Panthers Push No. 3 Oilers, Fall Short, 64-58

Panthers Push No. 3 Oilers, Fall Short, 64-58

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A furious rally from a 16-point second half deficit against third-ranked Findlay fell just short as Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team dropped a 64-58 decision to the Oilers on Saturday in Alumni Hall in GLIAC South Division play.

Trailing 38-22 with 14:05 left, ODU rallied with consecutive threes by sophomore guard Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio) and junior forward Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) and a fastbreak layup by Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) to cut the UF lead to 40-33 with 11:18 left. Junior center Zak Kapron (Malvern, Ohio) scored four points on a layup and a pair of free throws, and junior forward John Trew (Barberton, Ohio) grabbed an offensive rebound and finished with a reverse layup to make it a four point game at 45-41 with 8:21 to go.

After two free throws by Findlay's Nathan Hyde, Jones knocked down a three off a feed from junior forward Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) to cut the lead to 47-44 with 7:21 left. Gibbs made a layup moments later to keep the deficit at 49-46, and the Panthers regained possession after a steal by Gibbs, but could not capitalize as ODU turned the ball back over to Findlay, and the Oilers answered with a three-point play of their own.

Jones knocked down a free throw line jumper and Gibbs hit two free throws to keep the Panthers within four, 54-50, with 3:24 left. But the Oilers sank two more free throws and, after a Panther miss, bled over a minute off the clock on offense, closing out the possession with a layup by Kyle Caiola to give them a 58-50 edge with 1:58 left. ODU would draw no closer than six points down the stretch as Findlay hit 6-of-8 free throws to close the game.

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, with ODU shooting 33.3 percent (7-of-21) and UF making just 11-of-37 (29.7 percent) in the opening frame. Findlay led throughout the half, though two free throws by Gibbs and a layup by Kapron brought ODU to within 20-16 with 2:37 left. The Oilers scored the final six points of the half, part of an 18-6 run that helped them build their 16-point lead.

After allowing 91 points to Findlay in the first matchup between the two teams, ODU's defense clamped down on the Oilers, limiting the visitors to just 32.8 percent shooting (20-of-61), their lowest total of the season. Findlay connected on just 2-of-17 shooting (11.8 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Panthers, bolstered by a strong showing from the field in the second half (16-of-34, 47.1 percent), finished with a 41.7 shooting percentage from the field, but hit just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc, their lowest percentage and fewest makes in a game this season. UF also out-rebounded ODU 42-35, including 17-9 on the offensive glass, and committed just six turnovers to ODU's 14.

Gibbs went 7-of-13 from the field for his game-high 19 points to go along with four blocked shots, while Jones chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds, which matched his career-high. Kapron had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench, Mochoskay hauled down eight rebounds and Douglas had a season-high five assists to go along with his five rebounds, which tied his career-high.

Ohio Dominican returns to action at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for a non-conference tilt with Urbana in Alumni Hall. The Panthers defeated Urbana 80-73 earlier this season.

Contact: Scott Miles