Varence and Hickey Lead Men's Basketball Over Wayne State

Sam Hickey
Sam Hickey

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with a 92-79 win over Wayne State Friday night at Alumni Hall.

The Panther offense was led by juniors Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) and Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) who each had 27 points on the night. For Varence, that matched his career high.

Varence also led the Panthers with nine rebounds on the night while senior Ben Casanova (Sylvania, Ohio) and freshman Arius Jones (Fort Wayne, Indiana) each had five.

The first half saw ODU jump out to a quick 8-4 lead before Wayne State went on an 8-0 run lead 12-8 with 13:24 remaining in the half.

With the score 15-15 at the 8:47 mark, ODU went on a 12-2 run to take a 27-17 lead with 5:44 remaining in the half. That stretch was led by five points from Varence and sophomore Matt King (Mason, Ohio) who had a career-high 11 points on the evening.

In the back and forth rest of the first half, King gave the Panthers their largest lead in the half of 11 at 30-19 with 4:36 remaining in the half. Hickey caught fire toward the end making four consecutive shots, three of them from behind the arc, to take ODU into the half with a 41-34 lead.

Hickey led all scorers in the first half with 13 while Varence had nine off the bench.

The second half started with a Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) three point basket to give ODU a 10-point lead but a quick 6-0 run cut the Panther lead to four at 46-42 with 16:42 remaining in the contest.

Wayne State would cut the lead to within one at 58-57 with 10:52 remaining before a 21-6 run spanning just over six minutes pushed the ODU lead to 16, their largest of the game. That run was capped by seven straight points from Hickey and eight throughout the run from Varence.

With the score 82-66 in favor of the Panthers with 4:12 remaining, the Warriors went on a 10-0 run to come within six of the Panthers with 2:34 in the contest.

ODU then finished the game with a 10-3 run to get the final score of 92-79.

ODU shot a steaming 54.1% (33-61) from the field while being 48% (12-25) from distance and 14-19 from the free throw line.

Jones led the Panther defense as he wreaked havoc on the Warrior backcourt recording four steals while having eight points and five assists.

Wayne State shot 48% (28-58) from the field while being 35% (6-17) from three.

ODU opens the season with a 1-0 record while the Warriors open at 0-1.

The Panthers have a quick turnaround as they travel to Ashland on Saturday with tip-off set for 3 p.m.