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Hunter scores career-high 32 in OT win

Bobcats top Cardinals for 4th straight victory

MUNCIE, Ind. – Jaylin Hunter scored a career-high 32 points as Ohio knocked off Ball State 84-79 in overtime for its season-best fourth straight victory Tuesday night at Worthen Arena.

Hunter added five rebounds and five assists. Aidan Hadaway had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Miles Brown scored six points for the Bobcats (13-10, 7-4 Mid-American Conference).

Ohio scored the game’s first 13 points and led throughout the first half with a 36-27 advantage at halftime. Ball State battled back to take a 47-46 lead on a pair of Basheer Jihad free throws with 13:38 remaining, and from there, it was a battle with neither team holding more than a one-possession game the rest of the way.

Bahseer completed a three-point play with 6:17 left to give the Cardinals (12-11, 4-7 MAC) a 62-60 lead, and the rest of the way, the teams traded points, with the Bobcats tying it and then Ball State moving back in front.

Hunter answered a Davion Bailey layup with one of his own with 52 seconds left to knot the score at 72, and neither team cashed in after that on chances. Mickey Pearson Jr. missed for Ball State, Hunter for Ohio, and then Jalin Anderson on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Overtime was just like the minutes before that, with baskets back and forth. Hunter hit go-ahead free throws to make it 79-78 with 38 seconds left, and then Anderson missed twice at the foul line with 17 seconds to play. Hunter made two more foul shots with 16 seconds left and then another two seven seconds later to put it away.

The Bobcats needed less than four minutes to build their 13-0 lead, with a Miles Brown 3-pointer capping the quick start. The Cardinals recovered after that and scored the first seven points of the second half to get to within two.

Anderson led Ball State with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Pearson had 18 points and nine rebounds. Bailey scored 15 points, while Jihad scored 13.

AJ Clayton had eight points for Ohio despite going just 1-for-7 on 3-pointers. He added six rebounds. Gabe Wiznitzer scored seven points with five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.

Ohio shot 48.3%, compared to Ball State’s 42.3%, and was good at the foul line, going 21 of 26 (80.8%). Ball State had 19 offensive rebounds to make up the difference in shooting.

Ohio takes a break from MAC play to face Arkansas State in the MAC-Sun Belt Conference Challenge at 3 p.m. Saturday in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

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