Men's Basketball Drops Season Opener To UNC, 59-67
By ODU Athletics
Nov. 24, 2002
NORFOLK, VA -- The Old Dominion men's basketball team dropped its season and home opener in front of a sellout crowd at the Ted Constant Convocation Center with a 59-67 loss to North Carolina this afternoon. The Monarchs were led by senior forward Rasheed Wright (Greensboro, NC) with 17 points, while senior forward Ricardo Marsh (Mebane, NC) and rookie center Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia) each chipped in 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Old Dominion drops to 0-1 on the season, while North Carolina improves to 3-0.
"We absorbed some real good play from UNC," said Old Dominion head coach Blaine Taylor. "I think we had the first game jitters but good players made good plays on their part. We have to make our shot. I was happy that we kept our composure."
The Monarchs opened the game 4-0, but the Tar Heels fought back with a 6-0 run to take the lead. North Carolina extended its lead to 15, 28-13, with 9:10 left in the first half on a 16-2 run before Old Dominion was able to cut away the deficit. Wright brought the Monarchs within seven, 30-23, with a three-pointer at the 4:50 mark. However, Old Dominion entered the locker rooms at the half down 26-37.
North Carolina built its lead to 45-34 with 15:47 off a Jawad Williams jumper, but from there, Old Dominion closed in. Marsh hit two free throws to close the gap to 48-41 and after the Tar Heels came back for a 13 point, 56-43 lead, Old Dominion was able to pull within five. Once again, Marsh's free throws helped close the gap, giving the Tar Heels just a five-point advantage, 56-51, with 5:58 to play. Points from the charity stripe by Rashad Cants and a three pointer by Melvin Scott helped seal the victory through the final minutes for North Carolina. Cants hit all four of his free throws while the rest of the Tar Heels allowed the Monarchs to net just five points in the final five minutes of play.
"It was a dangerous game -- scared me to death, and I was just really proud of our guys the way they played and come out of here with a win," said UNC head coach Matt Doherty. "I have a lot of respect for coach Taylor and the job they do. Again, I just would have felt blessed if we would have won by one in triple overtime."
The Monarch men's basketball team returns to action on Tuesday, November 26th at 7:00 p.m. when they host Campbell at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.