Upset Bid Falls Shy as Panthers Drop 72-68 Decision Against No. 6 Hillsdale

Aaron Gibbs
Aaron Gibbs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team battled unbeaten and sixth-ranked Hillsdale to the end but lost a 72-68 contest Thursday night in Alumni Hall in GLIAC South Division action.

The Panthers led by as many as 10 points in the first half and held a 62-59 lead with 4:27 to play but could not close out Hillsdale, who improved to 12-0 (6-0 GLIAC). ODU fell to 2-10 (0-7 GLIAC).

The Chargers wiped out Ohio Dominican's 40-36 halftime lead with a 19-6 surge to begin the second half, opening up a 55-46 advantage with 12:22 to play. ODU answered with a strong 14-2 run of its own, highlighted by the outside shooting of Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) and Zack Joseph (Lewis Center, Ohio), who each hit three-pointers, and the interior play of Zak Kapron (Malvern, Ohio), who scored four points. John Trew (Barberton, Ohio) capped the run with a jumper from the elbow off a feed from Kip Kelley (Raleigh, N.C.) to put ODU in front 60-57 with 6:08 left.

A layup by Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) kept the lead at three with less than four and a half minutes to play, but Hillsdale scored the next six points to take a 65-62 lead. Trew answered with a three-pointer to tie it with 2:22 left, but again Hillsdale had a response as the Chargers sank a three and a transition layup. Gibbs' layup with 1:01 left brought the Panthers to within three at 70-67, but the Chargers made another layup with 29 seconds to play, and ODU could only counter with one free throw by Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) in the closing seconds.

The Panthers started the game on a 9-2 run, led by seven points from Jones. He buried a pair of three-pointers and sank a free throw as part of his 13 first half points. After the Chargers trimmed the lead to 13-12, ODU went on a 9-0 lead, with a three-pointer by Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio), followed by three free throws from Douglas after he was fouled on a three-point attempt and a three-point play by Jones to make it 22-12 with 11:53 left.

Hillsdale climbed back into the contest and grabbed a 31-28 lead with 4:37 to go before intermission. Mochoskay answered with a three, and Gibbs finished off a three-point play to make it 34-31. After a Hillsdale three-pointer, Jones found himself at midcourt with the shot clock running down, and buried the desperation shot. Mochoskay drained another three to give the Panthers a 40-36 edge at the break as ODU shot 56 percent from the field (14-of-25) and 75 percent (6-of-8) from beyond the arc.

Gibbs scored a game and season-high 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, Jones finished with 14 points and five rebounds, and Mochoskay came off the bench to score 11. The Panthers were hurt by Hillsdale's 40-33 advantage on the glass, and the Chargers turned 17 offensive rebounds into 22 second chance points.

Ohio Dominican returns to action in GLIAC play at 1 p.m. Saturday as the Panthers take on fellow conference newcomer Lake Erie in Painesville, Ohio.

Contact: Scott Miles
miless@ohiodominican.edu