*Release courtesy of women's basketball student assistant Jordan Bell
SALEM, W.Va. - Despite a season-high 22 points along with seven rebounds from senior forward Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio), the Ohio Dominican men's basketball could never get over the hump in the second half as the Panthers fell to Salem International 80-72 in a non-conference contest Wednesday night.
The Panthers and Tigers both got off to slow starts as poor shooting and turnovers were the theme in the early goings. ODU grinded its way to a 12-9 lead at the 12:27 mark as Zack Joseph (Lewis Center, OH) finished a lay-in to cap a 5-0 spurt. However, SIU's offense began to gather steam as the Tigers outscored the Panthers 26-4 over the next 7:33, including 15 unanswered, for a 34-16 advantage with just under five to go in the half.
A free throw and five layups, including two each from Gibbs and junior Morgan Jones (Oberlin, OH) over the final 4:29 closed the deficit to 39-27 heading into the break.
Ohio Dominican (3-11, 2-7 road) began the second half with a strong start as they quickly trimmed the deficit to seven, 41-34 at the 17:15 mark. The Tigers' lead hovered between seven and ten points as the teams exchanged baskets over the next 12 minutes until senior Darrien Douglas (Williard, OH) pulled the Panthers within 63-61 at the 4:45 mark with back-to-back triples. ODU put forth a valiant effort in the final minutes but could not shrink the lead below two as the Tigers answered every charge and held on for the final margin.
Gibbs was not the only Panther to have a solid outing, as Douglas added 16 points on 3-of-4 shooting from behind the arc for his sixth straight game of 10 points or more. Jones dropped in 15 of his own as his streak in double figures grew to seven consecutive games.
Ray'mar Porter led five Tigers in double figures, including four starters, with 17 points, 13 coming in the decisive first half as SIU finished the night 28-of-61 (45.9 percent).
The Panthers return to action this Saturday, January 14 as they travel to Ashland for a 3 p.m. battle with the Eagles at Kates Gymnasium.
Contact: Scott Miles