COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican men's basketball team got a glimpse of what the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) has in store as they dropped a physical drop down drag out fight at Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio. The Panthers looking for their first win in school history (0-16) over its future GLIAC rivals came up on the short end of a 66-61 battle versus the Ashland Eagles.
The Panthers charged out of the gates ready to make a statement to their new conference as they scored the games first 15 points. Ohio Dominican was clicking at both ends of the floor as they held the Eagles scoreless for over six minutes of the first half until AU's Kale Richardson knocked down a jumper with 13:45 left in the first half.
After shaking off the early season jitters the Eagles got their legs underneath them to battle back into the game. Ashland would go on a 15-4 run over the next five minute to cut the lead too two midway through the half. The Panthers and Eagles would trade punches over the remainder of the half and headed to the intermission knotted at 30.
The second half would be much of the same as the two teams went back-and-fourth accounting for seven ties and seven lead changes in the game. The Panthers began to pull away late in the game as Adriene Rodriguez (Sr./Lorain, OH) hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:26 to put ODU up by seven.
Little did they know, but that would be the last points of the game for Ohio Dominican as missed free throws and turnovers plagued the Panthers down the stretch. Thanks to clutch free throw shooting over the final two minutes Ashland would use a run similar to the Panthers at start the game to earn the victory. The Eagles scored the games final 12 points to give new head coach John Ellenwood his first career win.
Ashland held on for the win despite shooting just 29.4 percent (10-of-34) from the floor in the second half. ODU shot 43.3 percent from the field, but connected on just 5-of-10 from the free throw line in the second half.
Zak Kapron (So./Mavern, OH) led the way for the Panthers with 13 points and seven rounds, while Aaron Gibbs (So./Oberlin, OH) chipped in with 13 points and nine boards. Ashland was led by Blake Saunders, who came off their bench to score 13 points.
Ohio Dominican (0-3), still looking for their first win of the season, returns to action this Friday, November 20th as they take on Spring Arbor (MI) University in their home opener. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Hall.