No. 25 Monarchs 10-Game Streak Snapped At WKU
By ODU Athletics
BOWLING GREEN, KY—Old Dominion’s (13-2/2-1) junior guard Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, VA.) scored 20 points and senior forward Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, TX.) added 13, but the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky (10-5/3-0) defeated the No. 25 Monarchs, 72-65 Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena, in a nationally televised Conference USA contest. The loss ended ODU’s 10-game winning streak. This was the first time the two schools had played each other since the 1990-91 season.
WKU was led by forward George Fant with 24 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Chris Harrison-Docks with 19 points and T. J. Price with 15.
“George Fant is a competitor and a load to handle,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. "He forces you to pay attention to him and the other guys also made big plays. I would like to think we would have fewer defensive lapses locating guys and on the rebounding margin. That's the thing in a hard fought fight that hurt the most. They were the better team tonight. We battled tonight and no one ever likes to lose. Hopefully, we can learn from this.”
The Monarchs led, 25-20 with 6:47 left in the first half after a three-pointer by junior forward Nik Biberaj (Fairfax Station, VA.), but after two Fant free throws and a three-pointer by TJ Price, the contest was tied at 25-25 with 6:00 left. DJ Clayton hit a jumper to put WKU up 27-25 and ODU’s Freeman answered with an equalizer with 3:37 left to tie the game at 27-27.
George Fant put WKU up for good with a dunk with 1:42 left and Chris Harrison-Docks knocked down a three-pointer to give the Hilltoppers a 32-27 lead with 45 seconds left in the half. ODU’s Richard Ross hit two free throws, but Fant would score five straight points on two free throws and then a layup to send WKU to a 36-29 halftime lead.
In the second half, Jonathan Arledge’s jumper cut WKU’s lead to four at 40-36 with 17:13 left, but the Hilltoppers would go on a 13-5 run for a 53-41 lead with 8:36 left in the game. The Monarchs would cut the lead to four twice more, at 63-59 following two free throws by Aaron Bacote (Hampton, VA.) and 65-61 after a Denzell Taylor reverse layup with 1:07, but would get no closer as Harrison-Docks knocked down four straight free throws.
ODU shot .453 from the floor and WKU only .389, but the Hilltoppers outrebounded ODU, 37-31, including 14 offensive rebounds (six by Fant). ODU had only nine offensive rebounds on the night.
Jonathan Arledge (Silver Spring, MD.) added nine points and a team high six rebounds, while Richard Ross had five rebounds and two blocked shots. Aaron Bacote led ODU in assists with three.
The Monarchs return home on Thursday when they host Rice in a 7 p.m. contest.
JEFF JONES COACHES SHOW
The 2014-15 Jeff Jones Coaches Show, presented by Bud Light, will be Monday nights at Dave & Busters at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach., at 7 p.m. ODU Director of broadcasting Ted Alexander, the voice of ODU athletics, will be the host. The Jeff Jones shows will be carried live on ESPN 94.1 FM, Sports FM 100.5, WBRG 104.5 FM in Richmond, Super Talk 1050 in Lynchburg, VA and on Monarch Media.
MEET THE MONARCHS BREAKFAST
Join the ODU Men's Basketball coaches, fans, and select players at our annual Meet the Monarchs breakfast. The next event is January 14 from 7:30am - 8:30am in the Big Blue Room of the Ted Constant Center. The breakfast will be $5 in advance, or $10 at the door. Call 757.683.6963 for more information