DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Mark Sears had a memorable two games in Florida, but Ohio University’s basketball season still came to an end on Monday.
Sears scored a career-high 37 points in Ohio’s 91-86 loss to Abilene Christian in the quarterfinal round of the Roman CBI.
The sophomore guard made a buzzer beater on Saturday in Ohio’s opening-round win over Rice, then followed that up with his high-scoring game in a Bobcat uniform.
Both games were played in Daytona Beach.
Ohio’s season ends at 25-9, while Abilene Christian improved to 24-10 and advances to the CBI semifinals against Middle Tennessee.
Sears did his best to try and keep the Bobcats’ season going. His 37 points came on 10 of 20 shooting, but he made a living at the foul line.
Sears went to the free throw line 21 times, making 16. He added seven rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Ben Vander Plas also had a strong game for Ohio with 19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
AJ Clayton came off the bench to tally 11 points, making all four of his field goal attempts. Tommy Schmock scored nine points, coming on three 3-pointers.
Miles Brown and Ben Roderick rounded out Ohio’s scoring with five points apiece.
Vander Plas, Roderick and Clayton all fouled out for the Bobcats, and Jason Carter played less than a minute after suffering an injury in his final college basketball game.
Ohio shot 26 of 54 (48.1 percent) from the field. The Bobcats were hurt in part by foul shooting.
Ohio went to the line a whopping 42 times, but made just 27 for a 64.3 percent clip.
The Bobcats fell behind 8-1 early after Carter’s injury and ultimately trailed the rest of the way.
Ohio was always within striking distance, however. It trailed 32-26 with 2:25 left in the first half after Sears’ layup.
The Wildcats took a 36-29 lead into halftime when Coryon Mason made a jump shot with less than 30 seconds left.
Ohio continued to stay close in the second half, trailing 41-38 with 17:25 to play after Brown’s jump shot.
The two teams traded buckets the rest of the way. Ohio was within 56-50 with 10:48 to play but Abilene Christian came back with Airion Simmons’ 3-pointer.
The Wildcats’ largest lead in the second half was 10 points, the final time coming at 80-70 after a Simmons’ jumper with 2:00 left.
Ohio was as close as down 86-82 with 42 seconds left after a Schmock 3-pointer, but the Wildcats’ final five points came from the foul line, salting the game away.
Mason led the Wildcats with 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting, adding five rebounds. Simmons followed with 18 points on 7 of 13 shooing with six rebounds and six assists.
Immanuel Allen had 13 points, and Cameron Steele had 12 points. Reggie Miller, Cameron Tobias and Damien Daniels each scored eight points.
Abilene Christian shot 52.7 percent from the field (29 of 55), including 44.4 percent (8 of 18) from 3-point range. The Wildcats also shot free throws at an 86.2 percent clip (25 of 29).
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