FINDLAY, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team took the top team in the G-MAC to the wire but ultimately fell 92-88 to host Findlay Tuesday night in Croy Gymnasium.
The Panthers (9-4, 5-2 G-MAC) fought back from being six points down in the final five minutes of regulation and led 80-78 in the waning moments, but the Oilers (12-1, 9-0 G-MAC) hit two free throws with less than five seconds left to tie it and force overtime, the second straight game that needed five extra minutes for ODU.
ODU trailed 88-86 in overtime and had two possessions to tie or take the lead in the final two minutes, but could not do so, and the Oilers hit all four free throw attempts in the last 17 seconds to take the win.
A trio of Panthers scored at least 20 points, paced by a career-high 23 points from senior Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) as she went 9-of-12 from the field, hitting all four three-pointers in the process. Junior Emily Thomas (Pickerington, Ohio) also had a career-high as she poured in 21 points in just 27 minutes, burying five three-pointers, and senior Sarah Futscher (Wilder, Ky.) went for 20 points and 13 rebounds, both of which were career bests.
The Panthers shot 44.9 percent from the field (35-of-78) and limited the G-MAC's best three-point shooting team to just 5-of-18 from the arc (27.8 percent). However, Findlay went 19-of-23 from the free throw line, compared to 8-of-10 for ODU, and the Oilers also shot 46.6 percent from the field.
The game featured 15 ties and nine lead changes as neither side opened a double digit lead. Findlay took its biggest lead of seven points twice early in the second quarter, but Thomas sank a three and made a layup to help close the deficit to 26-24 with less than five minutes left in the half. Despite a late three-pointer by Alexis Overly (Chillicothe, Ohio), the Oilers took a 38-35 lead into the break.
After several lead changes early in the third period, UF opened up a 53-47 lead with under three minutes in the third, but ODU charged back, with Rose and Thomas each sticking triples in the final 45 seconds to send the game to the fourth in a 57-57 tie.
The Oilers again played from in front for most of the final quarter and held a 72-66 lead with 4:48 left. A three-point play by Rose and a three-pointer by Thomas evened the score at 72, and Rose buried a three to put the Panthers in front 75-74 with 2:27 left, their first lead of the quarter.
Thomas knocked down another three with 1:40 left to put ODU on top 78-76, and Futscher had an offensive rebound and putback to give the Panthers an 80-78 lead with just over a minute left.
ODU's defense came up with a stop and grabbed the rebound, but the Panthers missed an opportunity to make it a two-possession game, and Findlay sent it to overtime with the two free throws.
Ohio Dominican returns home to host Cedarville at 3 p.m. Saturday in Alumni Hall.
Contact: Scott Miles