NASHVILLE – Down by nine at Trevecca with just over four minutes to play, Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team forced overtime on a banked three at the buzzer by sophomore Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) and held on for a 92-85 victory on the road in G-MAC play Thursday night.
It's the second straight thrilling finish in 48 hours for the Panthers, who defeated Walsh at the buzzer in double overtime on Tuesday night. Winners of four straight, ODU improved to 12-9 on the season and leveled its G-MAC record at 7-7.
Down 68-59 with 4:18 to play in regulation, Hickey knocked down a triple to start the rally. Senior Shemar Waugh (Columbus, Ohio) made four free throws to bring ODU to within 68-66 with just over a minute left, but Trevecca answered with a tough three to go back in front by five with 49 seconds left.
Sophomore Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) made two free throws on the next trip down, and after a Trevecca miss, Ben Casanova (Sylvania, Ohio) grabbed the rebound and ODU took a timeout with nine seconds to play. Waugh brought the ball up the floor, and with a defender draped on him, Hickey would bank in the deep triple from the left wing as time expired to force overtime.
The Panthers came out strong in the extra session, with sophomore Hasan Varence (Queens, N.Y.) scoring inside on consecutive trips and Hickey drilling a triple from the corner in front of ODU's bench.
That gave the Panthers a 78-71 lead midway through the extra session, and from there it was a matter of holding off several Trojan charges. The hosts closed within 87-85 with 25 seconds left, but Hickey made a free throw, and after a Trevecca missed layup, Hickey closed the game with a two-handed flush with less than 10 seconds to play.
ODU went 10-of-12 from the charity stripe in overtime, with Waugh hitting all six of his attempts. He went 12-of-12 from the line – all in the second half and overtime – and finished with 16 points. Varence had a huge double-double with 20 points and 14 boards, and Hickey scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half and overtime.
The Panthers shot 49.2 percent from the field (31-of-63) while holding Trevecca to 41.1 percent shooting (30-of-73).
Trevecca had led for virtually the entire game, beginning the contest on a 12-3 run. ODU recovered in the middle stages of the first half and briefly took a 29-25 lead on a jumper by senior Mike DeLeon (Powell, Ohio), but an 18-4 run by the hosts put Trevecca up 43-33 with less than four minutes left in the half. ODU would chip away and draw within 43-37 at the break, but trailed the entire second half until Hickey's heroics at the buzzer.
Ohio Dominican remains on the road to take on Kentucky Wesleyan at 4 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles