ODU Wins Historic Game at WKU, 59-56; Freeman Records 2,000+ Career Pts
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – In a contest which endured 15 lead changes, ODU guard Trey Freeman recorded over 2,000 career points as he poured in a game-high 26 to lead the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (15-11, 8-5 C-USA) over Western Kentucky (12-14, 4-9 C-USA) by a 59-56 score on Thursday night at E.A. Diddle Arena. The win marked the first time that the Monarchs have taken down Hilltoppers in Bowling Green since 1988.
With 7:47 to play, Western Kentucky extended its lead to 49-44. The Monarchs later went on an 8-1 run, giving ODU a 52-50 lead with 3:55 left, but WKU answered with six unanswered points to take a 56-52 lead with 2:11 left in regulation. Aaron Bacote then drilled a three to bring Old Dominion within one, 56-55, with 1:25 to play.
With 31 seconds remaining in regulation, Trey Freeman connected on a deep contested two-pointer to give Old Dominion a 57-56 lead, in which the Monarchs would not relinquish.
Old Dominion’s defense got the stop it needed, before Freeman sealed the deal at the charity stripe, giving the Monarchs a 59-56 victory in Bowling Green on Thursday night. ODU is now 5-1 on the road in conference play, which leads Conference USA.
Freeman entered the contest with 1,997 career points, giving the redshirt senior captain 2,023 entering Saturday’s ballgame at Marshall. Freeman also dished out a game-high four assists.
Brandan Stith finished with 16 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and a game-high five blocks. The Monarchs shot 53.6% (15-28) from the floor in the second half, while holding Western Kentucky to 31.8% (7-22) shooting in the first half.
ODU held a 15-3 advantage for points off turnovers for the contest. Along with 15 lead changes, the game also experienced a total of eight ties. Old Dominion held a lead for 19:40, Western Kentucky led for 14:40, while the game was tied for 5:40.
Marlon Hunter paced the Hilltoppers with 15 points, while Aleksej Rostov and Frederick Edmond each chipped in 10, respectively.
The Hilltoppers started the second half on 14-6 run to take a 37-32 lead with 15:33 to play. The Monarchs drilled five of six field goals to claim 42-41 advantage at the 10:54 mark.
Trey Freeman scored points 2,000 and 2,001 with 11:03 to play in the first half to give Old Dominion a 14-11 lead.
The Monarchs extended its lead to 24-17 with 4:08 to play in the opening half, before claiming a 26-23 lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime. In the opening 20 minutes of action, Brandan Stith stole the show, recording a double-double with a half-high 10 points and half-high 10 rebounds to compliment a half-high three blocks.
The first half experienced seven lead changes and four ties. Old Dominion held a 14-6 advantage for points in the paint. The Monarchs led for a total of 14:19 of the 20 possible minutes.
NEXT UP FOR THE MONARCHS
Old Dominion will remain on the road for a Saturday showdown contest in Huntington, W.V. against Marshall. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST. On Jan. 23, the Thundering Herd defeated the Monarchs 78-75.
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