Monarchs Win Season Opener, Defeating South Alabama 63-55
By ODU Athletics
Nov. 20, 2004
NORFOLK, VA -Sophomore forward Valdas Vasylius (Klaipeda, Lithuania) had his first career double-double Saturday night, as the Old Dominion men's basketball team won their home opener, defeating the University of South Alabama 63-55 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Vasylius scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Monarch charge. Junior Forward Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia) chipped in 11 points during the game. ODU improves to 1-0 for the season, while South Alabama falls to 0-1.
The Monarchs grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first half, led by Valdas Vasylius' five points, before South Alabama found the basket at the 14:04 mark, to cut the lead to 7-2. Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast) answered back with a layup to bring ODU's lead back up to seven, 9-2. The Monarchs were about to stretch their lead out to 11 points, 19-8, by the 6:32 mark and extended the lead a point further--to 12 points--27-15 by the 4:22 mark of the half before the Jaguars went on a 9-3 run to cut the Monarch lead to just six, 30-24. The South Alabama run was capped by a Mario Jointer three-pointer. ODU answered back right before the half, as Kiah Thomas (Norfolk, VA/Granby) hit a three-pointer of his own to give ODU the 33-24 halftime lead.
South Alabama struck first in the second half, as Mario Jointer hit another three pointer to cut the ODU lead to 33-27. Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) hit a three-pointer for ODU, at the 18:00 minute mark of the second half, to give the Monarchs a nine point edge, 39-30, and ODU extended their lead once again to 12--42-30--at the 17:00 mark of the half, before the Jaguars went on a 13-2 run to cut the lead down to just one point, 44-43. Arnaud Dahi ended the run with a layup to give the Monarchs the 46-43 lead and Valdas Vasylius connected on four free throws to extend the ODU lead to seven points, 52-45, by the 8:00 mark of the half. South Alabama was able to cut the lead down to four points, 59-55, off another Mario Jointer three-pointer, but ODU shot four free throws to end the game, winning 63-55.
For the game, Valdas Vasylius led all scorers with 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Alex Loughton scored 11 points for the game. South Alabama's Mario Jointer had a team-high 14 points, connecting on four three-pointers, while Brandon Gordon was also in double-digits with 12 points. As a team, the Monarchs shot 22 of 56 for the game (39.3%). ODU made eight more free throws than South Alabama during the game.
The Monarchs will be back in action Monday night, when they host Kent State at 7:00. That game will be the first game of the Corpus Christi Challenge.