COLUMBUS, Ohio – If nothing else, Saturday afternoon's tilt between visiting Malone and ODU was an entertaining affair. It featured 11 ties and four Panthers scoring in double digits, but in the end, the Ohio Dominican men's basketball team could not come out on top, and fell to the Pioneers 79-75.
The Panthers are now 3-14 on the year (0-12 GLIAC) while the Pioneers moved to 9-6 (7-5 GLIAC).
After a slow start, ODU got things rolling on back-to back baskets by senior forward John Trew (Barberton, Ohio). His three pointer was followed up by a put-back and the Panthers tied things up at five with 16:33 in the half.
ODU grabbed their first lead at 14:40 thanks to a three point play by sophomore forward Brock Ammons (Findlay, Ohio). A pair of three balls by freshman forward Mark Minch (West Chester, Ohio) and senior point guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) pushed ODU to their largest lead of the half at 18-12 with 10:43 to go, but Malone would rally and Cory Veldhuizen's free throw would tie the score at 28 with 3:11 to play.
Up by two with the clock winding down, Minch drove to the middle of the lane and hit the 10 footer just as the buzzer sounded to put the Panthers up by four 40-36 to end the frame.
The second half began with promise as Trew threw down a two-handed slam from Jones to give the Panthers a six point lead, 42-36. Sadly, it wasn't enough to spark a sizeable lead and the Panthers would find themselves in a dogfight the entire half.
It was a half that featured seven ties and one lead change. Ultimately, the Pioneers would forge ahead in the last minutes and with the Panthers down by four, a clutch deep three by Trew drew ODU to within one at 76-75, with 20 seconds to play.
Forced to foul, ODU sent the Pioneers Che Richardson to the line for two shots. Richardson hit both to make the score 77-75 with 13 seconds on the clock.
However, a Panther turnover gave the ball back to the Pioneers with six seconds to play, and two more made free throws, made the final margin 79-75 in favor of Malone.
Jones led the Panthers with 16 points, six rebounds and eight assists. His eight assists tie for a season-high. Trew added 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds while sophomore center Bobby Stauffer (Lexington, Ky.) added 11 points and eight rebounds. Minch finished the game with 16 points and six boards.
Jones now just needs eight points to become the 19th Panther to score 1,000 points.
The Panthers are back at home on Thursday, Jan. 24 for a 5:30 p.m. conference match up against Ashland.
Contact: Sarah Twiggs