Panthers Drop Season Opener to No. 5 McKendree

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican men's basketball team dropped their season opener at McKendree University for the second straight season falling to the Bearcats 65-53 in Lebanon, Illinois. The Panthers are 0-3 in the all-time series versus McKendree.

Ohio Dominican open the game on a 6-0 run, but a 16-2 run propelled the NAIA Division I No. 5 Bearcats to a 25-15 lead with 4:19 left in the first half. McKendree continued to take advantage of the undersized Panthers down low as they headed to the locker room with a 34-22 lead.      

McKendree built its advantage to 18 points, 47-29, at the 10:37 mark of the second on a free throw by sophomore guard Karrington Pettiford. Ohio Dominican (0-1) started to chip away at the deficit, scoring nine straight points to pull within 47-37 midway through the second half, but the Bearcats responded with the next seven points to put the game out of reach.

Aaron Gibbs (So./Oberlin, OH) paced Ohio Dominican with 17 points and nine rebounds. Zak Kapron (So./Malvern, OH; pictured) added 10 points for the Panthers.

The Bearcats' big men played a big role in Saturday's win as junior forward Brad Copelin led all scorers with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while senior forward Kenny Detmer chipped in with 16 points and seven boards.

The Panthers finished the game shooting 42.9 percent from the field and was just 2-of-10 from behind the 3-point line. McKendree held a 38-26 edge on the boards and shot 55 percent in the second half to hold on for the victory.

Ohio Dominican will return to action this Thursday, November 12th as they travel to Georgetown, Kentucky to take on NAIA Division I No. 7 Georgetown College. Game time between the Panthers and Tigers is set for 7:30 p.m.