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Ohio rallies past Delaware 74-73

Hunter scores go-ahead layup with 31 seconds left

ATHENS Ė Trailing most of the game, Ohio rallied past Delaware, with Jaylin Hunter scoring the go-ahead layup with 31 seconds left in a 74-73 victory Saturday at The Convo.

Hunterís basket gave the Bobcats their first lead since it was 17-16 with more than 10 minutes left in the first half. He was one of four Ohio players in double figures, finishing with 15 points on the day.

Elmore James led all players with 21 points. His baseline reverse layup with 1:26 got the Bobcats (5-2) to within one. AJ Clayton, who had 10 points, five rebounds and five blocks, swatted away a Delaware shot, and then a jumper at the shot-block buzzer was airballed to set up the go-ahead score.

Delaware (5-3) had two chances after Hunterís basket. Jyare Davis missed a pull-up jumper, and after the rebound was tipped around, James came up with it and was fouled. He missed on the front end of a one-and-one, giving the Blue Hens another chance. Cavan Reilly missed on a wide-open corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Davis paced Delaware with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Jalun Trent had 14 points and seven boards.

The Blue Hens led by 11 on multiple occasions early in the second half and had a 10-point advantage of 58-48 with 11:27 to play on a second-chance Trent layup.

A James layup cut Ohioís deficit to 60-56 with 8:47 remaining, and the Bobcats got to within 68-65 on a Clayton 3-pointer with 4:58 to play. Shareef Mitchell scored a layup, and a free throw by James tied the score at 68, but only 13 seconds later, Delaware went back on top with two free throws by Davis at the 3:03 mark.

Mitchell scored a tying basket, but Davis hit a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer to make it 73-70 with 1:51 to play.

Leading just 22-20 in the first half, Delaware outscored Ohio 14-6 over a six-minute period to go up double digits, and it led 36-28 at the break.

Mitchell finished with 10 points. Aidan Hadaway was forced into crunch-time minutes with AJ Brown sitting out late in the second half. Hadaway finished with seven points and a team-leading seven rebounds in 22 minutes, while Brown scored just three points in 20 minutes.

Miles Brown continued to sit out with an injury, and coach Jeff Boals also was absent because of COVID-19 protocols, leaving assistant Lamar Thornton to lead the team during the game.

After shooting just 31.4% in the first half, the Bobcats made 54.3% of their attempts after halftime but never really found their outside range, going 4 of 15 on 3-pointers. They also were just 10 of 21 at the foul line, but Ohio committed just three turnovers all game long.

Delaware shot 40.6% for the game, including 6 of 19 on 3-pointers, and was 11 of 19 on free throws with eight turnovers.

Youngstown State visits the Convo at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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