HILLSDALE, Michigan – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team dropped the first matchup of the Hillsdale Thanksgiving Classic to Northern Michigan by a final score of 89-74.
The Panthers had three players in double figures led by sophomore Tahj Curry (Fort Wayne, Indiana) who posted 19 points and five rebounds. Junior Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) and senior Michael Simon (Hilliard, Ohio) each had 12 points on the evening, a season high for Simon.
The first half opened with both teams trading baskets up to a 9-9 tie. NMU then went on a 13-2 run to open an 11 point lead before a Simon three ended the run with 10:35 remaining in the half.
ODU cut the Wildcats lead to 27-21 on a pair of free throws from Simon with 6:44 remaining in the half. A 9-1 run pushed the NMU lead back to 14 at 36-22 at the 4:30 mark.
ODU could not cut into the lead before the half as the teams went to the locker room with the Wildcats leading 50-33.
The Panthers shot 50% from the floor in the first half but could not contain the Wildcat offense as they shot a blistering 66%.
Out of the half, ODU cut the lead to 14 at 54-40 on a Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) three with 17:26 remaining.
NMU held off the Panthers as the closest the game got in the second half was 12points at 65-53 on a pair of Matt King (Mason, Ohio) free throws.
The Wildcats were led by Naba Echols and Isaiah Johnson who had 27 and 24 points, respectively.
ODU drops to 3-2 on the season while NMU goes to 4-0.
The Panthers will look to bounce back tomorrow night as they play Wisconsin-Parkside on day two of the Thanksgiving Classic at Hillsdale with tip set for 5:30.