Monarchs Defeat The Pride In Semi-Final Round
March 6, 2005
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
RICHMOND, Va. - Alex Loughton and Isaiah Hunter scored 17 points a piece Sunday and Old Dominion moved into the Colonial Athletic Association championship game with a 72-58 victory against Hofstra. ODU will meet VCU in Monday championship game.
The Monarchs (27-5) took the lead with a 19-6 burst to start the second half, then pulled away for good after Hofstra drew even.
The Pride (21-8) tied it at 45 with 9:47 to play and got within 58-55 with 4:19 to go, but Old Dominion found its touch from the free throw line when it needed it most and pulled away for the victory.
The top-seeded Monarchs made only 10 of 20 free throws in the first 36 minutes, but converted 14 for 16 from the line the rest of the way.
Drew Williamson added 13 points for Old Dominion.
Antoine Agudio led the Pride with 22 points and hit five of their 11 3-pointers. Carlos Rivera added 15 points and four 3s, and Loren Stokes missed 12 of his 15 field goal attempts and finished with 11 points.
Old Dominion trailed 32-23 at halftime, but grabbed a 39-38 lead on Arnaud Dahi's inside basket with 12:25 to go, to cap an 11-0 run. Moments later, Dahi made a 3-pointer to make the lead 42-38, and Hofstra only briefly recovered.
Rivera ended a 4-minute scoring drought for Hofstra with a pair of free throws, and the Pride rallied to get back to even at 45-all on Stokes' three-point play with 9:47 remaining.
But the Monarchs came right back, Dahi taking a feed from Loughton for a layup and Hunter hitting an 18-footer over Stokes. After Rivera's fourth 3-pointer, Loughton scored on a drive and Dahi followed with a layup.
The Pride closed to 58-55 on Agudio's fifth 3-pointer with 4:19 to go, but Old Dominion's proficiency from the line clinched the outcome. ODU's guards got it done on the boards as Isiah Hunter hauled down a game high nine rebounds and Drew Williamson added seven.
ODU held Hofstra to .340 shooting for the game and .240 shooting in the second half. The Pride hit only 3-14 from three point range in the second half, after knocking down 8-15 in the first half. The Monarchs shot .488 for the game from the floor, but .542 in the second half, and outrebounded the Pride, 38-29.
The Monarchs will play second-seeded Virginia Commonwealth for the CAA's automatic NCAA tournament berth on Monday night. This will be ODU's first trip to the CAA finals since 1999.