Men’s Basketball Erases 18 Point Deficit To Defeat Johnson C. Smith, 86-82

Men’s Basketball Erases 18 Point Deficit To Defeat Johnson C. Smith, 86-82

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After trailing 39-21 with 6:45 remaining in the first half, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team outscored Johnson C. Smith 65-43 for the remainder of the contest and earned an 86-82 victory in its first game of the 2016-17 season on Saturday evening.

ODU (1-0, 0-0 GLIAC) connected on 13 three-point field goals and shot 48.1 percent from three-point range while limiting the Golden Bulls (0-1, 0-0 CIAA) to 33.3 percent shooting from behind the arc (5-of-15). The Panthers also held a 22-12 edge in bench points.

Ohio Dominican was led by junior Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio), who scored 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, going 5-of-11 from three-point range. Junior Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio) chipped in with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds, shooting 6-of-10 from the field.

Junior Adam Cytlak (Van Buren, Ohio) tied a career-high with five made three-point field goals, shooting 5-of-8 from behind the arc and scoring 16 points overall.

Freshman Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) scored 12 points on four-of-five shooting from the field and grabbed eight rebounds in his first game as a Panther, while freshman Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) scored nine points off the bench in his Panther debut on three-of-five shooting from three-point range.

Sophomore Alex Stevens (Delaware, Ohio) also recorded a career-high in scoring, adding eight points off the bench on six-of-six shooting from the free throw line.

Johnson C. Smith held the largest lead of the game with 6:45 remaining in the first half after a jump shot by Robert Davis increased the Golden Bulls' advantage to 39-21 over Ohio Dominican.

The Panthers went on a 12-4 run to cut the deficit to 43-33 with 2:27 until halftime on a three-pointer by Cytlak, and trailed 54-39 heading into the locker room.

But Ohio Dominican continued to chip away at the JCSU lead in the second half, as a free throw by Williams cut the deficit to 56-40 with 19:46 remaining and sparked an 11-0 run for ODU over the next 2:04, cutting the Golden Bulls' lead to 56-50.

With 8:48 to go in the contest, Hickey connected on his third three-pointer of the contest to tie the game at 73-73 and spark what would become an 8-0 run for the Panthers, who led 78-73 with 6:46 to go.

Johnson C. Smith made one final push at Ohio Dominican. Trailing 84-76 with 2:08 to go, JCSU's Michael Stephenson hit a free throw to spark a 6-0 for the Golden Bulls over the next 1:53, cutting Ohio Dominican's lead to 84-82. But Cytlak connected on a free throw to give the Panthers an 85-82 lead with 15 seconds to go, and ODU forced three missed field goals by the Golden Bulls in the final 15 seconds. Hickey iced the game with a free throw, and ODU took the victory, 86-82.

Ohio Dominican will look forward to its first home contest of the season on Tuesday night against Seton Hill at Alumni Hall at 7 p.m.

Contact: Aaron McPherson