Late Second Half Surge Not Enough, Panthers Fall in Conference Opener

Don Kellum
Don Kellum
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite a late second half surge, the Ohio Dominican men's basketball team could not overcome a nine point deficit, as the Panthers fell to visiting Saginaw Valley 59-50, in their conference opener Thursday evening in Alumni Hall.
 
The Panthers now stand at 3-2 (0-1 GLIAC) while the Cardinals improved to 3-1 and 1-0 in conference play.
 
The Cardinals inside game was the deciding factor, as SVSU finished with a 28-20 points advantage in the paint. The victors also grabbed 43 rebounds, including 35 on the defensive end.
 
The first half saw five lead changes and three ties, as neither team could get their offense started. The Panthers shot 31 percent from the field while the Cardinals knocked down 25 percent.
 
Trailing 29-22 with 1:36 left in the first half, freshman Jesse Ward (North Pole, Alaska) hit a pair of free throws to make the score 29-24. There was no further scoring in the first frame and the Panthers headed into the locker room down five.
 
The early stages of the second half saw SVSU jump out of the gate, scoring the first two baskets and extending their lead to nine at 33-24.
 
The Cardinals controlled much of the second half tempo, shooting 40 percent from the field and led by as much as 10.
 
With 2:50 left to play in the half, the Panthers got a run going, as senior point guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) hit a three-pointer from the left wing to put the Black and Gold within five, at 54-49.
 
It wasn't enough, as the Cardinals milked the clock, which forced the Panthers to foul. Clutch free throw shooting by the Cardinals sealed the deal, as they notched five free throws during the last minute of regulation, which pushed the final margin to nine and they left town with the 59-50 victory.
 
Jones led the Panthers with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists Senior forward John Trew (Barberton, Ohio) added eight points and nine boards. Kellum had a career high seven rebounds while adding five points.
 
The Panthers will resume action on Saturday, as they welcome Wayne State to Alumni Hall for a 1:00 p.m. tipoff.

Contact: Sarah Twiggs
twiggss@ohiodominican.edu

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