Men’s Basketball Tips Off 2017-18 Season With Exhibition Game At Dayton Saturday

Men’s Basketball Tips Off 2017-18 Season With Exhibition Game At Dayton Saturday


COLUMBUS, Ohio — In its first contest of the 2017-18 campaign, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball will travel to the University of Dayton Arena for an exhibition game against the Dayton Flyers on Saturday, November 4 at 7 p.m.

The game with Dayton marks the fourth-consecutive season that Ohio Dominican has competed against a Division I opponent in an exhibition contest, facing Wright State and Toledo last season.

Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at newly-renovated UD Arena.

About Ohio Dominican

The Panthers are coming off their best season since 2007-08, finishing the 2016-17 campaign with a 14-12 (9-11) mark in the first winning season for the program in nearly a decade. ODU has consistently improved under fifth-year head coach Dan Evans, increasing its win total from the previous year in each season since 2013-14.

Ohio Dominican returns 14 student-athletes from last season's roster, including all starters from 2016-17. Seniors Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio) and Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) return with a bevy of experience at the guard position with a combined 106 starts in their careers. Williams led the Panthers in scoring last season at 13.7 points per contest and at 952 career points, needs just 48 more to become the 24th, 1,000-point scorer in program history. Waugh returns after garnering GLIAC All-Defensive team honors last season with 1.3 steals in 25.5 minutes per contest.

Sophomores Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) and Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) will look to make significant impacts in their second seasons at ODU after ranking second and third in scoring last season for the Panthers. Varence averaged 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest in 26 starts, shooting 60.6 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from three-point range. Hickey finished with the third-highest three-point field goal percentage for a season in ODU men's basketball history, connecting on 46 percent of his tries from long range. Hickey's 74 three-pointers in 2016-17 puts him seventh all-time for threes made in a season in program history. The sophomore connected on eight three-pointers in three games, with each performance ranking second all-time for made threes in a single game for Ohio Dominican.

Entering his senior season with the best field goal percentage in ODU men's basketball history is Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio), who is shooting 60.6 percent for his career. DeLeon shot 63.6 percent from the floor last year, second-best in program history for a single season.

Following its exhibition game at Dayton, ODU will look ahead to its first regular season contests of the year when it faces Tiffin on Friday, November 10 at 7 p.m. and hosts Ashland on Sunday, November 12 at 2 p.m. as part of the GLIAC/G-MAC Challenge.

About Dayton

The Flyers are coming off their fourth-straight bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and are just two years removed from an advancement into the third round. UD finished 24-8 (15-3 Atlantic 10) last season and ended the regular season atop the A-10 standings. Dayton graduated its winningest senior class in school history last season and returns eight letter winners.

Head Coach Anthony Grant returns to lead his alma mater after working for the past two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder under Head Coach Billy Donovan. Grant brings 10 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level to the table after earning 119 wins at VCU and Alabama.

Junior forward Xeyrius Williams is the top returning performer from the 2016-17 Dayton squad, averaging 8.2 and 4.8 rebounds per contest on 48.4 percent shooting. The Flyers also welcome eight newcomers to the team, including redshirt freshman forward Kostas Antetokounmpo, younger brother of 2017 NBA All-Star and NBA Most Improved Player, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Audio broadcast of the game will be available at A limited number of tickets remain on sale for the contest in the upgraded UD Arena.

Contact: Aaron McPherson