Ivo Baltic scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds, both career highs, to lead Ohio to an 80-73 Mid-American Conference victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday.
After a 3-pointer by Xavier Silas with 4:18 remaining cut Ohio's lead to 70-65, its smallest margin of the second half, Baltic's jumper 28 seconds later put the Bobcats (11-12, 4-5) ahead 72-65.
Baltic, a sophomore forward who came in averaging 8.7 points per game, had 21 in the first half, when Ohio took a 39-30 lead.
It was the second consecutive game an Ohio player has scored at least 30 points. D.J. Cooper had 30 Wednesday in a 91-85 loss to Central Michigan.
Silas, the nation's second-leading scorer at 24.2 points per game, finished with 25 for Northern Illinois (7-14, 3-6), 16 of them in the second half. Antone Christian added 17.
DeVaughn Washington scored 16 points for Ohio and Cooper had 13.