Ohio rallies past UNC-Greensboro; to face Morehead State
ATHENS — The explanation was a lot easier than the shot.
Freshman Jordan Dartis hit a fall away 3-pointer with 24 seconds to play that completed a second half comeback and lifted the Ohio Bobcats over the UNC-Greensboro Spartans 72-67 on Monday in the CBI quarterfinals.
“It went in. I just hit a good shot. That’s really it,” Dartis said of his clutch basket. “It was a tough shot and it just went in.”
Antonio Campbell made two foul shots with 1:16 to play that got Ohio even at 67. The Spartans missed a layup on their next possession.
The Bobcats worked the ball and Dartis fought off a double team to hit his trifecta from the right wing and Ohio led 70-67 with 24 seconds on the clock.
UNCG missed another layup and Jaaron Simmons got the rebound for Ohio and was fouled. He made both free throws with 14 seconds left to settle the outcome.
Ohio (23-11) trailed 38-32 at halftime after shooting 12-of-28 from the field including a dismal 1-of-9 from behind the arc. The Bobcats were 14-of-30 in the second half, 4-of-9 from the 3-point line and 8-of-8 from the foul line to fuel the comeback.
“I think it’s pretty clear that deep down in their hearts this team really wants it,” said Ohio coach Saul Phillips.
“We made the right plays down the stretch to continue the season. Jaaron was the man down the stretch. Jordan hit some big shots. Jordan has a flair for the dramatic.”
The Bobcats who will now host Morehead State at 7 pm. in the semifinals on Wednesday. The Eagles (21-12) beat Duquesne 82-72 behind 17 points by Brent Arrington.
The other semifinal game has Nevada (21-13) playing Vermont (23-13).
Simmons scored 19 points and had eight assists to lead four Ohio players in double figures.
Campbell had a monster game with 17 points and 19 rebounds — 17 on the defensive end. Dartis finished with 14 points while Treg Setty had 12 points and six rebounds.
UNCG (15-19) was led by Diante Baldwin with 17 points and Marvin Smith with 16 points and seven rebounds. R.J. White added 11 points.
Ohio led 17-16 with 12:19 left in the first half when the Spartans went on a 15-2 scoring outburst to lead 31-19.
A three-point play by Setty got Ohio within 31-24 with 4:57 left in the half. The Spartans went up 38-30 before Simmons driving bank shot cut the spread to 38-32 at the half.
Kenny Kaminski drilled a 3-pointer at the 18:35 mark of the second half as Ohio rallied to go up 40-37. But UNCG built and another 8-point lead and then went ahead 62-47 with 7:45 to play.
Campbell and Simmons then led a 15-2 comeback run as they combined for baskets on six of Ohio’s next seven possessions to trail 64-62 with 3:18 to go.
Dartis hit a 3-pointer with 2:41 left to put the Bobcats ahead 65-64 but Kayel Locke hit his own 3-pointer for the Spartans who led 67-65 with 2:15 on the clock and set up the thrilling finish.