EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team was victimized by turnovers and offensive rebounds as the Panthers dropped their season opener 80-63 at Southern Indiana Friday night in the Physical Activities Center.
The Panthers (0-1) committed 19 turnovers, which led to 22 USI points, and also surrendered 23 offensive rebounds to the Screaming Eagles, which resulted in 25 points as ODU dropped its season opener for the third straight year. Southern Indiana (1-0), which finished No. 9 in the national polls last year, also held a commanding 42-18 edge in points in the paint.
Junior forward Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) led ODU with 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Junior Zak Kapron (Malvern, Ohio) came off the bench to score eight points and haul in eight rebounds, and freshman Zack Joseph (Olentangy, Ohio) also came off the bench to score nine points in just 18 minutes of action. Junior Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) had a solid Panther debut with eight points and a career-high seven boards, while junior John Trew (Barberton, Ohio) and sophomore Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) both scored eight points, with Jones' total marking a career-high.
Southern Indiana wasted no time in jumping to a 15-2 lead just over five minutes into the game, with a Mochoskay layup accounting for ODU's lone points. The Panthers missed nine of their first 10 shots and also turned it over four times in that stretch.
The Eagles built a 27-10 lead before a mini-surge from ODU trimmed the deficit. Kapron bookended a Mochoskay triple with a pair of jumpers as the Panthers cut the lead to 28-17 with 5:23 to play in the first half, but a 16-4 run by Southern Indiana put the Eagles in front 44-21 at the break.
Southern Indiana led by as many as 26 points in the second half, and ODU would draw no closer than 17. The Panthers did, however, double up on their first half point total, tallying 42 in the second frame.
C.J. Trotter led all scorers with 17 points and Mohamed Ntumba had 10 points and 10 rebounds to help lead USI.
Ohio Dominican remains on the road for its next contest as the Panthers will take on MAC opponent Bowling Green at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15 at Anderson Arena in Bowling Green.