Late Defensive Burst Lifts Panthers Past Pioneers, 53-43
CANTON, Ohio – Led by a career-best tying five three-pointers from senior Katy Rasor (Grove City, OH) and a stout defensive effort, the Ohio Dominican women's basketball team hung on down the stretch to distance itself from host Malone for the 53-43 season-opening victory on Tuesday evening.
The setback drops Malone to 0-2 on the year after Saturday's 74-66 home loss to NAIA No. 13 Huntington (Ind.), while the Panthers picked up its first win in the opener since 2008.
Leading 40-37 with 7:50 left to play in the game, ODU's defense sparked the game-clinching run of the evening as freshman Paige Stought (Pickerington, OH) stole an inbounds pass and put it in for the point blank lay-up. Moments later, Rasor lined up her fifth triple from the left wing than forced a turnover that led to a fast break lay-in from classmate Abby Glover (Centerville, OH). Senior Meredith Fox (Springboro, OH) sank a contested jumper in the lane to cap the 9-0 run and give the Panthers their largest lead of the evening at 49-37.
Malone tacked on a pair of threes in the final minute and ODU added four free throws by Rasor and Kacee Hockenberry (Haviland, OH) for the final tally.
Ignited by a Rasor triple, the Panthers opened the evening with the game's first five points and twice built the lead to seven in the first, before a 7-0 run gave the Pioneers its first lead of the contest at 18-17 at the 5:02 mark. After taking a two-point edge into the intermission, ODU quickly opened the lead to eight points on two occasions, the last at 36-28 with 14:21 remaining as Fox scored seven straight in a 2:32 span.
After Malone closed to within three under the eight-minute mark, the Panthers kept the Pioneers scoreless for a 7:02 stretch during its late burst to preserve the win.
"It was a fun game to be a part of and definitely a fun game to coach," said head coach Nathan Bellman. "It was nice to shake off the cobwebs and get win number one under our belts."
Defensively, ODU held Malone to just 17-of-55 (30.9 percent) on field goals and 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from long range for the game, while surrendering four free throws and four offensive rebounds. Glover matched her career-high set last February against Lake Erie with 14 boards, including 12 on the defensive glass, to go along with eight points.
Rasor finished with a game-high 17 points, going 5-of-10 on threes and Fox led an ODU bench effort that outscored the Pioneers 22-5, including 13-0 in the second, with 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Stought added five points on 2-of-2 from the field and five boards.
The Panthers return to the hardwood at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 19 as ODU welcomes Ursuline to Alumni Hall for its home opener.
Contact: Bryan Desch