COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team kept its home mojo going as the Panthers defeated visiting Walsh 87-81 in GLIAC play Thursday night in Alumni Hall.
With the victory, ODU improved to 7-2 in its home gymnasium this season. The Panthers shot 55.2 percent from the floor (32-of-58), including 13-of-26 from behind the three-point line. ODU's 13 triple makes were one shy of matching a season-best.
Sophomore Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio) equaled a career-high with 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field, while also pulling down six rebounds. Senior Chad Nelson (Columbus, Ohio) added 18 points, classmate Trent Weaver (Columbus, Ohio) totaled 15 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio) added 13 points with nine assists.
ODU (9-15, 6-12 GLIAC) led by as much as 13 in the first half before Walsh (11-11, 9-9 GLIAC) stormed back and grabbed three separate leads in the first five minutes of the second half.
Trailing 48-46, ODU responded with an 11-2 run, with DeLeon scoring six points in that stretch and senior Connor Dahn (Worthington, Ohio) hitting a corner trey to put ODU back on top 57-50 with 12:26 left.
The Panthers stretched the lead back to double digits on a triple from the left wing by freshman Michael Simon (Hilliard, Ohio), going in front 64-54 with just over nine minutes left, but Walsh crept back in and cut the score to 71-67 with 4:23 to play.
Weaver answered with a three-point play, though, and Nelson hit a three and scored on a driving layup to put ODU back in front 79-71 with 2:57 left.
The Cavaliers drew within four twice in the final minute, but sophomore Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) answered with two free throws and Williams also made a free throw as ODU led 86-81 with 28 seconds remaining.
Walsh missed a trio of three-pointers that would have made it a single-possession game and Weaver sank a late free throw to account for the final margin.
The Panthers shot 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the floor in the second half.
Dahn added seven points off the bench, Simon scored six, and Waugh handed out four assists as the Panther bench outscored Walsh 19-5.
ODU trailed 8-0 early but responded with a 19-2 surge. A three-point play by Weaver gave ODU a 9-8 lead, and Williams hit a pair of threes as the Panthers grabbed a 19-10 lead with 12:54 to play in the half. After missing their first five field goals, ODU made eight of its next nine shots, and stretched the lead out to 36-23 on a transition layup by DeLeon with 4:28 left in the half.
Walsh, though, closed the half on a mini 11-4 run, drawing within 40-34 at the break.
The Panthers are now averaging 86.3 points per game at home, shooting 48.4 percent from the field in those games.
Ohio Dominican hits the road for a 3 p.m. contest at Malone on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles