Panthers Upset Cougars Then Fall in Next Round


Photo by Gary Holden

Senior guard Deshone Hicks led all scorers with 25 points.

Cody Gibson, Sports Editor

The ninth-seeded Panthers led by as many as 19 points in the second half, then withstood a furious rally to beat #8 Averett University 60-56 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament play-in game on Feb. 21 at the Grant Center.

The Cougars led 5-0 to open the game, but the Panthers responded with a 10-3 run, grabbing a 10-8 lead on Deshone Hicks’, senior, jumper. Hicks, the game’s leading scorer, added 15 points before the end of the first half, including five jumpers, a three-pointer, and two free throws, to put the Panthers on top 29-19 at the break.

The Panthers began to pull away in the second half, eventually opening a 19-point lead on a Johnny Franklin, freshman, three-pointer with 9:27 left to make it a 49-30 game. The Cougars used a 24-7 rally over the next nine minutes and trimmed the lead to two points at 56-54 on Jordan Lewis’ three-pointer with 20 seconds left in regulation.

Hicks was fouled on the ensuing possession and knocked down a pair of free throws to push the Panther’s lead to 58-54, but Raja Milton converted two free throws for the Cougars to get the lead back down to 58-56 with 12 seconds left. Tahli Oden, junior, hit two from the charity stripe with six seconds left for the final count, sending the Panthers to the quarterfinals.

Coach Patrick Corrigan‘s team then faced No. 1 seed (ODAC) Randolph-Macon College in the quarterfinals yesterday, as the ODAC Tournament shifted to the Salem Civic Center. The Panthers fell 75-61 to the No. 2 nationally ranked team. The loss closes out Ferrum’s 2022-23 season.

Top scorers for the Panthers were: Hicks, 31 points, 4 assists; Calvin Washington, freshman, 11 points, 8 rebounds;  Franklin, 8 points.