COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican men's basketball team continued to roll to their fourth straight victory on Friday night as they advanced to the Championship Game of the A+ Autobrokers Holiday Invitational hosted by Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. The Panthers upended Concordia ( Mich. ) University with a 94-84 victory and will face Mid-Continent (Ky.) University on Saturday in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
The Panthers took advantage of an offensive eruption in their opening round victory over the Concordia Cardinals as they shot a blistering 56 percent (18-of-32) from the field in the first half. ODU's hot shooting led to a season high 50 points in the opening half as they headed to the intermission with a 17-point lead over the Cardinals.
Ohio Dominican extended their lead to as many as 22 points early in the second half, but the Cardinals wouldn't go away easily as they used a 14-2 run to cut the lead to 10 midway through the second stanza. Concordia kept chipping away and with just over a minute to play ODU found themselves in a dog fight up just five. Concordia's rally was fueled by Marius Williams who scored a game-high 33 points, but it wasn't enough as ODU knocked down clutch free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
The Panthers balanced scoring attack was led by point guard Adriene Rodriguez (Sr./Lorian, OH) who had a team-high 16 points. He was joined in double figures by John Trew (So./Barberton, OH; pictured) and Sonny Stattmiller (Sr./Columbus, OH) with 14 points and Dominic Russo (So./Sagamore Hills, OH) with 13.
After struggling to get to the line in the early portion of the season, ODU shot a season high 47 free throws and outscored the Cardinals 34-to-22 from the charity stripe. Russo led the way going 10-of-11 from the line in the victory.
Ohio Dominican will return to action on Saturday, December 5th as they take on Mid-Continent in the Championship Game at 3 p.m. Mount Vernon will host Concordia in the Consolation Game at 1 p.m. in the P.E. Center at Mount Vernon University.