COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican women's basketball team is set to open the 2019-20 campaign with a pair of Midwest Region games this weekend at Bellarmine (Ky.).
The Panthers will begin the season with a 5:30 p.m. tip against the host Knights on Friday, Nov. 8. ODU then faces No. 8/13 Ashland in a neutral site contest at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9.
ABOUT OHIO DOMINICAN
Head coach Lynsey Warren enters her eighth season at the helm of the ODU women's basketball program as she has led the team to postseason play each of the past four years. The Panthers are coming off a 15-14 season in 2018-19, which included a 12-10 mark in Great Midwest action.
Warren has the luxury of returning nine players this winter, including six of the team's top seven scorers from a season ago. Senior Alexa Fisher (Powell, Ohio) paced the Panthers in scoring a season ago at 13.8 points per game, which included nine appearances with 19 or more points. Fisher, who added 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, was named to the G-MAC Second Team last season.
Junior Angela Troyer (Sugarcreek, Ohio) was second on the team in points (13.1) and rebounds (6.1) per game, as she also earned Second Team All-GMAC honors in 2018-19. Troyer led the team in field goal percentage, .459, and has scored in double figures in 19 games over her collegiate career, including 18 times last winter.
ODU averaged just under 70 points per game last season and was one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country. The Panthers ranked third in the G-MAC and 22nd across NCAA Division II in shooting percentage behind the arc at .362. Sophomore Kennedy Schlabach (Millersburg, Ohio) led the team and ranked second in the conference, as well as 10th nationally, in three-point field goal percentage at .433. Schlabach made 68 treys in her first collegiate campaign.
SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS
Bellarmine went 17-12 a year ago, including a 9-9 mark in Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) play. The Knights knocked off Southern Indiana and nationally-ranked Lewis to appear in the GLVC Tournament Championship Game, its second finals appearance in the past four seasons. BU has nine players with at least three years of playing experience on its 2019-20 roster.
ODU and Bellarmine have met just twice since the Panthers went Division II in 2010-11, with each team winning at home. The Black & Gold took the most recent meeting, 93-73, in December 2017. Bellarmine though, went 8-3 at home last season.
The senior duo of Mallory Schwartz and Mikayla Berry were All-GLVC selections last season. Schwartz averaged 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, while adding 47 steals. Her classmate, Berry, logged team highs of 11.4 points per contest and 39 three-pointers made.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
Ashland is once again considered one of the top teams in the country, and are just a few years removed from winning a national championship inside ODU's Alumni Hall. The Eagles went 29-3 (18-2 GLIAC) under then first-year head coach Kari Pickens in 2018-19, as they won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and made their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Spanning the last eight seasons, Ashland women's basketball has put together an incredible stretch, including two national championships, two national runner-up finishes, seven Division II Tournament appearances, six GLIAC Tournament championships, five GLIAC regular-season titles, a Division II basketball-record 73-game winning streak and a combined record of 246-27 (.901). The 246 wins represent the most for any Division II women's hoops program in the last eight seasons.
The Eagles return four starters this season, including sophomore Jodi Johnson, who averaged 18.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in 2018-19. Senior Sara Loomis and junior Karlee Pireu also posted double-digit scoring averages last winter. Loomis tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds per contest, while Pireu added 10.4 points and 5.4 boards per outing.
Contact: Tyler Jester