The Bobcats shot 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the field while going 9-of-22 (40.9 percent) from behind the arc. Ohio held Northern Illinois to 45.5 percent (25-of-55) from the field -- including 13.3 percent (2-of-15) from three-point range. The Huskies . . .
Simmons went 7-of-10 from the field -- including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also posted two rebounds and one steal in 38 minutes.
"The other night I wrote in my thankfulness journal that I was thankful for Jaaron Simmons, Jaaron Simmons' court vision, Jaaron Simmons' toughness,” Ohio head coach Saul Phillips said. . Recently, I went through a whole list of things that I love about Jaaron. Great programs have great point guards. We have a great point guard I'd pay to watch him play. I don't have to; actually, they pay me to watch him play. It's a heck of a deal. He is the quintessential leader. If you're in a tough spot, you want Jaaron on your side."
Freshman guard Jordan Dartis recorded 17 points off of 6-of-9 shooting from the field - including 4-of-7 from three-point land. He also snatched two rebounds in 39 minutes.
Redshirt senior forward Treg Setty finished with 12 points courtesy of a 5-of-11 effort from the field -- including 1-for-3 from deep. He also notched five rebounds, two assists, and a block in 33 minutes.
Junior forward Antonio Campbell added 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while compiling two steals in 28 minutes.
The Huskies were led by 15-point performances by junior guard Aaric Armstead and freshman wing Levi Bradley. Armstead reegistered a double-double with a game-high 10 boards in addition to totaling one steal in 36 minutes. He shot 5-of-10 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Bradley went 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line in addition to hauling in four boards in 14 minutes of work off of the bench.
Redshirt sophomore center Marin Maric recorded a double-double with 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds, a block and a steal in 29 minutes for Northern Illinois.
Senior guard Travon Baker put in 10 points while recording a team-high five assists and grabbing three rebounds in 32 minutes for the Huskies.
The Bobcats locked up the Huskies early on as Northern Illinois only converted once on its first seven attempts. Six Ohio players accounted for the first 16 Bobcat points as they led 16-11 with 11:50 to play in the first half.
Ohio found early success in the paint as 14 of the first 23 points came from down low. On the other end, the Bobcats denied the Huskies any point-blank shots as they were just 5-of-20 from the field with only two points in the paint with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Simmons got everyone involved as he had seven assists in the first 15 minutes of the game. His favorite target was Dartis who scored from all over the floor in the opening half. Simmons also did some scoring of his own in the first half as he had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field -- including converting on both of his three point attempts.
Ohio's 49 first half points was the third-highest scoring half the Bobcats have had this season. It finished the half shooting 60.6 percent from the field (20-of-33) including 53.8 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-13). Dartis, Setty and Simmons all scored in double figures in the first half with 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
A 12-0 run from Northern Illinois brought the game within single digits as Ohio's lead shrunk to 51-45 with 15:27 remaining in the game. Campbell ended the run when he put home a layup to extend the lead to seven with 14:57 to go.
The Huskies finally took the lead at 60-59 with 9:25 remaining as Bradley banked home a layup. Bradley then converted a conventional three-point play, and redshirt junior Michael Orris made a layup with 6:26 left to give Northern Illinois a 65-61 advantage to cap a 32-12 run for the Huskies.
Kaminski made it a one-point game with just under five minutes to go when he knocked down a jumper. Simmons gave Ohio the lead back when he hit a pair of free throws and then a three from the left wing, giving the Bobcats a 69-67 lead with 3:24 remaining.
After Kaminski redirected a Huskie layup opportunity, Simmons led the break down the floor, finding a wide open Dartis, who drilled the three pointer from the right wing to give Ohio a 72-67 lead with 2:54 remaining in the game.
"I didn't want to lose, so I did whatever I had to do whether that was dropping it off to a teammate or getting a bucket or get to the line. That was my mindset. I had to do it,” Simmons said.
"It makes the game a lot easier when someone can score at will or get in the paint,” Dartis said. “It made the game a lot easier for not just me, but the whole team because he sets everyone up. He's a great point guard."
Clutch shooting from the field, as well as the charity stripe, helped the 'Cats salt the game away late. Ohio connected on its last five shots from the field while holding the Huskies to just 1-of-7 in the final minutes to hang on for the win.