NORFOLK, Va. – After trailing 21-0 to start the game, the Old Dominion men's basketball team (11-4, 1-1 C-USA) completed the largest comeback in school history with a 69-66 victory over Western Kentucky (8-7, 1-1 C-USA) on Saturday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The previous school record for largest comeback was set in 2004, when ODU erased a 20-point deficit against George Mason in Fairfax, Va.
After trailing by 21 in the first half, ODU outscored WKU 58-30 to claim a 58-51 advantage with 7:51 to play. The Hilltoppers answered on an 11-4 run to tie the contest at 62-62 at the last media timeout (3:24). Xavier Green then drilled a three as the shot-clock was expiring, before Ahmad Caver connected on a jumper, giving Old Dominion a 67-62 lead with 18 seconds to play. Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey made a layup to pull the Hilltoppers within three (67-64), but Kalu Ezikpe sealed the deal at the free-throw line, lifting ODU to a three-point come from behind victory on Saturday night in Norfolk.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones, “Our guys showed no fear tonight. Our effort led to this great win. Coming back like that showed me how much our players care about one another. We refused to quit.”
B.J. Stith’s 19 points and 12 rebounds led the Monarchs, while Caver followed with 18 points, six assists and four rebounds. Ezikpe chipped in four points, a career-high eight rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
For the game, ODU held advantages for bench points (24-2), steals (9-2), points off turnovers (19-12) and offensive rebounds (14-8).
Old Dominion shot 63.6% (7-11) from deep and 53.8% (14-26) from the floor in the second half. ODU’s defense held WKU to 37.5% (9-24) shooting from the floor and 33.3% (2-6) shooting from three-point range in the closing 20 minutes.
The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 21-0 lead, before the Monarchs clawed their way back into the game, ending the first half on a 32-18 run to cut their deficit to seven, 39-32. ODU was led by Caver’s nine points in the opening 20 minutes.
Old Dominion will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 10, when the Monarchs visit FAU for a 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+.