RENSSELAER, Ind. – A second half rally by Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team was not enough as the team fell to Illinois-Springfield at the McDonald's Thanksgiving Classic at St. Joseph's on Saturday evening, 77-70.
The Panthers (3-3) dropped both games of the Thanksgiving Classic and fall to 2-2 against Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents this season. The Prairie Stars improve to 3-3 on the year.
Sophomore guard Shemar Waugh (Columbus, OH) tied a career high with 17 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. Waugh also dished out a team high four assists, all in the second half.
Recording his fourth double-double of the season, with each coming against GLVC teams was senior Trent Weaver (Columbus, OH). Weaver tied for the team high with 17 points and grabbed a season high 14 rebounds.
Trailing by 14 at halftime, the Panthers shot 54.8 percent from the field to outscore UIS 46-39 in the second half. However with eight minutes remaining in the game the Prairie Stars took their largest lead at 59-44.
An 8-2 run capped by a Weaver layup cut the deficit to single digits momentarily at 59-50 with 6:26 remaining.
After the two sides traded baskets, the Panthers used a 7-0 run highlighted by a left corner three pointer from freshman Ryan Hoyng (Celina, OH), his first career collegiate field goal. The three pointer cut the UIS lead to 66-62 with 3:48 left to play.
This however would be the closest ODU would get as a three point field goal and six free throws in the closing 2:40 preserved the victory for the Prairie Stars.
For the sixth time this season Ohio Dominican outrebounded its opponent, holding a 38-28 advantage on the glass over UIS. The Panthers also held a 36-8 advantage in points in the paint.
Though ODU had at least 10 players make an appearance for just the second time this season, the Prairie Stars bench outscored the Panthers 52-18.
Sophomore Ronnie Williams (Columbus, OH) added nine points off the bench. Williams went 4-for-4 from the foul line as he is now 14-of-15 from the charity stripe on the season, and has made 10 in a row.
Ohio Dominican will begin conference play on the road next weekend with an 8 p.m. tip at Saginaw Valley State on Thursday, December 3.
Contact: Tyler Jester