Panther Pride: Top 12 Moments from 2011-12 (#2)

Don Kellum (courtesy Southern Illinois)
Don Kellum (courtesy Southern Illinois)

Ohio Dominican was officially accepted as a member of NCAA Division II on July 8, 2011, and the athletic programs took another big step forward in the 2011-12 year. OhioDominicanPanthers.com is counting down the top 12 moments from the past year.

No. 12 - Football Knocks Off Regionally Ranked Foes to Cap Season (June 4)
No. 11 - Women's Golf Scores Win at Qdoba Invite (June 5)
No. 10 – Home Cooking for ODU Softball Team
 (June 6)
No. 9 - GLIAC Preview Title Highlights Men's Golf Campaign (June 7)
No. 8 – Panthers Stun Grand Valley with 41-8 Run (June 8)
No. 7 – Men's Tennis Wins Out to Earn GLIAC Tourney Bid (June 11)
No. 6 – Men's Soccer Takes Down No. 18 Ashland (June 12)
No. 5 – First Meet, First Title for Men's Track Team (June 13)
No. 4 – Milestone Victories for Baseball, Softball Programs (June 14)
No. 3 – Fantastic Fourth Quarter Leads to Upset (June 15)

No. 2 – Historic Victory for Men's Hoops at Southern Illinois

It's a special occasion when a smaller school – be it Division II, Division III or NAIA – has the opportunity to play a Division I opponent. Playing against a marquee opponent in front of thousands of fans is a moment that the players and coaches will never forget.

Making it even more special? Earning a win against that Division I opponent.

Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team had never recorded a victory against a school that is currently playing at the Division I level. In eight tries, the Panthers had come up empty every time.

But ODU did not stand down against Southern Illinois of the Missouri Valley Conference, a school that had as recently as 2007 made the Sweet 16. In front of nearly 4,000 fans, the Panthers went into SIU Arena and delivered a 64-63 victory to open the season on Nov. 12.

The Panthers led for much of the first half, with Zack Joseph hitting a three-pointer to put ODU on top 20-16 11 minutes into the contest. Southern Illinois answered with 10 straight points, though, and would open up a 30-22 lead with 3:30 to go before halftime.

However, Morgan Jones kept the Panthers in it before intermission, scoring ODU's last six points to cut the deficit to 33-30 at the break.

SIU made a run early in the second half but could not take complete control of the game. The Salukis went on top 43-36, but the Panthers would respond with seven unanswered points themselves to knot the game back up with 14:53 to play.

Then, with the game tied at 50, ODU made another 7-0 run, as Jones hit a pair of free throws, while Brandon Carr hit a jumper and a three-pointer to give the Panthers their biggest lead of the ballgame with 5:48 to play.

The home team would not go away, though, tying the score at 57 at the 2:45 mark. Down 61-60, the Panthers would hit four free throws in the closing 52 seconds while forcing two missed shots and a turnover by the Salukis. Zak Kapron tied the game at 61, Jake Mochoskay hit two freebies to put ODU back on top with 30 seconds left, and Don Kellum accounted for ODU's final tally with 17 ticks remaining to make it 64-61.

SIU missed a three-pointer to tie with eight seconds left and made a two-point jumper before time expired, but it wasn't enough as the Panthers emerged with the historic victory.

Jones led the Panthers with 15 points, while Kellum scored 11 off the bench for ODU. The Panthers shot 47.9 percent for the game and limited Southern Illinois to 39.7 percent shooting and forced the Salukis into 21 turnovers.

Contact: Scott Miles
miless@ohiodominican.edu

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