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Treg Setty dribbles the ball during Ohio's game against Northern Illinois on February 6. The Bobcats won 80-69. 

Men's Basketball: Ohio conquers Buffalo in overtime battle, 103-96

Senior forward Treg Setty plays the best game of his career in his last home game.

When Ohio defeated Buffalo on the road two weeks ago, it was in a contest that the Bobcats put away early, the end result looking like a neatly wrapped package.

For the Bobcats to take down the Bulls in the Convo Saturday, coach Saul Phillips said it had to be held together with duct tape and string.

In overtime, Ohio won a physical, close contest against Buffalo 103-96 in front of the senior day crowd. The Bobcats improved to 19-9 overall, with a 10-6 Mid-American Conference record that puts them in sole possession of second in the MAC East division.

The Bobcats finished the season 14-2 at home. 

“It was won about 16 times in 16 different ways,” Phillips said. “It was two teams groping for anything to get stops. It’s entertaining to watch, but it’s not my first choice for how I want to win a game.”

The senior day crowd had its eyes on the Bobcats’ lone senior Treg Setty throughout the afternoon while Buffalo (16-13, 9-7 MAC) focused its attention on junior Antonio Campbell.

The Bulls made Campbell a total non-factor, who came into the game as the team’s leading scorer and averaging 26 points over his previous five games. The 6-foot-10 forward was unable to attempt a single shot in the first half and finished the game with just six points and nine rebounds.

With Campbell shut down, Ohio needed someone else to step up. It found three.

One was Setty, who posted a career-high 24 points during his final career regular season game in the Convo with 8-for-13 shooting and nine rebounds.

“They made an effort to get physical with (Campbell) and contained him as well as anyone we’ve played,” Phillips said. “What a way for Treg to go out. He probably played his most complete game of the season. I’ve seen a lot of seniors get caught up in the emotions of their last home game, but Setty didn’t let that happen.”

The other two stars were guard Jaaron Simmons and forward Kenny Kaminski. Simmons finished with a game-high 31 points, including the team’s first 12, while adding eight assists. Kaminski drained five 3-pointers to finish with 22 points along with five rebounds.

The Bobcats took a 48-42 lead into halftime, but struggled to get back out of the gate, allowing Buffalo to race out to 14-0 run early in the half that buried them in a 57-51 hole. The Bulls led by as many as 10 in the second half.

Ohio finally tied the game back up at the 4:54 mark, and shut out Buffalo over the final 2:57 of the game. The Bobcats got the game-tying shot with 1:04 remaining, when Jordan Dartis got a corner feed from Simmons to knock down his first shot of the game.

Dartis’ next shot was just as crucial. With under two minutes to go in the overtime period, the game was still tied when Simmons looked Dartis’ way once more. Dartis knocked down another 3-pointer to give Ohio a 96-93 lead that stuck the rest of the way.

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With Kent State’s loss to Miami on Saturday, Ohio becomes the best candidate to chase down Akron for the top spot in the conference. They'll get that chance on Tuesday, when the Bobcats hit the road to face the Zips in James A. Rhodes Arena.

For Phillips, it’s exactly where he wanted to be all along.

“I said before the season that I wanna go into that Akron game with it meaning something,” Phillips said. “We have to beat the best team in the league at their place late in the season. This is what that work in the summer is for. This is why you do what you do. This is fun.”


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