Seniors Shine As Panthers Knock Off #13 Lake Superior State 87-75

Seniors Shine As Panthers Knock Off #13 Lake Superior State 87-75

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican men's basketball team shot 52.9 percent from the field to knock off No. 13 Lake Superior State at home Thursday night, 87-75.

The win for the Panthers (4-9, 1-6 GLIAC) is their first over Lake Superior all-time, and the first win over a nationally ranked team in the NCAA Division II era. The last win over a top 25 team came inside Alumni Hall against No. 12 Cedarville, 65-62, on Jan. 11, 2010.

Ohio Dominican shot over 50 percent from the floor for the first time since the opening game of the season, and its 10-for-18 performance from behind the arc gave the team its best three point shooting clip this season, 55.6 percent.

After an LSSU layup with 2:51 remaining, senior Trent Weaver (Columbus, OH) connected on two free throw attempts to put the Panthers back in front 69-68. Senior Chad Nelson (Columbus, OH) stole the ensuing inbounds pass, which led to a three pointer from classmate Connor Dahn (Columbus, OH) to give the Black and Gold a 72-68 advantage with 2:30 left to play.

The Lakers (11-2, 6-1 GLIAC) snapped the quick ODU run with a three pointer, but sophomore Ronnie Williams (Columbus, OH) answered with his own three point field goal from the right wing, stretching the Panther lead back to four at 75-71 with 1:39 remaining.

LSSU made a free throw to draw within 75-72 with 1:16 to play, but Williams' driving layup 12 seconds later made it a five point Panther lead, and ODU made 10 of its final 12 free throws to pull away down the stretch. The Lakers made just one of their final seven shots after drawing within three.

The three seniors for Ohio Dominican combined for 60 points and 26 rebounds on the night, as Nelson led all scorers with 26 points, tying a career high. Weaver finished with his 25th career double-double, logging 18 points and a season high 15 rebounds. With a career high five assists, Weaver also led the team in dimes. Dahn finished with an ODU career high 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and flirted with a double-double, grabbing a career high nine rebounds.

Williams logged his third start of the season, scoring 11 points and dishing out three assists. Sophomore Mike DeLeon (Powell, OH) pitched in on the glass with eight rebounds.

In the first half, the Panthers used a 7-0 run to jump out to a 22-14 advantage with 7:32 left in the opening stanza. Over the first 13 minutes, Nelson logged 12 points as he was 4-for-4 from the floor, making all three of his shots from behind the arc.

The first half came to a close with ODU leading by double digits for most of the final four minutes, as a Weaver layup at the buzzer gave them a 36-26 lead at the break.

LSSU cut the deficit to six over the first minute of the second half, but the Panthers used an 11-5 run to jump out to their largest lead of the contest, 47-35, with 14:59 left to play.

Over the next seven minutes the Lakers continued to creep back into the game, as a jumper with 4:47 gave them their first lead of the ballgame (63-62) since the opening basket.

Ohio Dominican finished the contest 23-of-31 from the foul line, including a 20-for-24 (83.3 percent) showing in the second half.

The Panthers will look to string together their second consecutive win at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, when they welcome GLIAC North rival Northwood.

Contact: Tyler Jester