COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coming off three-consecutive wins at Alumni Hall, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team will travel to Ashland on Thursday night and host Tiffin at Alumni Hall on Saturday in the first GLIAC South matchups of the 2016-17 campaign for the squad.
The Panthers will face the Eagles on Thursday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. and will host the Dragons on Saturday, January 14 at 3 p.m. Ohio Dominican's contest with Ashland will be aired on delay on SportsTime Ohio, Friday, January 13 at Noon and Saturday, January 14 at 7 a.m.
About Ohio Dominican
ODU (9-5, 4-4 GLIAC) is off to its best start to a season since 2007-08 and picked up two GLIAC wins this past week, defeating Lake Superior State by a final score of 78-77 on Thursday and downed Northwood, 101-67, on Saturday. The Panthers rallied against the Lakers after trailing 77-68 with 3:04 remaining, finishing the game on a 10-0 run capped off by a game-winning three-pointer by freshman Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio). Against the Timberwolves, Ohio Dominican went on a 43-12 run and led by as many as 41 points in a 101-67 win. Freshman Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) went 8-of-11 from three-point range in the game, tying his previous career-high of eight three-pointers in a game, with both performances ranking second in ODU men's basketball history for threes in a game.
The Panthers rank third in the GLIAC in three-point shooting, connecting on 39.4 percent of their tries while also defending the three-point line well, holding opponents to just 31.3 percent shooting from behind the arc. ODU is also sharing the ball well, ranking third in the GLIAC in assists per game at 16.2 per contest, compared to an 11.8 assists per game mark in 2015-16.
Ohio Dominican boasts a balanced scoring attack. Junior Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio) leads the team in points per game, averaging 12.7 points per contest. Freshman Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) averages 12.5 points per game and leads the team and ranks sixth in the GLIAC in rebounding at 7.7 boards per contest.
ODU has seen great contributions from its bench thus far. Hickey ranks first in the GLIAC in three-point shooting, connecting on 53.2 percent (42-of-79) of his tries from long range. The freshman averages 11.4 points per game off the bench. Hoyng chips in 5.9 points per game on 56.4 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from downtown.
Junior Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) averages 8.1 points per game and leads the team and ranks seventh in the GLIAC in assists per contest (4.1). Junior Adam Cytlak (Van Buren, Ohio) has stuffed the stat sheet for the Panthers this year, averaging 5.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while playing a team-high 30.4 minutes per contest.
The Eagles (8-6, 3-5 GLIAC) have won two of their last three games, most recently defeating Northern Michigan, 67-48.
Ashland boasts the third best scoring defense in the GLIAC, holding opponents to 68.5 points per game. AU holds opponents to 41.7 percent shooting from the field to rank fourth in the conference, while also recording 6.7 steals per game.
Offensively, Ashland ranks fifth in the GLIAC in three-point shooting percentage (38.4 percent) and fifth in assists per contest (15.6).
The Eagles are led in scoring by senior guard Adrian Cook, who averages 13.6 points per game on 54.4 percent shooting from the field. Sophomore guard Ben Haraway averages 11.1 points per game, and senior guard Boo Osborne chips in 10.2 points per contest for the Eagles.
Ashland leads the all-time series against the Panthers, 16-2. ODU is seeking its first win over the Eagles since the 2012-13 season, when the Panthers scored a 75-71 victory over AU at Alumni Hall.
The Dragons (8-7, 4-4 GLIAC) have won three-straight, including a 71-64 victory over Michigan Tech in their last contest on Saturday. Tiffin will host Lake Erie on Thursday before making the trip to Alumni Hall to face the Panthers on Saturday.
Tiffin ranks second in the GLIAC in rebounding, grabbing an average of 40.2 boards per contest. The Dragons block the fifth-most shots in the conference (3.4 per game) and boast the second-most steals per game in the GLIAC at 8.0 per contest.
Four Dragons average at least 12 points per game. The squad is led by senior guard Juwan Johnson, who averages 13.3 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting from three-point range. Senior forward Khaleal McCormick averages 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Austin Adams scores 12.5 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting from the field, and junior guard Tony Kynard chips in 12 points per contest for the Dragons.
Tiffin leads the all-time series with Ohio Dominican, 34-19. Since the 2013-14 season, the Panthers are 4-2 against Tiffin and won both matchups against the Dragons last season. ODU defeated Tiffin on February 1, 2016 at Alumni Hall, 96-83, and defeated the Dragons by a score of 95-85 on February 25, 2016, 95-85.
Contact: Aaron McPherson