COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican men's basketball team concluded their regular season on Monday night with a 92-73 road victory over former AMC rival, Urbana University. It was a back-and-forth battle in the opening half, but a 56-point outburst in the second half allowed the Panthers to pull away and spoil the Blue Knights Senior Night.
From the opening tip both teams struggled to gain any offensive rhythm, each shooting below 40 percent for the half. The score remained close throughout as neither team could grab a lead of more than five points. After four ties and seven lead changes, ODU (9-16) was able to take a 36-34 lead into the halftime intermission.
It was all ODU in the second frame as the Panthers scored the first seven points of the half and eventually stretched the lead to 50-37 with 14:15 remaining. Urbana (14-12) hung tough and kept the Panthers within striking distance for much of the half, but could not overcome the blistering 51.6 percent (16-for-31) shooting by ODU. The Panthers outscored the Blue Knights 12-3 in the last minute for the game's final score to snap a four game road losing skid and even the season series after a 74-72 home loss in January.
Leading the way for ODU was Aaron Gibbs (So./Oberlin, OH; pictured) who finished with a game and season high 24 points, 22 coming in the second half. Adriene Rodriguez (Sr./Lorain, OH) finished with 17 points, going 10-for-13 from the charity stripe and John Trew (So./Barberton, OH) chipped in with 16. Dominic Russo (So./Sagamore Hills, OH) added 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting from behind the arc.
Robert Wilson paced the Blue Knights with 14 points and Marcus Pearl added 12 in the defeat.
Next up for ODU is the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I) tournament in Denver, Colorado. The Panthers will try to survive the 4-team field and grab a berth in their final shot at the NAIA National Tournament.