Panthers Sweep Series with Storm after Strong Second Half Effort

Keith Jackson
Keith Jackson

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A stellar performance on the offensive end in the second half lifted Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team to a 73-69 victory over visiting Lake Erie College in GLIAC South Division action Saturday in Alumni Hall.

The Panthers (5-15, 2-12 GLIAC) rolled up 46 second half points on 56.7 percent shooting (17-of-30) and managed to hold off a late charge by the Storm in earning the season sweep over Lake Erie (5-15, 1-12 GLIAC), after ODU picked up a 72-64 win in Painesville on Jan. 8.

Sophomore guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) finished with 16 points, 12 of which came after halftime, to go along with four assists and two steals. Junior forward Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) knocked down 7-of-11 shots for 15 points while recording nine rebounds and a career-high five assists, and junior forward John Trew (Barberton, Ohio) scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers.

ODU opened the game on a 7-0 spurt, keeping Lake Erie scoreless for the first four minutes, but the Storm put together a strong run over the next 11 and a half minutes, outscoring the Panthers 24-5 to take a 24-12 lead with 5:56 left in the half. ODU climbed back into the contest, though, with Trew knocking down a three and throwing down a two-handed slam on the break after a Gibbs steal. The Panthers went into the half trailing 28-25, but a scorekeeping error on the number of Lake Erie first half fouls allowed Keith Jackson (Lima, Ohio) to take a one-and-one before play resumed in the second half, and the senior center knocked down both free throws to make it a 28-27 game to begin the final 20 minutes.

The lead swung back and forth over the first nine minutes of the second half, with a layup by Zak Kapron (Malvern, Ohio) putting the Panthers on top 49-48 with just over 11 minutes left. ODU then pushed its lead out to 55-50 after a three-point play by sophomore guard Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio) with 7:38 to go. Lake Erie answered with a three, but junior forward Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) came right back with a three-pointer of his own to keep the Panthers on top by five with 4:45 left.

Gibbs had a strong three-point play with 2:44 left to stretch ODU's lead to 67-59, its biggest of the game. But Lake Erie's Ethan Bradshaw hit back-to-back threes to bring the Storm to within 67-65 with 1:51 remaining. Jones missed a three, but Gibbs soared above the crowd to grab the offensive rebound, and Jones capped the possession with a jumper in the paint to make it 69-65 with 43 ticks left.

Lake Erie's Garrick Sims made a layup, and Jones was fouled and swished both free throws to keep the Panthers on top by four, 71-67, with 24 seconds to go. Sims scored again on the inside and was fouled, but missed the free throw, and Jones came up with the loose ball with just seven seconds left. He calmly hit both free throws again to make it 73-69 to assure the victory for ODU.

The Panthers matched a season-high for field goal percentage by going 27-of-54 (50 percent), and ODU hit 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from beyond the arc. Jackson matched his career-high with nine points and also hauled down seven rebounds, while Mochoskay hit three more threes and finished with nine points and five rebounds.

Ohio Dominican will return to the road next Thursday as the Panthers take on No. 23 Hillsdale at 6 p.m. in Hillsdale, Michigan.

Contact: Scott Miles