It took to the final second, but the Ohio Bobcats were able to earn their second Mid-American Conference win of the season.
Ohio edged visiting Northern Illinois 76-73 on Tuesday inside the Convocation Center.
The second victory in a row moves the Bobcats’ record to 6-4 overall and 2-2 in the MAC.
The Huskies drop to 1-8 overall, and 0-4 in the MAC.
The Bobcats had to hold off the Huskies to get the win. Ohio led by as many as 15 points, 46-31, with 16:59 to play in the second half. Ohio still led 56-42 with 11:52 left after Ben Vander Plas’ shot in the paint.
Northern Illinois chipped away, cutting the deficit to single digits at 56-48 after Darius Beane’s layup with 9:31 left.
Ohio was still holding off Northern Illinois though, leading 70-60 after Lunden McDay’s jumper with just 4:35 remaining.
The Huskies made three consecutive 3-pointers, one by Trendon Hankerson and two from Zool Kueth, to get within 72-69 with 2:31 remaining.
Ohio answered with Mark Sears’ 3 for a 75-69 lead with 2:11 to play.
The Huskies answered with Anthony Crump’s layup, and Hankerson’s fast-break layup to trail just 75-73 with six seconds left.
McDay went to the line with five seconds left, making the first but missing the second.
That left the door open for a potential tying shot by Northern Illinois, but Beane’s 3-pointer at the buzzer missed.
Dwight Wilson powered Ohio in the win, scoring 25 points on a nearly perfect 12 of 14 effort from the field. He added eight rebounds and two assists.
Wilson was one of five starters in double figures. Ben Roderick added 13 points and two assists. Vander Plas and McDay each scored 11 points, with Vander Plas adding seven assists. Sears, starting for the third game in a row for the injured Jason Preston, added 10 points and seven assists.
Miles Brown came off the bench to make a pair of 3s for six points for Ohio.
Kueth led Northern Illinois with 22 points, making 6 of 9 3-pointers. Beane added 16 points, while Crump added 13 points and nine rebounds. Hankerson added 12 points.
Ohio’s next game is slated for Friday at Toledo, in a 6:30 p.m. tipoff. The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.