COLUMBUS, Ohio --The Ohio Dominican men's basketball team will look to bounce back as they open up GLIAC conference play at home this weekend.
The Panthers will welcome two teams from the GLIAC North division for their first two conference contests of the season. ODU will host Saginaw Valley State on Thursday evening before hosting former GLIAC South division member Hillsdale on Saturday afternoon.
The Black and Gold are coming off a hard fought loss at Seton Hill last Tuesday evening. The Panthers were led by their junior scoring trio of Mark Minch (West Chester, OH), Trent Weaver (Columbus, OH), and Chad Nelson (Columbus, OH). Minch and Weaver each scored 19 points as Weaver also had a season high nine rebounds. Nelson added 18 points for the Panthers. Nelson and Weaver each were perfect from the line going a combined 15-15 from the charity stripe.
The Panthers trailed for most of the game, but erased a double digit deficit in the second half to tie the score with 3:57 to play. Seton Hill however, used a 15-6 run to close the game to take the 82-73 victory.
On the season, ODU is led in scoring and rebounding by Weaver. Weaver is averaging 17.8 ppg and 7.0 rpg, ranking inside the top 10 in the GLIAC in both categories. Weaver has also made his past 12 free throw attempts, which is the second time on the year that he has made at least 10 consecutive free throws.
Minch and Nelson also rank inside the top 20 in the conference in scoring. Minch is averaging 15.8 ppg and is fifth in the GLIAC in average made field goals per game at 6.8. Nelson is the third Panther averaging at least 15.0 ppg as he is also tied for the team lead with 3.2 assists per contest.
The Panthers first opponent, SVSU, comes into the week 2-2 overall, with both losses coming to nationally ranked teams. Last season ODU defeated SVSU 76-69 on the road for their first win against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are coming off a 99-53 win over Great Lakes Christian last Tuesday.
SVSU is led by Preseason Second Team All-GLIAC selection, and 2013-14 GLIAC Freshman of the Year in C.J. Turnage. Turnage is averaging 12.8 ppg and leads the team with 5.8 rpg. He has also been named GLIAC North Player of the Week once this season. Junior guard Mitchell Baenziger is leading the team in scoring at the moment, scoring 14.8 ppg.
The Panthers and Cardinals will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. inside Alumni Hall on Thursday.
ODU will close out the week as they welcome Hillsdale on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. for a matinee GLIAC matchup. Last season the Panthers and Chargers split the two games, each winning on their home court. ODU defeated HC 57-55 thanks to three free throws in the final 20 seconds of the game.
HC comes into the week with a 2-0 record including wins at Cedarville and at home against Salem International. Junior Kyle Cooper leads the Chargers and is averaging 36.0 ppg and 14.0 rpg, both of which are also leading the GLIAC. Stedman Lowry is also averaging double figures, scoring 10.0 ppg.
Saturday will be the third meeting between head coach Dan Evans and his former school where he was an assistant coach.
Contact: Tyler Jester