Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- Junior guard Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio) helped the Ohio men's basketball team (11-15, 4-10 MAC) erase a four-point deficit in overtime and beat Mid-American Conference East Division archrival Miami (13-14, 6-8 MAC), 92-87, on Saturday (Feb. 17) at the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats led by as many as 15 in the second half and led by 10 with just over four minutes to play, but the RedHawks stormed back with a 13-3 run over the final 3:59 of regulation to force overtime. Trailing 79-77, Miami took an advantage of a turnover by the Bobcats with 15 seconds left. Freshman guard Jalen Adaway got a three-point attempt off with seconds left on the clock that was off the mark, but freshman guard Nike Sibande came up with the offensive rebound for the RedHawks and drew a foul. He sank both free throws to send the contest to overtime.
Miami then used a pair of layups by sophomore forward Bam Bowman and a layup by senior forward Rod Mills, Jr. to snatch an 85-81 advantage with just over three minutes to play in the extra session. That's when Dartis -- the reigning MAC East Division Player of the Week -- produced a huge three-pointer to make it a one-point game with 2:29 remaining. Junior guard/forward Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) then came up with a steal on Miami's ensuing possession, leading to a layup by freshman guard Teyvion Kirk (Joliet, Ill.) to put Ohio back in the lead, 88-85, with just over two minutes to go.
The RedHawks regained the lead when Sibande drew another foul and made both freebies with 1:19 to play. Kirk put up a trey on Ohio's next possession and missed, but Dartis crashed the glass and made a layup with a 49 seconds left to give the Bobcats the lead for good. Junior guard Darrian Ringo turned the ball over on Miami's next trip down the court, and Dartis and Kirk both made two free throws to seal the victory for the Bobcats.
"Our resolve, especially when we were down four," said fourth-year head coach Saul Phillips. "They come down, score, they're up four. Jordy gets the three. Then we get a big steal when Ringo was getting really comfortable and TK (Kirk) went down and put it in. That's a big three possessions of offense there, and, obviously, one really big one on defense. I'm absolutely relieved in so many ways."
Dartis finished 7-of-13 from the floor -- including three triples -- and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe to total a game-high 23 points, marking the sixth time this year he has scored at least 20 points in a game. He finished in double figures for the 14th time this season. Dartis also tallied six rebounds, two assists and two steals over 37 minutes of action. Kirk went 6-of-15 from the field and made all five of his free throws to compile 18 points. He has now finished in double figures in points a team-high 24 times this season -- including each of the last 18 contests. He also logged seven rebounds, a team-high five assists and a steal over 44 minutes. Block scored 16 points in 29 minutes of work off of the bench and also totaled five rebounds, three assists, a game-high three blocks to set a career high and two steals to tie for the team lead. Graduate forward Kevin Mickle (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished in double figures for the second game in a row, scoring 12 points in 25 minutes off of the bench. He also added four boards and an assist. Junior forward Doug Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) nearly achieved a double-double, totaling 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. He also blocked two shots and collected a steal in 23 minutes.
"Man, when shots are falling, and we're playing good defense, there's no better feeling than that," said Dartis. "Just getting a win at the end of the day, that's all that matters to us. Just trying to be consistent and getting wins at the end of the season."
The RedHawks utilized a barrage of three-pointers to take a six-point lead in the early going. Freshman forward Dalonte Brown and Bowman made threes and Sibande added two more treys to give Miami a 12-6 lead with just over 16 minutes left in the first half. A three-pointer by redshirt sophomore guard James Gollon (Stevens Point, Wis.), a dunk by Taylor and a layup by Gollon gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game, but three-pointers by Mills, Jr. on back-to-back possessions put Miami back in command.
A jumper by Mickle on Ohio's next trip down the court gave the Bobcats they would not relinquish until overtime, though. A three from Block with 2:49 to go gave the Bobcats a half-high 14-point point advantage at 38-24, capping a 13-2 run for Ohio. Triples by Brown and freshman guard Isaiah Coleman Lands helped Miami shave Ohio's lead down to five at 40-35 with 11 seconds left, but Kirk knocked in a three at the buzzer to send the Bobcats into the break with an eight-point lead.
Ohio took advantage of the momentum from Kirk's buzzer-beating three-pointer to start the second half, outscoring the RedHawks by an 18-11 count over the first 6:52 of the half. Dunks by Taylor and Laster and a three-pointer by Dartis highlighted the stretch that allowed the Bobcats to take a game-high 15-point lead at 61-46 with just over 13 minutes left. Two three-pointers by Brown and another by Ringo sparked an 18-9 run by the RedHawks that cut Ohio's lead down to six at 70-64 with just over six minutes to play. Block put the Bobcats back up by 10 with 4:19 to play by scoring six points for Ohio, but Miami forced the extra session by hitting two threes and making six free throws down the stretch.
Despite Miami's challenge, though, the Bobcats found a way to prevail in overtime. Ohio has now won 13 of the last 14 meetings against the RedHawks -- including each of the last six contests.
"There's nothing wrong about having a game that'll jazz you up more than others," said Phillips. "Let's you know you're alive, and there's nothing wrong with that. Every school has that school that evokes emotion, some have a couple. This one, just by sheer history of it, is pretty special and unique. You do have to remind kids that they're just playing a basketball game. But, this will mean more just walking around campus and doing some of that other stuff."
Sibande led Miami with a double-double, scoring a team-high 22 points and snatching a game-high 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. He made six field goals with three treys and went a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Brown finished 5-of-11 from the floor -- including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc -- en route to 16 points. He also pulled down four boards in 25 minutes. Ringo nearly achieved a double-double with 16 points and a game-high nine assists. He also logged four rebounds and three steals over 38 minutes of work. Bowman posted 11 points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal in 25 minutes of action.
Ohio plays host to a second-straight MAC East Division rivalry game when Kent State (13-14, 7-7 MAC) visits the Convo next Tuesday (Jan. 20) for a 7 p.m. ET contest. The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.