By Sports Information Intern Ryan Ott
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team looks to finish the season strong as it prepares to host Findlay on Thursday, February 9 at Alumni Hall at 7:30 p.m. and then travel to the Cecchini Center to take on Walsh at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 11.
About Ohio Dominican
The Panthers (13-9, 8-8 GLIAC) have reached 13 wins for the first time since 2008-09 and for the first time since joining NCAA Division II. The squad enters its last four regular season games looking to secure a spot in the GLIAC Tournament for just the second time in program history. Currently, ODU sits third in the GLIAC South standings and eighth place overall in the conference.
ODU ranks fifth in the conference in three-point shooting percentage with a mark of 39.0 percent. Freshman Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) is lethal from behind the arc, where he shoots a GLIAC-best clip of 49.2 percent from long range. He is also the team's leading scorer since conference play started, averaging 14.0 points per game.
Junior Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio) leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game. Williams has scored 904 points in his career at Ohio Dominican and is seeking to become the 24th 1,000-point scorer in school history.
Junior Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) leads the Panthers in assists per game with 3.7, and is tied with Williams in steals per game at 1.3. In last Thursday's contest against Ashland, Waugh helped lead the Panthers to an 80-78 victory with a career-high 21 points. Williams, who scored 21 points in the win over Ashland, followed that effort by matching a season-high with 24 points on Saturday at Tiffin, also recording a career-high nine rebounds.
Freshman Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) is currently leading Ohio Dominican in rebounds at 7.8 per game, which ranks fourth in the GLIAC. He also ranks third in the conference in field goal percentage at a 61.5 percent clip. Varence is coming off a performance against Tiffin where he had 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting while adding six rebounds.
Junior forward Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio) is shooting 64.2 percent from the field, which ranks second in the GLIAC and is adding 7.5 points per game.
In Ohio Dominican's last two wins over Ashland and Tiffin, the Panthers shot the ball at 52.8 and 49.3 percent respectively. They also recorded a combined 76 points in the paint and 19 three-pointers.
The Oilers (17-5, 11-4 GLIAC) come into Thursday's game with ODU winning five out of their last six contests and are currently sitting at second in the conference and first in the South standings.
Findlay ranks third in the GLIAC in three-point percentage at 39.4 percent and average 83.9 points per game. The Oilers have a very balanced offensive attack with four players sitting at double figures in scoring, led by junior guard Martyce Kimbrough, who averages 18.2 points per game. Right behind him is junior forward Taren Sullivan, who averages 17.0 points per contest.
Junior guard Elijah Kahlig leads the Oilers in three-point field goal percentage where connects on 44.5 percent of his tries. Senior forward Tyler Stern-Tucker is UF's fourth-leading scorer and comes into Thursday's game ranking second on the team in field goal percentage, shooting 53 percent.
In their last matchup against Ohio Dominican, the Oilers squeaked out a close, 72-69 victory on January 19 in Croy Gymnasium. Stern-Tucker scored 21 points and Sullivan and Kimbrough added 20 points each. Williams and Hickey led the Panthers with 19 points apiece, with Hickey pulling down 14 rebounds, and Varence scoring 12 points with seven rebounds.
Findlay holds a 23-4 advantage in the all-time series over Ohio Dominican. ODU last defeated the Oilers on January 15, 2015, capturing a 55-52 road victory at Croy Gymnasium.
The Cavaliers (14-8, 7-8 GLIAC) will play two home games at the Cecchini Center this week, hosting Hillsdale on Thursday and Ohio Dominican on Saturday. Walsh is battling for a spot in the GLIAC Tournament and is currently sitting right behind ODU in the GLIAC South standings.
Walsh boasts the leading scorer in the conference, senior guard Zac Carter, who averages 24.5 points per game. In his last game against Lake Erie, he scored 21 points and added six rebounds and three assists. Leading the way in that game was senior forward Trey Fletcher, who scored 38 points against the Storm. When the Cavaliers last played Ohio Dominican, Fletcher led the team with 29 points.
The tandem of Carter and Fletcher help orchestrate a Cavalier offensive attack that ranks fourth in the conference and second in the South division in scoring at 81.5 points per contest. Walsh leads the conference in rebounding margin with a 6.2 rebound per game advantage.
Despite trailing in the all-time series to the Cavs, 49-11, Ohio Dominican has defeated Walsh in the team's last two meetings, including an 85-75 victory at Alumni Hall over the Cavs on January 21, 2017.
Contact: Aaron McPherson