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MAC Mens Basketball Recap: Ohio Bobcats vs Western Kentucky Hilltopers

Ohio losses on tough call at the wire

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio traveled to the E.A. Diddle Arena in Western Kentucky to take on the Hilltoppers on Wednesday night. Going into tonight’s play, Western Kentucky had not lost a home game to a non-conference school in their last 12 games.

The Bobcats came out firing on all cylinders, running out to a 14-0 lead and then again to 21-4, on a Kenny Kaminsky three pointer. Just as fast as they gained the lead, they lost it though, going on a three minute field goal drought, which was finally ended when Jaaron Simmons made it 23-18. The Hilltoppers mounted a 19-4 run, cutting what was once a 17 point lead to just a 2 at the half, 35-33.

The Bobcats Antonio Campbell would pick up his third foul just 48 seconds into the second half. Kaminsky and Simmons would step up big in the second half keeping the Bobcats in the game until Campbell could come back.

Ohio would push the lead to 9 at 50-41 but the Hilltoppers came right back again with an 8-0 run of their own, bringing them to within one at the under 12 timeout. The two teams would change leads over six different times until they ended up deadlocked at 65 with 2:45 to go in the game.

Each team would score just one point until 1.8 seconds remained on the clock and Western Kentucky guard Damari Paris would drive to his left, angling from the basket and the officials would call a very touchy two shot foul that sent Paris to line. After missing the first, Paris dropped the second in to go up 67-66. To further infuriate Ohio Head Coach Saul Phillips, the Bobcats would throw the ball the length of the floor with 1.8 seconds and have it knocked out of bounds with what looked like at least a half a second left. However, after an absurdly long look at the review, the officials inexplicably left the clock at .01 seconds.

The 67-66 win for Western Kentucky makes them 5-7 on the season. They were lead by Pancake Thomas and Justin Johnson’s 15 points each. Ohio moves to 7-3 and was lead by Kaminsky with a career high 27 points. Campbell had 12 points and 10 rebounds while Simmons had 11 points and 11 dimes.

Ohio will kick off MAC conference play against Western Michigan on 01/03/17.