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Monarchs End Two Game Slide With 59-46 Victory Over George Mason

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 22, 2003
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Jan. 22, 2003

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NORFOLK, VA -- The Old Dominion men's basketball team snapped its two-game slide as they defeated George Mason 59-49 Wednesday evening at the Ted Constant Center in CAA action.

The Monarchs are just one game below .500 and improve to 7-8 on the season and 4-3 in league play, while the Patriots fall to 8-8 overall and 3-4 in the CAA having lost their last three straight. The last time George Mason lost three consecutive CAA contests was back in the 1997-98 season in Jim Larranaga's first year with the Patriots.

It was the second time this season the Monarchs have held an opponent under 50 points, holding Campbell to just 43 points in a 72-43 victory at "The Ted" in the second game of the season back on November 26th. For the Patriots, it was the third time in 2002-03 they were held under the half century mark recording a 49-56 setback to Duquesne on December 2nd and a 41-65 loss to nationally ranked Pittsburgh.

The Monarchs enjoyed an 11-point advantage at the half, leading the Patriots, 30-19, behind 12 points from freshman guard Isaiah Thomas (Charlotte, NC) and five assists dished out by junior Troy Nance (Va. Beach, VA). It was a back and forth battle in the opening minutes as Old Dominion opened the game with a 5-0 lead, but then watched George Mason erase it less than three minutes later for the Patriots to lead 6-5 with 15:25 left. Four ties and seven lead changes ensued until a three-pointer by Hunter along the left side of the arc at the 6:22 mark returned the lead back to Old Dominion, 15-13. Hunter's trey sparked a 19-6 Old Dominion run to close the half.

Old Dominion enjoyed a double figure lead throughout most of the second half. The Patriots pulled within nine on four occasions. Two free throws by senior Jon Larranaga cut the Monarchs lead to 49-40, but that would be the closest George Mason would get the rest of the night. Following Larranaga's shots from the charity stripe, ODU proceeded on an 8-0 run for a 17-point lead, 57-40, with 5:09 remaining.

The Patriots managed just two field goals in the final 11:58 of the game, a lay-up by Charles Makings with 7:34 left and a Jai Lewis lay-up at 4:29. During that span, George Mason scored 10 points from the free throw line going 10-for-11.

George Mason did manage to outbound the Monarchs, 38-33, the first ODU lost the war on the boards but finished in the win column. The Patriots shot just 31.8 percent from the field (14-of-44), while Old Dominion connected on 22-of-54 to shoot nearly 41 percent.

The Monarchs had three players in double figures led by the 18-point effort of senior Ricardo Marsh (Mebane, NC). Marsh also grabbed a team-high eight boards. Hunter poured in 17 points, while senior Rasheed Wright (Greensboro, NC) added 10. Nance finished the night with seven assists and has averaged 5.4 assists per game since he was inserted into the starting line-up against UNC-Wilmington back on January 8th.

George Mason was led by guard junior Mark Davis with 15 points. Senor Jesse Young collected eight rebounds, while Larranaga dished out four assists.

The Monarchs return to action on Saturday when they host James Madison at the Constant Center. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.

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