SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – After trailing the majority of the game, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team had a chance to tie Lake Superior State in the waning moments, but struggles at the free throw line and a late turnover sent the Panthers to a 71-66 defeat Thursday in GLIAC play.
After missing 13-of-17 free throws against the Lakers last year, ODU hit just 16-of-30 at the charity stripe tonight. Still, down just 69-66 with less than 10 seconds to play, the Panthers had possession of the basketball but an errant pass squelched the rally.
The Lakers started the contest on a 10-1 run over the opening four minutes. Back-to-back triples by junior guard Morgan Jones (Oberlin, Ohio) and senior forward Jake Mochoskay (Mansfield, Ohio) brought the Panthers to within four at 20-16 with 5:20 to play, but the Lakers hit five of six shots to close the half and take a 34-23 lead at the break.
Lake Superior opened up a 13-point edge early in the second half, but the Panthers were able to draw within five, 43-38, on an Aaron Gibbs (Oberlin, Ohio) jumper and a Mochoskay three-pointer. The Lakers, though, were in a stretch where they hit eight straight shots to regain a double figure advantage at 57-46 with 11:22 to play. ODU drew within six at 59-53 on a three-point play by Jones, but could not get closer until the final four minutes of action.
Jones sank a jump shot to make it 64-58 at the four minute mark, and both teams were scoreless until a Mochoskay three-ball at the 1:32 mark. The deficit remained at three, 66-63, after Jones hit one of two at the line with 32 seconds left, and Lake Superior answered with two free throws of its own moments later to grab a five-point lead.
Senior guard Darrien Douglas (Willard, Ohio) hit a three to make it 68-66 with 19 seconds left, and ODU had a chance to tie after the Lakers split a pair of free throws. But a Panther turnover with eight seconds left ended ODU's comeback chance.
Four of ODU's five starters were in double figures, led by Jones' 19 points. Mochoskay hit 5-of-6 from the field and all four three-point attempts to register a season-high 16 points and eight rebounds, Gibbs had 12 points and six boards and Douglas added 11 for ODU, which fell to 3-15 (0-12 GLIAC).
Derek Billing had a game-high 28 points, going 7-of-8 from beyond the arc, for the Lakers.
Ohio Dominican takes on Saginaw Valley at 3 p.m. Saturday in a GLIAC contest.
Contact: Scott Miles