COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team trailed by three with 8:25 left but couldn't finish on a strong note, falling 79-61 to Grand Valley State in both teams' GLIAC openers Thursday in Alumni Hall.
GVSU (3-1, 1-0 GLIAC) led 56-53 and closed the contest with a 23-8 run, making its final nine shots in the final 6:30 of the game.
Senior guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) led ODU (2-3, 0-1 GLIAC) with a season-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, while classmate Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) buried four three-pointers for his 12 points.
Ohio Dominican started the contest on an 11-0 burst over the opening three and a half minutes. Jones had a layup in transition, senior guard Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio) buried a three, and senior center Zak Kapron (Malvern, Ohio) made back to back buckets in the paint to make it 9-0. Moments later, Jones came up with a steal and finished on the break for the 11-point cushion.
GVSU came back to tie it at 20 with 5:10 left in the frame, and the lead changed hands five times in the final five minutes. A triple by Douglas and another by senior guard Kip Kelley (Raleigh, N.C.) that he banked in off the glass gave ODU brief cushions, but a Laker three moments before intermission sent the visitors into the locker room with a 30-28 advantage.
The Lakers opened a 39-33, but the Panthers came back to tie it at 45 on a triple by Jones and a jumper in the lane by senior forward Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio). Mochoskay gave ODU its lone lead of the second half with another three-pointer to make it 48-47 with 14:03 to go, but the Lakers bounced back with a 9-0 run to grab a 56-48 lead.
ODU trimmed it to 56-53 on Jones' three-pointer and Kapron's lay-in, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get.
Grand Valley hit 19-of-29 (65.5 percent) in the second half, including 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) from beyond the arc. James Thomas led the Lakers with 30 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 12-of-15 from the field and 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The Panthers shot a season-high 48.0 percent (24-of-50) from the field and knocked down a season-best nine three-pointers in the loss.
Ohio Dominican returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday for a GLIAC matchup with Ferris State.
Contact: Scott Miles