Photo courtesy of Scott Miles
(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) – Jesse Hardin Jr. exploded for 35 points and Zac Carter added 23 as Walsh defeated Ohio Dominican 87-78 at Alumni Arena on Thursday evening. It was the fourth-straight win for the Cavaliers (9-6, 7-4) as they led the Panthers (6-11, 3-7) for the majority of the game.
It didn't take long for Hardin Jr. to warm up as he had nine points, all from behind the arc, in the first five minutes of the game. His second trey gave Walsh the lead at 8-7 and the Cavaliers stayed ahead on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
Walsh started to separate itself from the visitors midway through the first half. The Cavs held a 22-20 lead before Hardin Jr. added five more points on another 3-pointer and a layup. A Caleb Tregre steal and layup off the inbounds gave Walsh a 29-20 advantage with all three buckets scored within 45 seconds of each other.
The Cavaliers kept momentum on their side and eventually built a 15-point lead at the halftime break. At the start of the second half, Robert Puleikis scored on a layup thanks to an outside assist from Chall Montgomery to give Walsh a 48-31 lead. It was the Cavs largest lead of the night.
ODU battled back and eventually cut its deficit to single digits, but was unable to cut the Cavs lead to less than eight the rest of the way.
Hardin Jr. finished the night 11-of-21 with six 3-pointers and eight rebounds to lead the Cavaliers. Carter was impressive himself as he shot 7-of-12 from the field.
Chall Montgomery also gave the Panthers problems in a variety of ways as he scored 10 points and recorded his third double-double of the season with 15 rebounds.
Ohio Dominican's Ronnie Williams led a trio of Panthers in double figures with 26 points. He was 7-of-19 overall and 6-of-13 from behind the 3-point line.
Walsh was also superb from the free throw line as they made 21-of-22 attempts for its highest percentage of the season at 95.5.
The Cavaliers return to action as they travel west to take on Tiffin on Saturday. Tip-off with the Dragons is set for 3 p.m.