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Monarchs Defeat UNC-Wilmington 55-51 Wednesday Night

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 28, 2004
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Jan. 28, 2004

Box Score

NORFOLK, VA - Alex Loughton's 14 points and nine rebounds powered the Old Dominion men's basketball team to a 55-51 victory over UNC-Wilmington Wednesday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, to improve to 11-7 for the season and 6-3 in Colonial Athletic Association action. UNC-Wilmington drops to 10-8 and 6-4 in the CAA.

ODU started off the first half on fire, with Valdas Vasylius (Klaipeda, Lithuania), Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) and Troy Nance (Virginia Beach, VA) all hitting three-pointers, as the Monarchs grabbed a 9-0 lead early. UNC-Wilmington missed their first several shots before John Goldsberry connected on a lay-up at the 16:22 mark to give the Seahawks their first basket of the game. The basket cut the Monarch lead down to seven points, 9-2. ODU, then, scored the next seven points, capped by a three-pointer by John Waller (Richmond, VA) and a jumper by Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa), to extend their lead to 14 points, 16-2, with 14:08 remaining in the half. The Seahawks went on a brief 4-0 run to cut the Monarch lead to 10 points, 16-6, with 12:24 remaining in the half, before a Isaiah Hunter lay-up and a Valdas Vasylius free throw put the Monarchs back up by 13 points, 19-6, by the 11:28 mark. UNC-Wilmington cut the lead to nine points, 19-10, at the 9:52 mark, off consecutive baskets by Aaron Coombs, but lay-ups by Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia) and Dahi put ODU back up by 13 points, 25-12, with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half. The Monarchs were leading by 12 points, 28-16, with 2:29 left in the half, before Taylor Lay of UNC-Wilmington cut the lead to nine points, 28-19. A Alex Loughton lay-up ended the scoring for the half, with the Monarchs taking a 30-19 lead into the half.

John Goldsberry scored the first points of the second half for the Seahawks, as UNC-Wilmington cut the Monarch lead down to nine points, 30-21, 45 seconds into the half. Valdas Vasylius connected on a jumper for ODU to put the Monarchs back up by 11 points, 32-21, seconds later. By the 12:23 mark of the half, UNC-Wilmington had cut the ODU lead down to just six points, 35-29, but a John Waller jumper and a Drew Williamson (Burlington, NC) three-pointer put the Monarchs back up by 11 points, 40-29, with 10:30 remaining in the game. The Monarchs were still holding onto a 12-point advantage, 46-34, at the 5:52 mark of the half, before the Seahawks made a late charge, scoring the next eight points to make it a four-point game, 46-42, with just under five minutes left in the game. Four made free throws by UNC-Wilmington's John Goldsberry helped to cut the Monarch lead down to just two points, 48-46, with 3:39 remaining in the game before John Waller hit a three-pointer to increase the ODU lead to five points, 51-46, at the 3:21 mark. Ed Spencer answered right back for the Seahawks, however, with a three-pointer of his own to once again make it a two-point, 51-49, game. A dunk by Andy Gunn tied the game up for the first time all night, at 51 points all, with 2:12 left in the game. Alex Loughton connected on a lay-up seconds later to put the Monarchs back up 53-51 with just under two minutes to play. The Seahawks had possession of the ball for much of the rest of the game, as a series of time-outs, jump-balls and intense scrambling left the score at 53-51 in the closing seconds. UNC-Wilmington still held onto the ball with under 10 seconds to play, but Alex Loughton grabbed the ball and was fouled by John Goldsberry. Loughton was good on both free-throws to put the Monarchs up by four points, 55-51. The Seahawks were unable to put up a shot in the closing seconds of the game, securing the 55-51 victory for Old Dominion.

Old Dominion shot an impressive 53.8% (21-39) from the field Wednesday night, compared to just 29.7% (19-64) for UNC-Wilmington. Likewise, the Monarchs shot 46.7% (7-15) from three-point range, while the Seahawks shot only 16.7% (4-24). ODU was out-rebounded 37-33 for the game. Alex Loughton led all Monarch scorers with 14 points, and he grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. John Goldsberry of UNC-Wilmington was the high-scorer of the game, with 15 points. Ed Spencer added 10 points for the Seahawks.

ODU is back at home Saturday night, January 31, taking on the Tigers of Towson University at 7:00 PM. The Monarchs defeated the Tigers 70-49 on the road this past Saturday, January 24.

NOTE The 22 turnovers were the most since committing 25 against Charlotte on Dec. 6.

The 19 first half points by UNCW was the lowest by an ODU opponent. The previous Low was 20 by VMI.

QUOTES

Old Dominion University

Head Coach: Blaine Taylor "I'm really proud of my guys. They played tremendous defense tonight and held Wilmington to 29% in a very physical game. When we needed something, a shot, a block, our kids stepped up. Wilmington's style is one that you have to deal with. We accepted that and were ready to play basketball. They are the defending league champs and our kids found a way to win."

"We have a heavy investment and awareness. We are getting better, we're learning, and we're a team. Right now we are 6-3 in the conference. The last year or two we have been in the weight room, getting bigger so we can handle these kinds of games. Two out of the three games we lost were games physical games and down to the wire. I can definitely say the second half of the conference will be interesting."

On UNCW: "I have a lot of respect for their basketball program and the way they play. To their credit, their offensive rebounds kept them in the game. They are too good and too strong a program to think that you're going to get the lead and they are just going to go away."

Sophomore Forward, Alex Loughton "We went up hard as we could. We knew it was going to be a physical game and that there were a lot of rotations. They (UNCW) are very strong and disciplined. We came into a physical game tonight and we brought it on the court. It was a good win for us, especially in that type of game. We are excited to be on the court and back at home again."

University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Head Coach: Brad Brownwell "I would like to compliment Old Dominion and the way their kids came out ready to play. We had an awful first 20 minutes and sometimes we lack the leadership. We shot a lousy percentage and somehow we were still in the game. I told my kids, when we play like that, it's just not good enough to beat a good team. Our defense was good, not exactly where we wanted it, though."

"Last game we got a lot of good shots but we are just not making them right now, some of it has to do with selection. Bottom line, we need to get in the gym and shoot some more. We have had five games in ten days, but they are young kids and we needed to do a better job. We are such a young and inexperienced team and as a result, there is a lot of teaching going on at our practices."

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