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Ohio routs Northern Illinois to clinch MAC tourney spot

Bobcats win for 6th time in last 7 league games

DeKALB, Ill. – Ohio blew out Northern Illinois 80-59 on Saturday on the road to clinch a spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament.

Already ahead by eight, the Bobcats (15-12, 9-5 MAC) scored the first nine points of the second half and led by 15 or more the rest of the game, with the advantage growing to as big as 75-47 with 4:31 remaining.

Miles Brown and Aidan Hadaway led a balanced Ohio scoring effort with 17 points each. Shareef Mitchell added 14 points, six assists and five assists, while AJ Clayton had 10 points.

David Coit’s 27 points for the Huskies (9-18, 3-11 MAC) were not nearly enough.

Clayton had a steal and fastbreak dunk to start the second half and push Ohio’s lead to double digits. Hadaway added a dunk and then scored a layup following a Mitchell steal. Hadaway then drained a 3-pointer to make it 43-26. A short time later, Clayton made a layup and then a trey to make it a 50-29 game.

Northern Illinois got only as close as 15 after that midway through the second half. It was 63-47 when Ohio put the game away with a 12-0 run that included a pair of Brown 3-pointers.

The Huskies held a 19-17 lead with 8:30 left in the first half before the Bobcats began to take over with 11 straight points, beginning with a Hadaway dunk and then capped by two Hadaway free throws that made it 28-19.

Point guard Jaylin Hunter scored only four points and missed all five of his free-throw attempts, but he passed out five assists and had four rebounds.

The Bobcats shot 52.7% on the day, compared to 41.5% for the Huskies, who were just 3 of 21 from long range. Northern Illinois also had 17 turnovers.

MAC-leading Akron visits the Convo for a game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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