ODU Shoots a Season-High 54.2 Percent to Beat SCSU

December 16, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 16, 2006

Box Score

NORFOLK, VA - Old Dominion improved to 7-4 tonight with a 74-57 victory over South Carolina State University (2-7). The Monarchs struggled to hold onto the ball in the first half but bounced back with a terrific second half on the shoulders of the upperclassmen. Seniors Valdas Vasylius and Drew Williamson were catalysts during a 16-0 run in the second half that gave the Monarchs a 19-point lead. The run came early in the half spanning just over nine minutes.

Vasylius put together another valiant effort for the Monarchs with a game-high 20 points with a game-high six rebounds. The senior only played in 21 minutes for the Monarchs but made the most of his minutes on 6-of-11 shooting including two three-pointers. Williamson played extremely consistent throughout the game on 5-of-10 shooting in both halves to finish with 15 points. He added 6 dimes and two crucial three-pointers on back-to-back possessions in the 16-0 run.

Junior guard Brian Henderson also scored in double figures with sharp shooting from inside and beyond the arc. Henderson added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and also tallied four assists.

The first half was much sloppier than the latter, with the Monarchs turning the ball over 11 times. They managed to shoot over 50 percent from the field in the first but never distanced from the Bulldogs as they entered the locker room up just seven, 33-27.

Guard play was extremely important in the second half as the big run was bolstered by heavy shooting from outside and holding onto the basketball. After 11 turnovers in the first half, the Monarchs only had the ball taken away three times in the second half.

Julius Carter led the Bulldogs of S.C. State on 6-of-7 shooting with 12 points and six rebounds. The team did not play particularly terrible, with 46 percent shooting on the day, but were unable to connect from outside and were puzzled by the zone defense of the Monarchs.

Playing man much of the first half the Monarchs were picked apart with great passing and shot selection from the Bulldogs. However, head coach Blaine Taylor switched to a 3-2 zone in the second half and South Carolina State couldn't figure it out. Turning the ball over 15 times, the Dogs found no rhythm against the zone.

The Monarchs shot a season-high 54.2 percent from the field on 26-of-48 for the game and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded SCSU 31-22. The Bulldogs shot a dismal 11.1 percent from beyond the arc in the first half but improved it to 23.5 for the game. They shot 46 percent from the field on 23-of-50 shooting.

After taking nearly a two-week break before tonight's game the Monarchs won't have to wait long for their next tip. ODU returns to action Monday at 7:00 pm against UAB. UAB is on a two-game swing against former Sun-Belt rivals VCU and ODU. After losing the former, the Blazers are 6-4 on the season as they head to Norfolk for tip-off Monday night.