PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Junior Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) hit the go-ahead jumper with 56 seconds and senior Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) knocked down two late free throws as the Ohio Dominican men's basketball team pulled out a 76-73 road win at Lake Erie on Thursday night.
Hoyng's triple and a layup by junior Hasan Varence (Queens, N.Y.) had given the Panthers a 72-69 lead with just over two minutes to play, but Lake Erie scored the next four to regain the lead.
After Hickey's jumper made it 74-73 in favor of ODU, the Panthers defense came up with two stops prior to Hoyng's free throws. On the final possession, senior Ben Casanova (Sylvania, Ohio) came up with a steal to prevent the Storm to attempt a game-tying shot.
Hickey scored 21 points to lead the Panthers and Varence had a monster double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds, his tenth of the season. Hoyng scored 17 points, knocking down five triples, and Casanova went 7-for-7 from the field for 14 points, along with five rebounds, five steals and three assists.
The Panthers had a torrid start offensively, shooting 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes. However, 11 turnovers plagued ODU, and the Panthers led just 43-39 at intermission.
Neither side led by more than four points for the opening 15 minutes of the second half before the Storm grabbed a 69-63 edge with 4:37 to play. Hickey answered with a layup, then Casanova made a layup as well to start what was a 9-0 ODU run that set up the dramatic ending.
Ohio Dominican returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at Alderson Broaddus.
Contact: Scott Miles