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Balanced Bobcats get first MAC road win

Ohio has 5 in double figures while beating Kent State

KENT Ohio put five players in double figures and earned its first Mid-American Conference road win of the year by defeating Kent State 71-64 on Friday night at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center.

Jaylin Hunter led the way with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Shareef Mitchell scored 16 points with five assists and four rebounds for the Bobcats (10-10, 4-4 MAC).

Ohio used a 10-0 run early in the second half to take control. It started with an Aidan Hadaway dunk that put the Bobcats ahead 40-39. Hunter followed with a 3-pointer, Mitchell scored a layup, and Ajay Sheldon capped the spurt with a 3-pointer to make it 48-39.

Kent State (10-10, 3-5 MAC) cut the deficit to 50-48 with 12:36 remaining before a trio of 3-pointers by Hadaway, Mitchell and then Sheldon gave Ohio its biggest lead, 59-48 with nine minutes left. Kent State scored the next eight points and was within three on multiple occasions after that but got no closer. A Hunter 3-pointer that made it 68-62 helped the Bobcats put the game away.

Down 8-4 in the early going, Ohio went on an 11-0 run to take a 15-8 lead. Kent State followed with the next eight points to regain a one-point lead. The Bobcats answered back to take a 28-20 lead with 5:05 left in the half, only to have the Golden Flashes rally in front 32-30 before a Sheldon 3-pointer made it a one-point Ohio lead at halftime.

Sheldon went 4 of 5 on 3-pointers and scored 12 points. Hadaway and AJ Clayton scored 11 points each. Hadaway had a team-leading eight rebounds and also four assists.

Elmore James played limited minutes for the second game in a row after missing a couple of games and did not score.

The Bobcats shot 44.8% overall, including 37.9% on 3-pointers. The Golden Flashes finished at 42.4% and struggled from long range, going 4 of 23 (17.4%). They also had 15 turnovers.

Tyem Freeman led Kent State with 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Chris Payton Jr. had 13 points, and VonCameron Davis scored 11 points.

Ohio returns home to face Buffalo at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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