Varence's Double-Double Not Enough as Men's Basketball Falls to UMSL in Overtime

Hasan Varence (Photo by: Ralph Schudel)
Hasan Varence (Photo by: Ralph Schudel)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team dropped an overtime contest at Missouri St. Louis by a final score of 70-64 Monday afternoon in the Mark Twain Building.

Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) led the Panthers with 30 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Freshman Alek West (Sylvania, Ohio) had 12 points off the bench as the only other Panther in double-figures.

With the Panthers down 10-7 early in the contest, a 10-0 Panther run capped by a West three gave ODU a seven point lead with 10:25 remaining in the half. Later in the half, with ODU holding a slim 24-23 lead, the Tritons would close out the half with a 6-0 run to take a 29-24 lead into the break. Varence had nine points at the break to lead the Panthers grabbing four rebounds.

ODU opened the second half on an 8-0 run to regain the lead at 32-29 with five points from Varence and a three from Michael Scott (Hebron, Ky.). The Tritons answered with a 21-6 run to gain their largest lead of the contest at 50-38 with 7:52 remaining in the second half. ODU fought back with a 12-2 run to get within two at 52-50 starting with a four-point play from Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) and six points from Varence during the stretch.

A three point field goal from Varence with 1:30 to play in regulation gave the Panthers a two-point edge at 56-54 but a pair of free throws from the Tritons would tie the contest up with 1:04 to play.

UMSL regained the lead after a defensive stop on a layup with 37 seconds to play in regulation at 58-56. After a Panther timeout they went back to Varence in the post to tie the game at 58-58 and a defensive stop for ODU sent the game into overtime.

After Hickey scored the first two points of the overtime period to give ODU the lead, UMSL answered with a 7-0 run to gain a five-point lead at 65-60 with 2:28 remaining. The closest the Panthers would get the rest of the contest was three points at 65-62 as the Tritons outscored ODU 12-6 in the overtime period.

Throughout the contest, there were 17 lead changes and four ties. The Panthers shot 39.6% from the floor (21-of-53) with the Tritons shooting 38.6% (27-70). The Tritons forced 18 Panther turnovers scoring 21 points off those turnovers.

UMSL (5-1) was led by Jose Grubbs who poured in 28 points and grebbed 12 rebounds while Shane Wissink had 16 off the bench for the Tritons.

ODU, now 2-5 on the season, will remain in St. Louis to take on the Saints of Maryville Wednesday afternoon in the Mark Twain Building with tip set for 3 p.m. CT.