ST. LOUIS, MO. – Day two of the Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Missouri-St. Louis saw Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team defeat Maryville by a final score of 84-60 inside the Mark Twain Building.
Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) once again led the way for the Panthers recording his second straight double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) was the only other Panther in double-figures with 14 points and five rebounds. Freshman Alek West (Sylvania, Ohio) nearly had his first double-double with nine points and a season-high eight assists on the evening. Sophomore Arius Jones (Lansing, Mich.) posted nine points and six rebounds to go along with a team high four steals as well.
The Panthers jumped on the Saints early leading 18-9 making eight of their first 12 shots to gather that lead with 12:26 remaining in the first half. With the score at 29-16 in favor of the Panthers with 7:18 to play in the first half, ODU would use a 20-5 run to gather their largest lead of the half at 49-21 with just under a minute to play and a three point basket from the Saints sent the teams to halftime at 49-24.
ODU shot 56% (19-for-34) in the opening half, forcing 10 Maryville turnovers converting 14 points off those turnovers. The Panthers were also 11-for-21 (52%) from distance in the first half with Hickey converting four of the 11 and West with three in the first half. Varence led the Panthers with 14 in the first half while Hickey had 12 and West had nine.
The Panthers opened the second gaining their largest lead at 59-28 on a Matt King (Mason, Ohio) layup and maintained at least a 26 point lead throughout the second half until a Maryville basket with 17 seconds left cut the lead to 24 before ODU dribbled the remaining clock out.
The Panthers ended the game shooting 51.5% from the floor (35-for-68) and 40% (14-for-35) from behind the arc. Defensively, the Panthers forced 18 Saints turnovers while holding them to 37.5% shooting (21-for-56) and 31.8% from behind the arc (7-of-22).
With the win, ODU advances to 3-5 on the season while Maryville drops to 3-3.
ODU turns its focus to the conference schedule which begins with a pair of road contests at Kentucky Wesleyan and at Trevecca Nazarene December 5 and December 7.