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ODU Shocks No. 8 Georgetown, 75-62

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: November 19, 2006
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Nov. 19, 2006

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Old Dominion became the latest CAA team to knock off a Top 10 opponent - beating Georgetown in a building where the Hoyas hadn't lost in 24 years.

The Monarchs dominated the offensive boards and sank 3-pointers at will during a second-half run Sunday, silencing the earsplitting, student-dominated crowd at McDonough Arena in a 75-62 victory over No. 8 Georgetown.

"This is pretty good stuff for us," coach Blaine Taylor, who called the victory his biggest in six seasons with the Monarchs. "Being as they're ranked, and deservedly so, and being on the road and in this environment, it all kind of adds up to a pretty big win."

The Monarchs shot 58 percent in the second half, overcame an eight-point deficit and didn't have a turnover in the final 15 minutes as they defeated a ranked team for the first time since beating Villanova in the 1995 NCAA tournament.

Old Dominion (4-1) had been 0-7 vs. the Top 25 since, but the longer streak that came to end belonged to Georgetown (2-1). The Hoyas had won their last 23 when playing the occasional game at their tiny - and extremely noisy - on-campus gymnasium, with the last defeat coming against Connecticut on Jan. 20, 1982.

"We went into this game knowing it was going to be a significant game," coach John Thompson said. "We want some challenges in the preseason and we have some on our schedule - and we sure got one tonight."

The victory came in the same city where George Mason put the CAA into the Final Four for the first time with a victory over Connecticut in the NCAA tournament in March. Old Dominion flew the conference flag as an NIT semifinalist last season, and the visiting Monarchs fans chanted "C-A-A" during the final minute Sunday.

"We're proud to be in a good conference," Taylor said. "It is a good league, and we're competitive, you hope the quality programs in your region will play you - and not fear the fallout if they occasionally they get beat."

Indeed, Georgetown not only agreed to play Old Dominion - the Hoyas are returning the visit next year.

"It probably sets the stage for a real nice rematch back in Norfolk," Taylor said.

The Monarchs lost their top two scorers from last season's team and their shooting had been spotty in their first four games, but they went 6-for-9 from 3-point range after halftime, with four different players finding the range during a 21-3 run that gave them the lead for good midway through the second half.

And when the Monarchs did miss, they often got the ball right back. Old Dominion had a 15-7 advantage in offensive rebounds against Georgetown's highly touted frontcourt of Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, but Green had only two points and three rebounds and fouled out with 1:37 to play.

"He's such an integral part to what we do. When he's off, more than likely we will be off," Thompson said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out."

The Hoyas played without junior swingman Tyler Crawford, who has hospitalized after suffering flu-like symptoms last week.

Arnaud Dahi led Old Dominion with 15 points, and Brandon Johnson had 14.

The Monarchs were woeful from the field in the opening minutes, making only 5-of-20 shots, but they stayed in the game by beating the Hoyas on the glass. Georgetown led 31-27 at halftime.

The Hoyas opened the second half intent on pounding the ball inside to Hibbert, who scored back-to-back baskets to give the Georgetown a 42-34 lead. But Jonathan Adams, Johnson and Dahi made 3-pointers in a 13-0 run that gave the Monarchs a 50-44 lead with 10:41 to play. Dahi soon made another 3-pointer, this time while falling backward with a player in his face, and the Monarchs cruised from there.

Georgetown hasn't played regularly on campus since 1979-80 - they now play most of their home games at the Verizon Center - but Thompson wants to make a point of playing at McDonough more often because of the intimate atmosphere. Another game is scheduled at McDonough against Winston-Salem State next month.

"Our group has along way to go, in spite of what people write about you, what people say about you," said Thompson, who has the Hoyas ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since 2001. "I think our group is an honest group. We have questions that need to be answered. We've got a lot that we need to work out, and we're in the process of working through that."

In 1977, ODU defeated the Hoyas in McDonough, 80-58 in the ECAC North-South Tournament. It was ODU's first year in Division one as furture Monarch NBA players Ronnie Valentine scored 36 as a freshman and 6-9 senior Wilson Washington added 18 points and 14 rebounds.

DAHI NAMED CAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK

RICHMOND, VA-- Old Dominion University senior forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa) was named CAA Player of the Week. Dahi averaged 17.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in leading ODU (4-1) to victories over 8th-ranked Georgetown (75-62) and Florida Atlantic (70-55) last week.

The 6-7 senior posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds against FAU. It was his sixth double-double of his collegiate career. Dahi then tallied 15 points and six boards against the Hoyas, including a pair of treys during the Monarchs second half rally.

ODU hosts Richmond Saturday at 12 noon at the Constant Center. That game will be televised live on ComCast.

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