Monarchs Defeat East Tennessee State 86-65; ODU Off to Best Start in Program History
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 18, 2004
NORFOLK, VA --Sophomore Forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa) reached double figures in points for the fifth straight game Saturday night--scoring 17--to help lead the Old Dominion men's basketball team to a 86-65 win over East Tennessee State at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. With the win, the Monarchs, with a 9-1 record, are off to their best start in program history since becoming a Division I school. The previous best start was 8-1 during the 1998-99 season. The last time ODU was 9-1 was during the 1969-70 season when the Monarchs were still a Division II school. Junior Forward Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia) tied for the team lead in scoring with 17 points and had a team-high nine rebounds.
The Monarchs raced off to a 14-2 lead in the first four minutes of the first half, with Drew Williamson's (Burlington, NC) five points and Alex Loughton's four points leading the charge. East Tennessee State's Dillion Sneed made a lay-up to cut the lead to ten points, 14-4, but ODU had a 19-4 edge at the 14:49 mark of the half. Arnaud Dahi's fastbreak dunk at the 11 minute mark extended the Monarch lead to 16, 25-9, but the Buccaneers of ETSU cut the lead to 11 points, 33-22, with 4:21 left in the half. Dahi ran off six points to help ODU extend that lead to 17 points, 41-24, at the 2:38 mark before taking a 43-29 lead at the half.
A three-pointer by ETSU's James Anthony at the 15:20 mark of the second half cut the Monarch lead to 12 points, 50-38, but ODU raced ahead for a 16-point ;ead. 56-40, at the 13:42 mark. The closest East Tennessee State was able to get in the second half was 10 points, 57-47, at the 12 minute mark, off a pair of free throws by Tim Smith. The Monarchs answered with a 12-2 run to grab a 20-point lead, 69-49, with just under 10 minutes left in the game. Two John Morris (Camp Hill, PA) three-pointers helped lead the ODU run. The Buccaneers once again whittled the lead down to 11 points, 71-60, at the 5:56 mark, but ODU used a 15-5 run to close out the game, taking the 86-65 victory.
The Monarchs shot 55.7% (34-of-61) for the game, marking the third time this year ODU has shot over 50%. ODU held a 33-22 rebounding edge over East Tennessee State and had four players in double-figures for the contest. Arnaud Dahi and Alex Loughton both had 17 points each, while Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) had 16 and Drew Williamson had a career-high 11 points. East Tennessee State's Tim Smith had a game-high 18 points, while James Anthony had 15 and Chris Mitchell had 11.
The Monarchs are back in action Monday night, when they host Longwood at 7:00 at the Constant Center. ODU also faces St. Joseph's Wednesday night at 7:00, the second part of a double-header with the Lady Monarchs, who face Harvard at 12:30.