Monarchs Edge Virginia Tech 58-55 Friday Night
Dec. 30, 2005
NORFOLK, VA-- Junior forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa) scored 15 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked a career-high six shots to pace the Old Dominions in a 58-55 victory over Virginia Tech before a capacity crowd at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. With the victory, ODU improves to 8-4 on the year. The Hokies drop to 9-4 with the loss. Senior shooting guard Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) added 13 points and seven rebounds in the winning effort.
The first half featured four ties and seven lead changes in a closely contested session of basketball. A lay-up by Deron Washington gave the Hokies a 19-17 lead late in the first half, before an 8-0 Monarch flurry over the final 1:08 of the half gave the Monarchs a 25-19 halftime advantage. Sophomore point guard Brandon Johnson (Orlando, Fl) starred during the run, hitting a fast break lay-up and drilling a deep buzzer beating three-pointer to end the half.
ODU's lead was often threatened during the second half of play, but the Monarchs would lead throughout. The Monarchs would gain their largest lead of the night when senior forward Alex Loughton sank a lay-up to give the Monarchs a 44-31 lead with 7:16 remaining in regulation.
A technical foul was called on Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg following a personal foul call against the Hokies, giving Dahi four shots from the foul line. He would sink three of those, taking the Monarch lead to 53-42 with 1:09 left in the game. Virginia Tech would storm back, however, going on an 8-0 run during the next 43 seconds that featured all eight points being scored by Jamon Gordon. Gordon would cut the Monarch lead to 2, when his basket brought the score to 54-52 with 21 seconds remaining.
Hunter drained two free throws to give ODU a four point lead, before Tech's Zabian Dowdell sank a three pointer with 6 seconds left on the clock to cut their deficit to 1, 56-55. Another technical foul was immediately called on Jamon Gordon for a delay of game giving the Monarchs two shots from the charity stripe. Hunter would sink both to ice the game, and give the Monarchs their first win over an ACC opponent since they took down Virginia 76-69 on Dec.11 in 1993. ODU has already beaten teams from the SEC (Georgia), and the BIG EAST (DePaul) this season.
Both teams were ice cold from the floor, shooting 33.3% for the game. ODU overcame an off night from the floor by converting 81% of their 21 second half free-throw attempts. The Monarchs also committed only 12 turnovers to Virginia Tech's 17, and outblocked the Hokies 11-5
Sophomore Brian Henderson (Richmond, VA) grabbed a career-high 8 rebounds and also blocked a shot. Junior guard Drew Williamson (Burlington, NC) dished out eight assists. Loughton contributed 12 points, five rebounds, and two blocks for the Monarchs.
Gordon and Zowdell both scored 18 points to pace the Hokies. Washington grabbed 11 rebounds in the losing effort.
ODU returns to conference action Tuesday night as they host UNC-Wilmington at the Constant Center. Tip off is slated for 7:00 p.m. Thursday night, the Monarchs will take to the road to face conference rival Towson at 7:30 p.m.