Monarchs Rally Back from 16 Point Deficit, Taking Down Northeastern 85-79
By ODU Athletics
Jan. 7, 2006
NORFOLK, VA--After falling behind by 16 points right before halftime, the Old Dominion Monarchs roared back in the second half and took down conference foe Northeastern 85-79 Saturday afternoon at the Ted Constant Center. The win raised ODU's record to 11-4 (4-1 CAA), while Northeastern dropped to 7-6 (3-2 CAA). Four Monarchs scored in double figures, led by senior guard Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) who scored 21 points, with 19 of those coming in the second half. Junior forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa) added a double-double, dropping 16 points and snagging 10 boards.
Led by point guard Jose Juan Barea, the Huskies raced out to a 20-6 lead early in the first half, with Barea scoring seven points and dishing out two assists in the first 7:07 minutes of the game. ODU would soon cut the deficit to eight, and four consecutive points scored by Dahi would bring the Monarchs within five at 26-21 with 6:03 remaining in the half. Sophomore Brian Henderson (Richmond, VA) drained a three-pointer with 3:27 remaining to keep the Monarchs within striking distance at 31-26. Following that bucket, Barea would spearhead an 11-0 Northeastern run that would give the Huskies a 16 point lead, their largest on the day, at 42-26 with :27 seconds left in the half. Henderson would sink another trey at the end of the half to put the halftime score at 42-29.
After shooting only 31.4% from the field in the first half, the Monarchs came up firing on all cylinders in the second session. ODU went on an 11-2 run that spanned 1:54 early in the half, and brought the score to 51-50. Henderson was the catalyst during this stretch, draining yet another trey and also converting on a fast break. A Barea lay-in would put the Huskies back up by six, but Valdas Vasylius (Klaipeda, Lithuania) converted four consecutive free throw attempts to get the Monarchs within three, 58-55.
Hunter nailed a trey with 11:25 left in the game to bring the Monarchs within one of Northeastern, 61-60. And after trailing Northeastern the entire game, a Hunter fast break lay-up would put the Monarchs ahead 64-63 with just over ten minutes remaining in the game. Henderson would sink his fourth trey of the game to get the Monarchs ahead by four, and the Huskies would get no closer than that as ODU limited the high scoring Barea to three points in the final eight minutes.
Barea, who leads the nation in assists and ranks in the top 10 in scoring, netted a season-high 32 points and also dished out ten dimes. He also set a new Constant Center record for most points scored by an opponent with his 32. Sophomore Shawn James nearly earned his third career triple-double as he recorded 12 points, nine rebounds, and nine blocked shots.
The Monarchs put up 56 points in the second half off of 54.8% shooting, outscoring the Huskies by 19. ODU outrebounded Northeastern 39-38 and dished out more assists 16-14. Vasylius and Henderson both scored 16 points. Vasylius also pulled down eight rebounds, and Henderson connected on four of his five three point attempts. Dahi sank both of his three-point attempts in the second half. As a team, the Monarchs made 9 of their 19 three-point attempts at a 47.4% clip. Senior forward Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia) contributed seven points and nine rebounds.
Coach Blaine Taylor and several of his Monarch players will be making an appearance at the Norfolk Sports Club on Monday at 12:00 noon. The Monarchs will then return to the hardwood on Thursday night in Atlanta as they take on CAA newcomer Georgia State at 7:00 p.m. ODU then returns home on Saturday to take on in-state and conference rival Virginia Commonwealth at the Constant Center. Tip off is scheduled for 12:00 noon.