The Bobcats shot a season-best 54.7 percent (29-of-53) from the field and matched their season high with 14 three-point field goals made on 27 attempts. Meanwhle, Ohio held Toledo to 40.6 percent (26-of-64) from the field -- including 40.0 percent (10-of-25) from three-point range.
The Bobcats came away victorious despite . . .
Simmons recorded eight assists in the first half and nine in the second. He went 4-of-8 from the field and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe and finished with five rebounds and a steal while playing all 40 minutes.
"Jaaron was the catalyst for us and put us in position,” Ohio head coach Saul Phillips said. “Seventeen assists in a 40-minute game is just incredible. He's our swagger. He makes other people better."
Redshirt junior forward Kenny Kaminski shot 8-of-16 from the field -- including 5-of-12 from three-point range -- to log a game-high 22 points. He also recorded five rebounds and an assist in 33 minutes.
Junior forward Antonio Campbell tallied 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting -- including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc -- and nearly finished with a double-double with nine rebounds. He also posted a game-high two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes.
Redshirt senior forward Treg Setty finished with 12 points courtesy of a 4-of-6 effort from the field -- including 2-for-2 from deep. He also notched four rebounds in 27 minutes.
Freshman guard Jordan Dartis provided nine points off of 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range. He also grabbed two rebounds in 26 minutes.
The Rockets were led by a pair of 21-point performances by senior center Nathan Boothe and junior guard Jonathan Williams.
Boothe achieved a double-double with a game-high 11 boards in addition to totaling two assists, a block and a steal in 36 minutes. Williams knocked down three treys and went a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He recorded a team-high five assists, four rebounds, a block and a steal in 34 minutes.
Freshman forward Nate Navigato sank three three-point field goals and finished with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes off of the bench for Toledo. Freshman guard Jaelan Sanford and junior guard Jordan Lauf each posted nine points apiece for the Rockets. Sanford also tallied two assists in 34 minutes while Lauf grabbed three boards and dished out three helpers in 27 minutes.
Ohio owned a 21-point lead with 8:29 left in the first half, using 12 points -- including two treys -- and threes by Dartis, Campbell and Setty to build a 32-11 advantage.
Toledo stormed back, though, outscoring the Bobcats by a 19-5 count over the final eight-plus minutes of the half. Seven points by Williams, four by Lauf and Boothe and a trey by Sanford sparked Toledo's rally. The Bobcats took a seven-point lead into halftime, holding a 37-30 advantage over the Rockets.
The second half began in the same manner as the first, with back-to-back-to-back treys by Dartis, Setty and Campbell, a jumper by Setty and a trey by Kaminski allowing the Bobcats to build a game-high 22-point lead while holding the Rockets scoreless over the first three-plus minutes of the final 20 minutes of play.
Ohio led by as many as 20 with just over 11 minutes to go and 19 with just under nine minutes left as Campbell knocked down a three to make it 72-53 in favor of the Bobcats.
The Rockets did not go away quietly, though, putting together a furious 21-2 run over the next five minutes to knot the score at 74-all with 3:47 to play. Eleven points from Williams and both a trey and a conventional three-point play by Boothe helped key Toledo's comeback.
After Kaminski and Navigato traded threes, Simmons drew a foul and calmly sank both free throws to put Ohio back up by two at 79-77 with 2:30 to go. Campbell then came up with two enormous steals on Toledo's next two possessions to keep the Rockets from scoring.
Setty was fouled with 18 seconds left and converted both freebies to make it a four-point game at 81-77. The drama was not quite finished, though, as Sanford was fouled by Ohio in act of shooting a three with six seconds left. Sanford made the first two free throws to make it a two-point game, then missed the third. Lauf came up with the offensive rebound for the Rockets, but a last-ditch three point attempt by Williams to win the game was off the mark, allowing Ohio to survive.
Toledo hosts Buffalo Saturday (7 p.m. ET) Ohio entertains MAC East Division rival Kent State on Friday (Jan. 29) in a nationally televised 9 p.m. ET matchup on ESPNU. Ohio fell to the Golden Flashes, 89-82, on Jan. 16 at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio, in the first meeting between the two squads this season. Kent State (15-5, 6-1 MAC) is coming off of a 73-58 home win over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, has won five in a row and sits atop the MAC standings.
(Courtesy of Ohio Athletics)