Southern Auto

Monarchs Streak Clipped By Delaware, 64-62

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 17, 2004
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Jan. 17, 2004

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NEWARK, DE - Mike Ames buried a three-pointer from the left corner with just 1.8 seconds left to play to complete a wild comeback for the University of Delaware as the Blue Hens handed Old Dominion its first Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball loss of the season with a 64-62 victory Saturday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Four Monarchs ended with 11 points each. They were John Waller, Arnaud Dahi, Alex Loughton, and Troy Nance. The Monarchs made only five field goals in the second half (5-23.)

Ames, a senior guard who was coming off back-to-back efforts of 28 points vs. James Madison Monday and 30 points vs. Drexel Thursday, completed the stellar week as he scored a game-high 18 points and rallied the Hens after trailing by 12 points with 12:28 left to play. His game-winning three-pointer was the 200th of his career.

Delaware, which hit on 11 of its final 16 shots from the field, improved to 9-6, 3-3 CAA despite having just one player (Ames) score in double figures. Henry Olawoye and David Lunn (six rebounds) each scored seven points off the bench while the Hens' other four starters each netted six points.

League-leading Old Dominion, which had a seven-game win streak snapped and lost its first conference game of the season to fall to 9-5 (4-1), had a chance to win the game but center Alex Loughton's 25-footer at the buzzer bounced out. Loughton, ODU's leading scorer at 18.5 points per game, sat out most of the second half due to foul trouble and finished with 11 points and pulled six rebounds. The Hens rallied back to win from a double-digit halftime deficit for the second time this season but for just the fourth time since the 1980-81 season. The Hens won their season opener over Mt. St. Mary's 75-72 in overtime Nov. 21 despite trailing by 10 at the break.

Delaware shot just 29.2 percent from the field (7 of 24) and committed 10 turnovers as Old Dominion jumped out to a 37-25 lead at halftime. The Monarchs stayed in front by double digits for most of the second half, going up by as much as 12 points at 50-38 as Valdas Vasylius converted four straight free throws, the last two with 12:28 remaining.

But Old Dominion's offense went cold and Delaware responded. With Loughton, and freshman forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast) on the bench with four fouls, the Monarchs went one stretch of just over 12 minutes without converting a field goal. After Nance hit a three-pointer with 14:25 left for a 46-34 lead, Old Dominion could manage just eight free throws until Dahi nailed a three-pointer with 2:22 left to tie the score at 57-57. The Monarchs missed 12 straight shots during the drought.

Delaware took full advantage of the Monarchs' poor shooting. After ODU took the 50-38 lead with 12:28 remaining, Delaware scored 16 of the next 20 points to gain the first tie of the half at 54-54 with 4:50 left to play.

After Dahi's three-pointer tied the game again at 57-57 with 2:22 left, Ames answered with a three-pointer of his own to give Delaware a 60-57 advantage with 1:46 left. But Nance came up big for ODU, hitting two free throws and nailing a three-pointer from the top of the key in a span of just 38 seconds to put the Monarchs back up 62-60 with 1:05 remaining. Delaware's Lunn hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to 62-61 and the Hens followed with a big stop when Dahi missed a jumper with 20 seconds left. That set up the winning shot by Ames, who took a feed from Mike Slattery and nailed the game-winning three-pointer from the left corner.

ODU returns to action on Wednesday night when they host rival VCU at 7 p.m. in the Constant Center.

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