Ohio lost its sixth Mid-American Conference game of the season Tuesday with a 61-59 defeat to Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Illinois.
The Bobcats led 32-27 at halftime but failed to limit the Huskies’ offense late in the second half. Ben Roderick attempted a game-tying jump shot from the free-throw line in the final seconds, but the ball was overshot and clanked off the back of the rim. The miss sealed the Bobcats’ third consecutive defeat.
Here are the key numbers from Ohio’s loss.
18 - Ohio played its third consecutive game against one of the conference’s top 3 point scorers in Eugene German, who led NIU with 18 points. German entered Tuesday as the MAC leader in points and was the clear centerpiece of the Huskies’ offense. The Bobcats limited German, who shot 7-of-15 from the field, from being the difference maker and allowed 10 points from the senior guard in the second half.
16 - Ohio might have limited production from NIU’s top shooter, but it failed to stop Noah McCarty from finding the rim in the final minutes. McCarty scored a career-high 16 points and made a key 3-pointer and jump shot in the final minute that surged the Huskies ahead.
18 - Ben Vander Plas led Ohio with 18 points and scored the final six points for the Bobcats in the last three minutes. He tied the game and pushed Ohio ahead two times each in that span but didn’t receive any other offensive help. The redshirt sophomore could have had more points from the free-throw line, too, but instead went 4-for-11.
289 - Jordan Dartis needed three 3-pointers Tuesday to tie Nick Kellogg for the program lead with 290 3-pointers. Dartis knocked down two 3s in the first half but missed his final seven 3-point attempts and will have to wait to crack the record on Saturday against Ball State.
4 - Ohio has lost its past two games by a combined four points. The Bobcats were essentially two baskets away from grabbing two big conference wins but are now deeper in the MAC East Division standings. Ohio’s only two conference wins thus far have come against Eastern Michigan. Although the Bobcats have been close, they haven’t yet proved that they can play a full 40 minutes against any MAC opponent and will likely struggle to find any winning stretches in their final 10 regular-season games.