ASHLAND, Ohio – Second half sharp-shooting by the Ashland offense was too much for the Ohio Dominican men's basketball team to overcome, as they suffered an 84-71 setback to the Eagles on Thursday, Feb. 21 in Kates Gymnasium.
The ODU bench bunch sent out a clear signal in the first half. The message was that an all out team effort would be in order and their spark was a major contributor to the one point half-time lead. The group shot a sterling 8-of-13 from the field, including the team's only trey, courtesy of sophomore Brock Ammons (Findlay, Ohio). The fivesome scored 19 of the 31 Panther points and kept the Eagles off balance the entire half.
Both teams struggled to get started, as the score was just 6-6 at the 14:08 point of the first half, but just two minutes later at the 12:00 minute mark, the Panthers opened up a margin by going on a 14-7 run.
The Eagles clawed their way back, cutting the deficit to two, 22-20 after a basket by Will Evans. However, the Panthers responded with a three-point play by freshman guard Mark Minch (West Chester, Ohio). Minch converted free throw put the Panthers up 25-20.
At the 2:30 mark, Ashland's Evan Yates tied the score 27-27 on a layup and Panther foul. After the made free throw, the Eagles grabbed the lead 28-27.
As the clock was winding down, Minch came up with a steal and was fouled on the layup try. Minch hit both of the free throws to give the Panthers a 31-28 lead.
The Eagles responded with a layup on the other end to cut the lead to one, 31-30 heading into the half.
The Panthers shot just 35.1 from the field but held a 23-17 advantage over the Eagles in rebounds, including an 11-4 edge offensive boards.
The second half started with an early basket by the Eagles, giving them a 32-31 lead. However, the Panthers answered back with a senior point guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) jump shot and a dunk by freshman forward Trent Weaver (Hilliard, Ohio) from a no look pass by Jones to go ahead 35-32.
With the game tied at 41-41, the Eagles Cole Krizancic hit a jumper to go ahead 43-41. Junior forward Don Kellum (Chicago, Ill.) tied the score again with a jump shot from Ammons.
The Eagles went on a 19-8 run, to take their largest lead of the half at 60-49 as ODU couldn't overcome the hot shooting of the Eagles, who shot 65.4 percent from the field, including an impressive 62.5 percent from behind the three-point line in the second half, and fell by a final margin of 13.
Jones led the Panthers with 18 points and five rebounds while Weaver scored his second double-double of the season, recording a season-high 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. The trio of Minch, Kellum and freshman center Jordan Cowgill (Worthington, Ohio) came off the bench and added nine points apiece. On the defensive end, sophomore Bobby Stauffer (Lexington, Ky.) pulled down 10 boards.
The Panthers close out their road trip to Northeast, Ohio on Saturday, Feb, 23 as the travel to Lake Erie for a 1 p.m. tip-off.
Contact: Sarah Twiggs