Western Kentucky freshman guard Damari Parris drew a foul with two seconds left and the contest knotted at 66-all. He sank the second of his two free throws to put the Hilltoppers in front by one.
After the officials . . .
"I can't begin to tell you how frustrating this is," said third-year head coach Saul Phillips. "I'm done suffering with losses we shouldn't have. I'm done. We're too smart of a locker room. We've got to grow. We've got to step up."
The Hilltoppers shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) from the floor in the final 20 minutes of play and 66.7 percent 18-of-27) from the charity stripe for the game -- including 11-of-12 in first half. That allowed Western Kentucky to roar back from a 21-4 deficit and head into halftime down by just two.
Kaminski shot 9-of-14 from the field for the Bobcats and sank a season-high six treys. He also finished with a rebound and a steal in 35 minutes of work. He has knocked down at least five three-pointers in a game three times this season and has done so 10 times in his Ohio career.
Senior forward Antonio Campbell produced his fifth double-double of the year and 31st of his career with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. He also logged a block and a steal in 22 minutes.
Redshirt junior guard Jaaron Simmons posted a season-high 11 assists to go along with 11 points for his first double-double of the season and eighth of his career. He also added six rebounds to match his season high and collected three steals to tie his career high.
Redshirt senior guard Pancake Thomas and junior forward Justin Johnson tied for the team lead with 15 points apiece for Western Kentucky, with both going 5-of-9 from the field. Thomas finished with three steals, three rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes, while Johnson nearly achieved a double-double with nine rebounds. He also contributed a team-high two blocks over 24 minutes.
Parris finished with 14 points off of the bench for the Hilltoppers, going 5-of-7 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. He also compiled two rebounds and a block in 28 minutes.
Redshirt senior guard Que Johnson provided Western Kentucky with eight points, eight rebounds and a team-high three assists in 31 minutes.
Redshirt sophomore forward Jabari McGhee gave the Hilltoppers a game-high 14 rebounds off of the bench and also added seven points off of 3-of-6 shooting in 27 minutes of work.
Ohio raced out to a 17-point lead over the first nine-plus minutes of play and led 14-0 with 14:44 left in the first half as Western Kentucky missed its first nine field goal attempts. Threes by Kaminski and sophomore guard Jordan Dartis helped spark the early surge for the Bobcats.
The Hilltoppers roared to life, though, mounting a 21-4 charge of their own to even the score at 25-all with just over four minutes remaining in the opening half. Western Kentucky received seven of its points from the free throw line during the run, while Parris and Thomas gave the Hilltoppers a boost by sinking a pair of treys.
The Bobcats answered with back-to-back threes by sophomore guard/forward Gavin Block and Kaminski to help build their lead back up to eight at 35-27 with 1:43 left in the half, but two free throws and a tip-in basket by Parris and a pair of freebies from Que Johnson allowed Western Kentucky to go into halftime down by just two.
Kaminski provided Ohio with eleven points over the first five-plus minutes of the second half -- including three triples -- to help the Bobcats go up by a half-high nine points with just under 15 minutes left in regulation.
Western Kentucky came clawing back again, though, this time with a 12-2 surge capped by a jumper by senior forward Anton Waters that gave the Hilltoppers their first lead of the game at 55-54 with 9:25 to go.
The final 9:25 of action featured six ties and seven lead changes, with neither team going ahead by more than two points. Kaminski made the second of two free throw attempts with 2:19 left to give Ohio a 66-65 lead but Johnson was fouled on Western Kentucky's next possession and made the first of his two freebies to even the score again. Ohio missed three field goal attempts over the final 1:51 of the contest, allowing Parris to put the Hilltoppers in front for good when he was fouled with two seconds to go.
Ohio hosts its final non-conference game of the 2016-17 regular season on Dec. 30 when it squares off with NCAA Division II Urbana in a 7 p.m. ET contest at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio.
(Courtesy of Ohio Athletics)