COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a comeback that sparked flashbacks to a similar rally four years ago, Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team stormed back from a 19 point first half deficit to stun visiting Grand Valley State 79-72 Sunday afternoon in Alumni Hall.
When these two teams met in 2011 on the same floor, ODU fought back from a 22 point deficit to record a 76-58 victory, and this contest evoked similar feelings.
This afternoon, ODU (7-2, 3-1 GLIAC) erased a 41-22 second quarter deficit four minutes into the second half as a layup by senior Melissa Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) tied it at 49 and sophomore Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) buried a three to give the Panthers their first lead of the game, 52-49, with 5:23 left in the period. Grand Valley recovered by scoring the next seven points, but another triple by Rose and a Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) free throw helped the Panthers take a 60-59 lead into the fourth.
Trailing 65-64, ODU scored the next nine points, holding the Lakers (6-3, 2-2 GLIAC) scoreless for 3:13. Scherpenberg scored the first six points in that run, and junior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) and Rose added free throws to put the Panthers on top 73-65 with 4:12 left.
Rittinger made a reverse layup to keep the Panthers in front by eight, 75-67, with 2:09 left, but the Lakers drew to within 76-72 with 56 ticks remaining.
With the shot clock winding down on its ensuing possession, freshman Alexis Overly (Chillicothe, Ohio) knocked down an off-balance jump shot to put the Panthers back in front 78-72 with 24 seconds remaining to end GVSU's comeback chances.
ODU outscored Grand Valley 45-28 in the second half and 57-31 over the final 26 minutes of the game.
In her first extended action of the season, Overly came off the bench and dished out six assists while grabbing five rebounds in 19 minutes of play. She committed just one turnover as well.
Scherpenberg recorded another double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds, hitting 10-of-16 shots from the field. The 16 boards matched a season-best.
Rittinger added a season-best 20 points as she made 9-of-15 from the field. She also tied a career high with six assists and blocked three shots in 38 minutes of action.
Rose matched a career-high with 15 points, hitting 6-of-10 from the field and a pair of triples, and Bates notched her second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The 10 boards matched a career high.
Overall, ODU shot 48.5 percent from the field (32-of-66), assisting on 21 of those field goal makes, and the Panthers had a commanding 50-21 edge on the glass. ODU had nearly as many offensive rebounds (19) as the Lakers had total rebounds (21).
The Panthers limited the Lakers to 35.5 percent shooting in the second half after GVSU scorched the nets to the tune of 17-of-30 (56.7 percent) in the opening 20 minutes, including 9-of-17 from behind the arc.
ODU trailed 12-8 in the first six minutes of the quarter, but the Lakers used a 12-5 run and led by as much 24-13 later in the period. That advantage swelled to as much as 19 on a pair of occasions in the second quarter, including 41-22 with 6:08 left, before ODU responded.
Rose and Rittinger each knocked down a pair of jump shots as part of a 10-0 Panther run that cut it to 41-32 with 2:53 left, and the Lakers entered the locker room with a 44-34 lead.
Ohio Dominican remains home for a 1 p.m. tipoff against Indianapolis on Saturday in the final non-conference game of the season.
Contact: Scott Miles