAC road win

Hunter leads Bobcats again with 19 points

DeKALB, Ill. Ė Ohio finally picked up its first Mid-American Conference road victory, holding off Northern Illinois 82-76 on Tuesday night at NIUís Convocation Center.

Jaylin Hunter continued his strong run of games with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Miles Brown finished with 16 points and 17 boards. James Elmore and Dwight Wilson II scored 13 points each.

The Bobcats (13-11, 5-6 MAC) made a run late in the first half to take the lead, briefly went up double digits and then did enough down the stretch to prevail.

Brown hit a 3-pointer that gave Ohio a 52-42 lead with 16:25 remaining and then went back up by 10 at 68-58 on a Wilson 3-point play with seven minutes to go. A jumper by James at the 2:41 mark kept the Bobcats comfortably ahead 77-69.

David Coit scored a fast-break three-point play, and after a miss by Ohio, Kaleb Thornton hit a layup to get the Huskies (10-14, 6-5 MAC) to within three at 77-74. Thornton stole the ball from Brown to start another fast break, but he missed, and after an offensive rebound, Coit missed from long range.

That was the break the Bobcats needed to hold on. James hit a pair of free throws, and then after an Anthony Crump dunk, Brown made two more free throws with 21 seconds left, putting the margin back at five. Ben Roderick added a foul shot with eight seconds to play.

Thorton led Northern Illinois with 21 points and eight assists. Coit and Zarique Nutter scored 12 points each. Darweshi Hunter added 11 points.

The Huskies had their biggest lead of 21-15 on a Thornton layup at the 11:47 mark in the first half. The Bobcats fought back to tie the score at 23 a few minutes later on a Jaylin Hunter 3-pointer.

Down 35-34, Ohio went on a 7-0 run and did not trail again. DeVon Baker hit two free throws, Wilson scored in the paint, and James knocked down a 3-pointer. A 3-pointer by Roderick made it 46-39 before halftime.

Ohio shot 50.9% from the field, while Northern Illinois finished at 45.9%. The Bobcats were 16 of 20 on free throws, while the Huskies were 15 of 23.

The Bobcats host Akron at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Convo on CBS Sports Network.

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