Strong Start, Finish Send Panthers Past Mavericks

Morgan Jones
Morgan Jones

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Junior guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) had 23 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team held off host Mercy College 74-67 in non-league action Friday night.

The Panthers jumped out to a 43-19 lead early in the first half, then bounced back after the Mavericks went in front 64-63 late in the second half with an 11-3 run to close the contest.

ODU improved to 3-8 on the season, snapping a seven-game losing skid, while Mercy, of the East Coast Conference, fell to 1-10.

The Panthers drilled a season-best 10 three-pointers and had a 47-37 advantage in rebounding to claim the victory. Jones knocked down 9-of-17 shots and recorded his first career double-double with the 10 boards while also registering five assists and three steals. Senior guard Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio) chipped in with 14 points and senior forward Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) had 10 points and matched a career-best with five blocks.

ODU scored the first eight points, including six from Douglas on a jumper and a four-point play, and the lead quickly grew to double figures. Senior forward Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) hit a three-pointer as the lead extended to 26-8 at the 13:44 mark, and a layup by Gibbs off a Jones pass increased the lead to 43-19 with just under seven minutes left in the first. The Panthers scored just two points the rest of the half, though, and the Mavericks cut the score to 45-36 at the break.

A three-pointer by Douglas and a bucket by freshman Bobby Stauffer (Lexington, Ky.) bumped the Panther lead back to 13, 55-42, early in the second half. Another Panther scoring drought, though, let the Mavericks draw within four at 57-53 with 8:47 left, and Mercy grabbed its first lead of the game at 64-63 with 3:03 left on three free throws.

Jones answered with a triple, though, and then sank a jumper in the lane to put ODU back in front, 68-64, with 1:42 left. Mercy hit two free throws, but the Panther lead went back to four on a Douglas layup. After another Maverick free throw with 54 ticks left, Jones and Mochoskay both drilled two free throws each and Mercy missed two shots in the final 26 seconds as the Panthers held on for the win.

The Panthers return to action at 8 p.m. Thursday as ODU takes on Tiffin in a GLIAC matchup in Tiffin.

Contact: Scott Miles
miless@ohiodominican.edu