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Seahawks Best Monarchs in Second Half to Drop ODU, 65-68

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 30, 2008
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Jan. 30, 2008

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NORFOLK, Va. -- ODU dropped a tough CAA decision Wednesday night as UNCW (14-8/7-3) climbed back from 19 down in the second half for a 68-65 victory. The Monarchs (10-12/5-5) jumped to a 15-point halftime lead, but the Seahawks managed to come back and win on a three-pointer from senior guard T.J. Carter with just over 30 seconds remaining. Carter scored the final seven points for UNCW. The loss snaps an eight-game winning streak against the Seahawks.

ODU had a 15-point halftime lead after impressive shooting from the floor and great defense, but the Seahawks would rally in the second to improve their winning streak to five. The strengths for the Monarchs in the first half were weaknesses in the second, as ODU hit seven three's in the first frame, but shot 0-for-10 from deep in the second. They also forced 11 first half turnovers, but only managed four after the break.

ODU led for most of the first half and extended the lead to 15, nearly 18 at the half. The Monarchs closed the first half on a 9-0 run that was almost 12 when Jonathan Adams' three-point shot circled the entire rim before bouncing away at the buzzer. ODU would get 14 points from Lidonde in the first frame on 5-of-6 shooting, including four 3's. Freshman Ben Finney was a monster on the boards, grabbing seven in the first half.

The defense was putting on a clinic in the first as well, as the team collected five steals and forced 11 turnovers in the frame. The Monarchs had 16 points off turnovers in the first half, as they held the Seahawks to 13 fewer first half attempts. Wilmington shot just under their season pace at 41.7% from the field, but had just 24 first half attempts.

Star senior guard for UNCW, T.J. Carter led the team with 9 points in the first. It would be Jordan that Wilmington would look to down the stretch as well. After the Seahawks used the efforts of senior forward Vladimir Kuljanin to claw their way back from as many as 19 down in the second half, it was Jordan that would seal the victory for UNCW.

Kuljanin knocked down 13 second half points and grabbed seven second half boards. The most important was an offensive rebound with 36 seconds remaining that enabled a kick-out to classmate and leading scorer, Carter, for the game-winning three-pointer, putting UNCW up 66-65.

With over 30 seconds remaining, ODU had time to set up a play in the halfcourt offense, but freshman Darius James left his feet and threw the ball away for just his second turnover on the night. Having to foul, Carter would go to the line and knock down both free throws for the final deficit of 68-65. ODU got two looks from beyond the arc in the final nine seconds, but both were contested by multiple defenders.

Carter would finish with a game-high 25, including 16 second half points. He also had a season-high nine rebounds. Kuljanin had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

ODU was led by Lidonde, with 16 points, but the senior guard was held to just two in the second half. Senior point guard Brandon Johnson had five assists and three steals and Finney had seven points and 10 rebounds.

Old Dominion shot just 38.8% from the field on 26-of-67 shooting while UNC Wilmington managed to shoot 45.8% on 27-of-59 shooting. The Monarchs were held to just three field goals in the final 12:08, as UNCW outscored ODU 28-10 in that stretch.

ODU returns to the floor this Saturday, February 2 at 4:00 pm as they host Georgia State in CAA action.

NOTE: The ODU-VCU game on February 16 at the Siegel Center has been selected to be televised on ESPN2 at 8:00 pm.

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