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Monarchs Lean On Lee For First Win of New Year

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 02, 2008
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Jan. 2, 2008

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NORFOLK, Va. -- Gerald Lee scored 20 points for the third time this season and just missed his second double-double of the year as ODU (7-7/2-0) dropped the Hofstra Pride (2-9/0-2), 75-54, in ODU's conference home opener. The win halts the Monarchs three-game slide and is the Hofstra's fourth straight loss. Lee scored 20, grabbed 9 boards and swatted six Pride shots in 34 minutes for ODU. Old Dominion improves to 2-0 in CAA play and returns to action on Saturday, January 5 as they host William & Mary at 8:00 pm.

ODU jumped to a quick 14-point lead in the first half, up 24-10 with 9:19 remaining. The Monarchs would be held to just one point for the next 5:29, though as the Pride clawed their way back into it. Greg Johnson hit a layup with 15 seconds remaining for the halftime score of 32-31 in favor of the home team

Neither team shot particularly well in the first frame, as ODU hit 37.5% on 12-32 shooting and just 2-8 from beyond the arc (.250). The Pride shot 33.0% from the field on 11-33 shooting, including just 1-6 from three-point land (.167).

Both teams employed a full court press for much of the game and it was ODU finally solving the Hofstra press that would be the difference. The Monarchs commited eight turnovers in the first half and lowered that total to just five in the second.

The press break led to 24 points on the fast break for ODU including two back-breaking dunks from senior Jonathan Adams that halted the final run for the Pride. Hofstra had cut the ODU lead to 12 when Brandon Johnson got the defensive rebound off a missed free-throw, ran the floor and found Adams underneath for the jam. The second would come on the next possession as Darius James gave up a sure layup for the assist on Adams' dunk.

Adams would hit a jumper on the next ODU posession, giving him a personal 6-0 run against the Pride to extend the lead to 16 with 5:33 remaining. As ODU slowed the clock, Johnson tried to find a teammate underneath and the ball was knocked away. With just two seconds left on the shot clock, Brian Henderson collected the ball and nailed a three-pointer from the corner as the buzzer sounded to give ODU its biggest lead of the game at 19 with under 5:00 remaining. The Monarchs would hold the lead for the rest of the game for the final count of 75-54.

ODU shot a tremendous 16-24 from the field in the second half (.667) while the Pride only managed 9-28 from the field (.321). Neither team improved greatly from beyond the arc as both teams combined to shoot just 7-27 from three-point land. ODU shot 50% from the field for the game on 28-56 shooting and the Pride shot 32.8% on 20-61 shooting.

The Monarchs forced 16 turnovers with 11 blocks and 10 steals, while the Pride forced 13 turnovers with three blocks and 10 steals. ODU held a slight edge with 21 points off turnovers to the Pride's 16.

Darren Townes led the Pride with a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Charles Jenkins also was in double figures for Hofstra with 15 points.

ODU was led by sophomore forward Gerald Lee with 20 points and nine rebounds. He added six blocks, three steals and three assists in the game. The six blocks are a career high and just one shy of the Ted Constant Center record set by Sam Harris in 2004 and again earlier this year against Toledo. Brian Henderson and Brandon Johnson also scored in double digits with 15 and 11 points respectively.

Old Dominion will return to the hardwood on Saturday as they host William & Mary at 8:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on COX11.

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