The Tiffin University men's basketball team overcame a 1st half deficit on Friday night to defeat the Ohio Dominican Panthers 71-67 in front of a packed house at the Old Fort Bank Court.
Both sides were rusty early in the 1st half, as first game jitters seemed to affect both squads. Ohio Dominican held a slim 15-13 lead at the 06:28 mark, but the slim lead inflated thanks to a 12-5 run over the course of four plus minutes. With a 28-18 lead, it seemed like the Panthers had the momentum and were looking to bury Tiffin right before the half, but Tiffin returned fire with an 8-2 run capped off with an Austin Adams three point bucket at the buzzer to pull Tiffin within four at 30-26 at the half.
The Panthers hit 40.7% of their field goals compared to Tiffin's 38.5%. Neither team did much beyond the arc in the 1st half with the two teams combining to shoot 4 of 19. Of the Panthers 28 1st half points, 16 came in the paint as Ohio Dominican held a 19-17 advantage in rebounds.
Tiffin kept the heat on the Panthers as the 2nd half got under way, turning to their bread and butter to start the comeback. Shane Waldon, having been held scoreless in the 1st half, turned on the jets in the 2nd half as he led the Dragons' comeback. Tiffin, trailing 37-30 with 17:09 left, slowly crept their way back into the game using a 13-4 run to take their first lead of the half with 13:08 remaining. The Dragons and Panthers continued to trade buckets as Tiffin's Shane Waldon and Austin Adams hammered the Panthers in the paint, combining to score 24 of Tiffin's 45 2nd half points.
The Panthers kept fighting, tying the score 60-60 with a little over five minutes left to play. Tiffin responded with a 7-2 run to take a five point lead with 02:34 remaining. Ohio Dominican had one last gasp left, hitting a three point shot with 01:33 left to knot the score at 67-67. Austin Adams and Austin Schaub gave Tiffin four points to make it a 71-67 score, as Tiffin's defense held Ohio Dominican scoreless for the final 90 seconds of play to preserve a 71-67 victory.
In his first game as a Dragon, Shane Waldon finished with 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Alex Brown filled up the box score, logging 15 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Austin Adams picked up where he left off last season, posting a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. Off the bench Austin Schaub played great for Tiffin scoring 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Of the Dragons' 45 2nd half points 28 came in the paint. The Dragons' great defense led to an opportunistic offense as Tiffin turned 22 Ohio Dominican turnovers into 21 points. One key aspect to the Dragons' win was their clutch free throw shooting as they were a perfect 12-12 in the 2nd half.
Tiffin is now 1-0 on the year and will be back in action on Sunday, taking on Lake Erie College at 12:00 pm.