PAINSVILLE, Ohio – In its last road contest of the season, the Ohio Dominican men's basketball team battled to the very end with Lake Erie but it wasn't enough, falling to the Storm by the final score of 60-59.
While certainly not a masterful first half, the Panthers did find themselves tied with the Storm at the break, 23-23. It took eight minutes into the first half for the Panthers to score their first field goal. Their first four points of the game came from the free throw line, courtesy of sophomore Trent Weaver (Columbus, Ohio) and freshman Chad Nelson (Columbus, Ohio). Junior Don Kellum (Chicago, Ill.) scored the team's first field goal at the 12:31 mark after a layup.
Down 11-9 with 9:40 on the clock, sophomore Bobby Stauffer (Lexington, Ky.) was sent to the line for a chance to knot the score. Stauffer hit the pair, tying the score at 11-11.
Stauffer went to the line again just 29 second later after the Storm was called for a technical foul. Stauffer gave ODU their first lead 13-11, hitting both shots.
With seconds left on the clock, ODU tied the game at the buzzer after Kellum grabbed a loose ball around the rim and laid it back in.
For the second game in a row, the Panthers dominated the offensive boards, outrebounding Lake Erie 16-9 and 25-19 overall.
Six minutes into the second half, the Storm tied the game at 32-32 but sophomore Brock Ammons (Findlay, Ohio) responded with a deep three to give the Black and Gold the 35-32 lead.
ODU extended their lead to 42-36 after a trio of baskets, including a baseline drive by senior Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio), a fast break layup by junior Ledarius Stennis (Moss Point, MS) from Jones and a deep three by Jones. The Panthers took their largest lead of the half, 49-41 after Ammons hit a deep three at the 9:41 mark.
The Storm cut the lead down to 50-49 with 5:45 left on the clock on a pair of free throws by Rich Austin, and an enormous dunk by Garrick Sims.
Lake Erie tied the score at 51-51 after a layup by Rich Austin and had the chance to go ahead but a big block by senior John Trew (Barberton, Ohio) kept the score knotted.
Going down to the wire Lake Erie's Rich Austin's go-ahead jumper missed, and Trew grabbed the rebound with 20.1 ticks on the clock. Jones drove into the lane but could not get the shot to fall, sending the Panthers into their second overtime of the season.
Stauffer opened the first overtime with a 15 foot jumper to give the Panthers an early lead but the Storm's Austin responded with a layup to tie the score at 53-53.
Jones gave the Panthers a 58-55 lead after hitting a pair of free throws with just under two minutes left to play in overtime. Lake Erie's Tom Parker decreased the margin to one, 59-58 after hitting a trey.
Lake Erie went ahead 60-59 with 22.4 second remaining on the clock after making a pair of free throws from the charity stripe.
With 3.7 seconds left, Ammons inbounded the ball to Stennis who could not get the shot to fall, and the Storm won by the final score of 60-59.
Jones led the Panthers with 19 points and three steals while Stauffer added 10 points and four rebounds. Weaver chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
Ohio Dominican will close out its season with a pair of home game in Alumni Hall. The Panthers will welcome Notre Dame (Ohio) on Wednesday, Feb. 27 for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off and Tiffin on Saturday, Mar. 2 for a 1 p.m. contest against Tiffin.