Men’s Basketball Falls In Final Seconds At Findlay, 72-69

Men’s Basketball Falls In Final Seconds At Findlay, 72-69

FINDLAY, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team had two shots to tie in the final 13.3 seconds, but a pair of three-pointers rimmed out as the Panthers fell 72-69 at Findlay Thursday night in GLIAC play.

ODU (10-7, 5-6 GLIAC) trailed 70-57 with less than five minutes before mounting a comeback. Junior Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio) sank a three, freshman Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) made a layup in transition after a Williams steal, and Williams buried a catch-and-shoot triple to bring the Panthers within 70-65 with 2:30 to play.

Williams then found junior Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio) under the basket by himself for a layup to cut it to 70-67 with 1:19 left. ODU's defense came up with a stop and had a fastbreak opportunity, but an injury to an Oiler player behind the play caused a stoppage, and ODU missed an ensuing three-pointer after the timeout.

ODU's press caused the Oilers (13-4, 7-3 GLIAC) to cough it up, but the Panthers could not cash in as they turned it over themselves with 23 seconds left. However, Findlay missed a pair of free throws, and Williams drew a foul and sank two free throws with 17.7 seconds left to make it 70-69.

Findlay knocked down a pair of free throws at the other end, and ODU had two opportunities to tie in the waning seconds fall off the rim.

Hickey had his first career double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing a personal best 14 rebounds, tied for the most by a Panther player this season. Williams finished with 19 points and six assists, along with a pair of steals, and freshman Hasan Varence (Queens, N.Y.) added 12 points with seven rebounds before fouling out.

The Panthers fell in a 25-11 hole with 7:29 to play in the first half, but cut it to five later on. Hickey scored nine points in a three minute stretch, and a jump shot by Varence cut it to 29-24 with less than three minutes to play in the half.

The Oilers closed the half strong though, scoring the last nine points to take a 38-24 lead at intermission.

Hickey had nine points and seven rebounds in the first half to lead ODU.

Junior Adam Cytlak (Van Buren, Ohio) and Williams hit consecutive threes to start the second half and cut it to 38-30, but the Oilers built their advantage back to double figures and led 50-36 with 14:17 to play.

Cytlak, Williams and Hickey countered with triples to cut it to 54-45, Williams spun home an acrobatic layup and Hickey scored as he was knocked to the ground on a drive to the basket to draw ODU within 54-49 with 11:19 to play.

A triple by Hickey and a layup from sophomore Ben Casanova (Sylvania, Ohio) kept ODU within five, 59-54, with 7:53 left, before the Oilers extended their advantage back to 13.

Both teams shot 43.5 percent from the field. The Panthers hit 17-of-34 shots in the final 20 minutes, including 9-of-18 from behind the arc, but went just 5-of-13 from the free throw line in the game and turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 26 Findlay points.

Cytlak finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists, DeLeon had six points and six rebounds, and Casanova grabbed five boards off the bench.

Ohio Dominican returns home to host Walsh for its Veterans Appreciation Day at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Alumni Hall.

Contact: Scott Miles