Today we kicked off the first day of the men’s MAC tournament at the Q, and the third game being covered was Ohio University Vs. Northern Illinois. OU came into this game being ranked number two in the MAC, with Northern Illinois coming in being ranked number 7.
OU started off aggressive with their first points from MAC player of the year Antonio Campbell’s layup, and a three from Treg Setty to get OU going. Travon Baker from NIU got the ball rolling with a quick 5, including a nice spot up three-pointer.
OU started off very hot in the first eight minutes while shooting fifty percent from beyond the ark, and making four threes. NIU shot seventy-five percent, and hit three from beyond the arc at that point, and kept a very interesting game to begin with. The threes continued for OU as they shot sixty percent from beyond the arc by the seven-minute mark in the first half and held a 26-22 lead.
Levi Bradley from NIU got hot towards the end of the half but Antonio Campbell continued to pour in shots, and grab rebounds throughout the first half. Another key player for OU was Jaaron Simmons who had seven points, and five assists with about five minutes left in the first. The game at this point was still tight, with OU having the slight edge on the rebounds, and the scoreboard.
The cold streak began for both teams with about five minutes left in the half, and they did not make many shots from that point until the half. OU held on to a lead that they developed midway through the half, and finished off the half with a 36-27 lead.
Going hot into the second half was Kenny Kaminsky with his fourth three and also was Antonio Campbell with his first bucket. Within three minutes OU took off and brought the lead up too seventeen points and really got the game going for them. NIU did not have many answers at that point, and had a very difficult time scoring.
With about fourteen minutes left in the second half, Antonio Campbell continued to rattle in buckets, with twenty-one points and four boards at that point. NIU scored six points in about five minutes to OU’s twenty-one, and had three players in the double digits. Kenny Kaminski had his fifth three-pointer with about fifteen minutes left in the half.
About midway through the half the rout was continued with a score of 61-43, and OU continued to pour in buckets. NIU was never able to catch a real rhythm, and had absolutely no answers on the defensive side of the ball.
There was a late game scrum out of frustration from the NIU players that forced a double technical that canceled out, but nothing too serious. At this point OU had the game about wrapped up with a 71-56 lead with three minutes remaining in the game.
OU ended the game shooting an unbelievably high forty-nine percent from deep and made fourteen of twenty-nine. Five players scored in the double digits, including leading scorer Campbell with twenty-one points and eight rebounds. OU won the game seventy-nine to sixty-two, and will move on to the semi-finals.