Men's Basketball Falls to UNC Wilmington, 62-59
By ODU Athletics
Norfolk, Va. -- The University of North Carolina-Wilmington staked their claim to the top spot in the CAA Tournament this evening with a 62-59 victory over the host Monarchs. With the win, Wilmington improves to 18-9, 11-5 CAA, and is guaranteed the top seed in next week's tournament. Old Dominion falls to 12-17, 7-9 CAA.
In a game that featured seven lead changes, it was the Seahawks who made the key plays down the stretch. Wilmington's last six points of the game came on free throws courtesy of Ed Williams and Barron Thelmon, but it was their defense that saved the effort in the waning moments. After guard Brett Blizzard missed two free throws with nine seconds remaining, Old Dominion took the ball down the court but could not get off the tying shot at the buzzer due to the swarming Seahawk defenders. Blizzard scored a game high 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Forward Ed Williams contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds for the win. Old Dominion, which lost for the first time at the ODU fieldhouse this year, was led by Andre McCullum's 15 points. Senior center Clifton Jones had another record setting evening, scoring 14 points and hauling in a new career best 23 rebounds. The 23 boards is the most for a Monarch since 1981, when Mark West recorded the same number. Jones' effort tonight also ties him for fourth best all-time in CAA history for single game rebounds. UNCW shot .453 from the field compared to Old Dominion's .451, but the Monarchs held a 39-27 advantage in rebounds.
Old Dominion will take on William and Mary in the first round of the CAA Tournament. Game time is 1:00 p.m. Saturday.