COLUMBUS, Ohio — With five-straight wins of 15 points or more, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team will look to continue its longest winning streak in the program's NCAA Division II era with home contests against Great Midwest Athletic Conference opponents Kentucky Wesleyan and Trevecca.
ODU will face KWC for the first time in the two teams' program histories on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and the Panthers will host Trevecca for the first time in Alumni Hall on Saturday at 1 p.m.
About Ohio Dominican
ODU (5-2, 1-0 G-MAC) has won five-straight games and is just two wins shy of tying the program record for consecutive victories. In each win, the Panthers have scored 92 points or more and have defeated their opponents by an average margin of 30 points per contest. At 86.7 points per game, ODU ranks second in the Great Midwest and 38th in NCAA Division II in scoring. The highest points per game average Ohio Dominican has recorded in its program history is 83.6. ODU is shooting 51.9 percent from the field this year, the best field goal percentage in the G-MAC and the 11th-best in the nation.
The Panthers are also playing stifling defense, holding the opposition this season to just 67 points per contest. ODU boasts the third-best defense in the conference and ranks 34th in the country in opponents' points per game average.
Also key to the Panthers' winning streak has been their work on the glass. ODU is pulling down 31 defensive rebounds per game, most in the conference and the ninth-highest average in the nation. The Panthers rank second in the Great Midwest in rebounding margin and 38th in Division II with a plus-seven advantage on the glass over their opponents.
Ohio Dominican is also sharing the ball at a high level. The squad ranks first in the G-MAC and 14th in the nation in assists with 19.3 per game.
Three Panthers are averaging in double figures in scoring, with senior Ronnie Williams (Columbus, Ohio) leading the way with 14.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) is averaging 13.3 points per game on 53.3 percent shooting, also adding 6.9 boards per contest. Also averaging in double figures is sophomore Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio), who is scoring 11.9 points per contest.
Senior point guard Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) is distributing the ball at an incredibly efficient rate. Waugh ranks fourth in the Great Midwest and 42nd in the country in assists per game at 5.3 per contest, and boasts a 5.29 assist-to-turnover ratio that tops the conference and comes in at seventh in Division II.
Following its contests against KWC and TNU this week, Ohio Dominican will host conference-foe Findlay next Wednesday, December 13 before traveling to Hillsdale on Saturday, December 16.
About Kentucky Wesleyan
The KWC Panthers (4-5, 1-1 G-MAC) have won three of their last four games, including a 75-68 victory over Hillsdale in their last contest. Kentucky Wesleyan is the defending Great Midwest Athletic Conference champion and finished 28-3 (12-0) last season, scoring over 100 points in nine games. The Panthers have won 20 games or more in each of their last six seasons. Historically, Kentucky Wesleyan boasts one of the finest programs in NCAA men's basketball. With eight national championships, KWC ranks second only behind UCLA in NCAA championships won across all divisions.
KWC currently ranks ninth in the Great Midwest in points per game (73.6 ppg) and 10th in scoring defense (79.1 ppg). Junior Rasheide Bell leads the Panthers in scoring at 13.4 points per contest, while junior guards Brandon Hatton and Harold "Bird" Caldwell are chipping in with 12.8 points and 10.4 points per game, respectively.
The Trojans (1-7, 0-2 G-MAC) are seeking their first conference win of the season and will travel to Cedarville on Thursday before making their first trip to Sunbury Road on Saturday.
Trevecca is averaging just 69.6 points per game to rank 12th in the G-MAC in scoring and holds its opponents to 75.7 points per game. The Trojans can be lethal from behind the arc however, currently ranking second in the conference in three-point field goals made (71) and three-point field goal percentage (41.0).
Sophomore guard Devin Whitfield leads TNU and ranks fourth in the Great Midwest in scoring average at 18.7 points per game.
Contact: Aaron McPherson