With the decision, Ohio . . .
"Quietly, we've become a pretty good road team," said third-year head coach Saul Phillips, who saw his squad improve to 5-2 on the road in league play.
The Bobcats converted 33-of-42 free throw attempts (78.6 percent) in the victory -- including a 31-of-40 effort in the second half. Ohio won the battle of the boards, 44-35, and outscored Eastern Michigan's bench, 19-14 -- thanks in large part to a career-high 16 points from junior guard Mike Laster.
"I'm just feeling more comfortable out there," said Laster. "It's all coming together."
Dartis shot 5-of-11 from the field -- including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also matched his career high with seven rebounds and set a new career standard with two blocks.
Redshirt senior forward Kenny Kaminski recorded 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal in 33 minutes. Kaminski went 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.
Freshman forward Jason Carter logged his third double-double of the year with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in 24 minutes of work. He converted seven of his nine attempts from the free throw line.
Redshirt junior guard Jaaron Simmons scored seven points, handed out a game-high eight assists and collected two steals over 37 minutes before fouling out. He went 5-of-6 from the line.
Neither team shot particularly well in the first half, with the Bobcats converting at a 37.5 percent (9-of-24) rate from the field, while the Eagles shot 29.6 percent (8-of-27).
Ohio turned the ball over 11 times, while Eastern Michigan tallied 10 giveaways in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Dartis hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left until halftime to give the Bobcats a 26-23, but senior guard Ty Toney sent the teams into the break even at 26-all after knocking down a three-pointer at the buzzer.
After combing to score just 52 points in the first half, Ohio and Eastern Michigan exploded in the second half for a combined 98 points.
Eastern Michigan redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Nobles hit a jumper less than minute into the second half to give the Eagles their only lead of the game. The ensuing 14-plus minutes featured six ties, and Ohio never led by more than four points.
That changed when Laster made a three with just under five minutes to go to put the Bobcats up by six at 59-53. His triple helped spark a 15-3 run that featured eight made free throws for Ohio. Laster scored seven of his points during the stretch.
Eastern Michigan did not go away quietly, though, cutting Ohio's lead down to four with 26 seconds left thanks in large part to back-to-back treys by Toney and senior guard Willie Mangum IV. Dartis helped steady the Bobcats during the storm, though, by making eight free throws in the final eight minutes of play, allowing Ohio to come away with an eight-point victory.
Mangum IV led Eastern Michigan with 19 points, going 7-of-17 from the field -- including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. He also logged four rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes.
Toney went 4-of-9 from the field and made three triples and five free throws en route to 16 points. He also totaled three rebounds, two steals and an assist over 32 minutes.
Thompson IV posted a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in 26 minutes before fouling out after receiving his second technical foul. He also compiled two assists and two steals.
(Courtesy of Ohio Athletics)