COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team outscored Northern Michigan 46-31 in the second half and freshman Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) scored a career-high 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting from three-point range to connect on the second most threes in a game in ODU men's basketball history and key a 74-62 over NMU at Alumni Hall on Thursday.
The Panthers (6-2, 2-1 GLIAC) have won four of their last five contests and are off to their first 6-2 start to a season since the 2004-05 campaign.
ODU overcame an 11-of-36 (30.6 percent) shooting performance in the first half, turning it around to go 16-of-29 from the field (55.2 percent) and 7-of-13 from behind the arc (53.8 percent) in the second half.
ODU forced NMU into 15 turnovers and committed just five. The Panthers recorded 18 assists on 27 made field goals, marking the fifth time this season Ohio Dominican has recorded 18 or more assists in a contest.
Hickey led all scorers with 27 points, recording 18 second half points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range. Freshman Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) recorded the second double-double of his career, scoring 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds, including five offensive boards.
Juniors Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) and Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio) each scored eight points, with DeLeon finishing with nine rebounds. Freshman Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) finished with seven points off the bench for the Panthers.
The Panthers began the game on a 5-0 run, as Varence connected on a jump shot and a three-pointer to give ODU an early lead at the 17:35 mark, its largest first half lead.
The Wildcats (2-5, 0-2 GLIAC) went into halftime with a 31-28 lead. Varence led Ohio Dominican in the first half, recording 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half, while Hickey went 3-of-5 from three point range in the first half, scoring nine points.
Trailing 44-36 with 14:02 in the second half, Hoyng tipped in a missed shot to spark what would become a 29-9 run for ODU. Sophomore Michael Simon (Hilliard, Ohio) connected on a three-pointer to bring the Panthers within three on the next possession, then Hickey knocked down a triple to tie the game at 44-44 with 11:49 to go.
The run reached its apex on another Hickey three-pointer, giving Ohio Dominican a 65-53 lead with 2:38 to go. NMU would cut the Panther lead to eight, 65-57 with 1:49 to go, but ODU never wavered, connecting on all four of its free throws down the stretch, earning the victory by a final score of 74-62.
Ohio Dominican will look for its third-straight win on Saturday, December 10 as it hosts Michigan Tech at 3 p.m. at Alumni Hall.
Sam Hickey Interview
Contact: Aaron McPherson