Panthers Dominate Interior, Down Crusaders 87-59

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team roared to strong starts in both the first and second halves and scored 60 points in the paint as the Panthers defeated Cincinnati Christian College 87-59 in the semifinal round of the Red Roof Inn Roundball Classic at Alumni Hall Friday night.

ODU (1-2) will face off against Mid-Continent in the championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday in Alumni Hall. Cincinnati Christian (0-3) takes on Lourdes, who fell 78-68 to Mid-Continent in the other semifinal, at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Panthers started the game on a 20-4 run, powered by three-pointers from Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) and Brandon Carr (Westchester, Ill.), a pair of transition buckets by Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) and a steal and layup by Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio). Later, Jones stole an inbounds and gave it to Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio) for a coast to coast layup to make it 28-10 with 9:53 to play in the half, and the lead swelled to as many as 21 points on back-to-back layins by Zak Kapron (Malvern, Ohio), the latter coming with 3:16 to play.

However, the Crusaders responded with eight unanswered points, all coming from Antonio Price, who poured in 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the first half. That helped trim the ODU lead to 47-32 at intermission, though the Panthers shot 52.6 percent (20-of-38), scoring 30 points in the points and registering 12 fast break points.

Ohio Dominican took command with a 21-2 burst to start the second half, limiting the Crusaders to just one field goal make in the first eight and a half minutes. Jones had five straight points and Gibbs had a layup and a tip-in as ODU built its advantage to 68-34 at the 11:42 mark. The lead never dipped below 26 the remainder of the contest as the Panthers had a dominant 30-2 edge in points in the paint. The Crusaders made just 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) field goals after the half.

For the game, Ohio Dominican shot 49.4 percent (38-of-77) and had a 60-12 advantage in points in the paint. The Panthers turned 22 Crusader turnovers into 27 points, dominated the glass with 24 offensive rebounds and 28 second chance points, and scored 25 fast break points.

ODU's bench, which entered the game averaging 34 points per game, scored 48 in this one, led by Kapron's 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and nine boards. Gibbs notched his first double-double of the year with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 10 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Mochoskay tallied 12 points and nine rebounds and Carr chimed in with nine points.

Price finished with a game-high 32 points to lead Cincinnati Christian.