Monarchs Rally to Top Kent State 64-59
By ODU Athletics
Nov. 22, 2004
NORFOLK, VA -The Old Dominion men's basketball team rallied from a nine point deficit with nine minutes remaining in the game to defeat the Kent State Golden Flashes 64-59 Monday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Junior Guard Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) led the Monarchs with 20 points, while Junior Forward Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia) had 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The Monarchs improve to 2-0 for the season, while Kent State falls to 1-2. The game was the first of four in the Corpus Christi Challenge.
"Kent State is a team with a national reputation," Head Coach Blaine Taylor said. "That's a big game for our conference. Kent State is one of those five or six mid-major schools that have been able to really step it up in the past few years."
The game was tied at 8-8 with 13:30 remaining in the first half before Kent State went on a 5-0 run, capped by Jason Edwin's three-pointer, to grab the 13-8 lead. The Monarchs rallied to tie the game at 17-17, off a Valdas Vasylius (Klaipeda, Lithuania) free throw, before Vasylius gave the Monarchs a one-point lead off his second free throw. Isaiah Hunter made a layup seconds later to extend the ODU lead to five points, 22-17, with 5:45 remaining in the half. The lead was six, 26-20, at the 4:59 mark of the half before Kent State went on a 9-0 run to lead 29-26 with 2:30 remaining in the half. Jay Youngblood had a three-pointer and Kevin Warzynski had a jumper to lead the charge. Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa) hit a jumper for the Monarchs to end the run, and cut the deficit to one, 29-28, before DeAndre Haynes made a lay-up to give the Golden Flashes the 31-28 halftime edge.
Jason Edwin connected on a jumper early in the first minute of the second half to give Kent State the five point edge, 33-28, but ODU answered back with a 8-2 run to take a brief 36-35 lead, with 16:17 remaining in the game. Alex Loughton had six points in the run. Kent State quickly took the lead back and had as high as a nine point edge, 55-46, with 8:06 remaining in the game. ODU answered back with a 13-0 run, with Isaiah Hunter contributing eight points, to take a four point edge, 59-55, with 3:07 left in the game. Six of Hunter's eight points came off free throws during the Monarch run. ODU held a 61-56 lead with 39 seconds remaining in the game, before Scott Cutley hit a three-pointer for Kent State to cut the lead to just two, 61-59, with 27 seconds left. Isaiah Hunter made three free throws in the final seconds to secure the 64-59 Monarch victory.
For the contest, Isaiah Hunter led all scorers with 20 points, off five-of-nine shooting from the floor. Hunter was 10-of-13 from the charity stripe. Alex Loughton had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Arnaud Dahi contributed 10 points. For Kent State, Jason Edwin had a team-high 17 points, while Kevin Warzynski had 12. Mike Scott had a game-high 10 rebounds. As a team, the Monarchs made nine more free throws than Kent State (19-10), while Kent State hit seven three-pointers.
"There's a lot of basketball left to play," Coach Taylor said. "We're not going to be perfect--we weren't perfect tonight--but we have a strong sense of belief."
Monday night's game was the first of four in the Corpus Christi Challenge for the Monarchs. ODU travels to Fort Worth, TX Thursday night, to take on Texas Christian University at 7:00 PM before traveling to Corpus Christi to face Shawnee State Saturday afternoon at 2:30 and Texas A&M Corpus Christi Sunday evening at 5:00.