Lakers struggle down the stretch in loss at Ohio Dominican

Photo Courtesy Sam Downs
Photo Courtesy Sam Downs

COLUMBUS - A three-pointer by Ryan Hoyng with 5.2 seconds left in the second half lifted Ohio Dominican to a 78-77 victory over Lake Superior State, Thursday (Jan. 5), in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest held at Alumni Hall on the campus of ODU.

The loss snaps a five-game winning streak that included four-straight over GLIAC South Division opponents for the Lakers (7-3, 4-2 GLIAC). LSSU now sits tied with Saginaw Valley, Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech in the third spot of the GLIAC North Division.

A three by Jordan Dasuqi gave the Lakers their largest lead of the game, a 77-68 advantage with 3:30 remaining; however LSSU went scoreless down the stretch as the Panthers (8-5, 3-4 GLIAC) scored the final 10 points, capped by Hoyng's game-winner.

Racking up a season-high 30 fouls in the contest required the Lakers to rely heavily on the bench as three players, including starters Michael Nicholson and Carson Manger, fouled out short of their season averages for minutes per game. Despite a season-high eight points from junior Jessy Cantinol in 22 minutes of reserve action, also a season-high, the Lakers bench was outscored 38-15 as both teams looked to reserves for extended minutes.

LSSU produced season-lows in points (77), made field goals (27), assists (12) and free-throw percentage (56.5).

Sam Hickey led the Panthers with a team-high 21 points off the bench and was joined by Hyong's pivotal 11 points and seven rebounds in reserve duty. Shemar Waugh was the only ODU starter to reach double digits in scoring with 19 points and a game-high seven assists.

Junior guard Akaemji Williams led all scorers with 26 points on 9-18 from the floor, but went 7-for-11 from the free-throw line, including missing a pair that could have put the Lakers ahead by two possessions with 22 seconds remaining and the Lakers leading 77-75.

Sophomore Blake Marquardt chipped in his first career double-double for the Lakers with 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in 36 minutes of work. Manger rounded out the LSSU lineup to reach double digits with 11 points and added four rebounds.

The Lakers face their final test against a GLIAC South Division opponent during the regular season at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Hillsdale.

Following the women's game and prior to the men's game, the LSSU Alumni Association is hosting a social in the mezzanine area on the west side of the Roche Sports Complex, open to all LSSU alumni and fans. Snacks and door prizes will be provided for free, courtesy of the LSSU Alumni Association. Donations will be accepted. The social begins immediately after the women's game and continues into the first part of the men's game. The mezzanine area overlooks the gym, so fans can still catch all of the action during the men's game.