By Pete Nakos
OXFORD, OHIO – Saul Phillips didn't care how it came, he just wanted his team to pick up their second road win of the season at some point.
The win came Friday night, as the Bobcats responded by holding of arch-rival Miami, 77-66, at Millett Hall in the season-finale, extending their winning streak against the RedHawks to seven games.
Here's how it went down:
THE SKINNY: The two teams exchanged the lead 16 times; the score was tied 13 times. Headed to halftime, Miami led 35-32 thanks to nine first-half points from Miami's Nike Sibande. Junior guard Jordan Dartis put Ohio back in the game, knocking down four 3-pointers in the second half en route to 21 points.
TURNING POINT: With 2:44 left in the game, Doug Taylor headed to the free-throw line, but Miami coach Jack Owens wasn't happy with the call.
After Taylor knocked down the first free-throw, Owens got in the referee's face and T'd up. Two Dartis free-throws later gave the Bobcats a 70-63 lead with 2:44 left. The RedHawks could never overcome the setback.
IMPACT PLAYER: Dartis. The best pure shooter on the team came alive Friday night with 21 points. More importantly, when the Bobcats needed a spark to put some room between themselves and Miami, he came through. If Ohio wants to do any damage in the upcoming Mid-American Conference tournament, he'll have to be a factor, which he wasn't in past years.
"It definitely feels good getting the road win," Dartis said. "We've struggled on the road all year, close ones and getting kicked on. Just getting that one against Miami just feels good. We've got guys from Ohio traveling down just to see this game, old veterans that appreciate us just winning the game."
STARTLING STAT: 17 — Ohio turnovers. The Bobcats turned the ball over countless times against Miami, seven coming from point guard Teyvion Kirk. Despite a large number of turnovers, the Bobcats played well enough to win the game. Moving forward with the tournament looming, this may be a situation they'll have to replicate.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Bobcats concluded the 2017-18 regular season with the win, finishing the season 14-16 and 7-11 in conference play. What seemed to be a low point in late January, Ohio has now won four of its last five and seem to be getting hot at the right time.
WHAT'S NEXT? Ohio's seeding for the MAC Tournament still hasn't been determined. The Bobcats will find out following Saturday morning's contest between Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Check OhioBobcats.com for more details.
Pete Nakos is the Writer for Ohio Athletics. Have any questions? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Pete_Nakos96.