Panthers Pull Away From Blue Knights, Defeat Urbana 80-73

Morgan Jones
Morgan Jones

URBANA, Ohio – Behind a career night from Morgan Jones, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team won its second straight game, defeating Urbana 80-73 Wednesday night in the Grimes Center.

Jones set a new career-best with 24 points, hitting all four of his three-pointers, and matching his career-high with seven rebounds. Aaron Gibbs had his seventh career double-double with 10 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, Jake Mochoskay was one point shy of his career-high with 14 points, and Keith Jackson matched his career-best with nine points. Kip Kelley chipped in with a career-best six assists to go along with eight points and Zak Kapron had 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

The Panthers (4-10) won despite hitting just 40 percent of their shots (26-of-65), compared to 44.8 percent (26-of-58) for the host Blue Knights. Ohio Dominican made a season-best 21 free throws though, hitting 80.8 percent from the line, including 16-of-20 in the second half.

It was a slow start, though, as Urbana (3-14) hit eight of its first 11 shots, including three of four from beyond the arc, and took a 22-15 lead seven minutes into the game. Another three by the Blue Knights gave them their biggest lead at 25-17. ODU went six minutes between field goals before Mochoskay ended that drought with a long three from the top of the key to make it 27-22 with 7:19 to go. Jackson followed with a layup, and Gibbs tipped in a missed Trew jumper run to bring the Panthers to within 29-28.

The Panthers kept the momentum going, grabbing the lead after Kelley drilled a three to put ODU in front 33-31, part of a 12-4 burst to close the half. Trew tipped in a missed runner by Jones just before the buzzer to put the Panthers on top 40-35 at intermission.

Ohio Dominican stretched its lead to 10 points at 49-39 on the strength of Jones' contributions, as he scored or assisted on seven straight for ODU minutes into the second half. The Blue Knights, though, answered with seven straight of their own to make it 49-46 with just under 15 to play.

Urbana cut it to one at 57-56, but Jones made a layup and Mochoskay hit a transition three that touched every part of the rim before falling in to help ODU regain a six-point cushion at the 7:07 mark. Jones then hit a short jumper to make it 64-56, and the lead would stretch to 10 over the next few minutes.

The Blue Knights made one last push, trimming the Panther lead to 73-68 with 1:15 to play and with possession of the basketball. But Gibbs tipped away an entry pass and Mochoskay picked it up, and the Panthers hit their free throws down the stretch to close out the contest.

The Panthers will return to GLIAC action on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. as ODU closes its three-game road swing with a trip to Northwood.

Contact: Scott Miles