HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (18-5, 9-2 C-USA) handed the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (12-13, 5-7 C-USA) its first home loss of the season by a 68-63 score on Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum. The Monarchs improved to 18-5 overall and 9-2 in conference play. ODU has won six of its last seven and 13 of its last 15 contests.
After trailing as many as 11 in the first half, a 13-0 ODU run gave the Monarchs their first lead of the second half, 50-48, with 12:30 showing on the game-clock. USM answered with an 8-2 run to take a 56-52 lead at the 7:32 mark, before ODU answered back with a 5-0 run, taking a one-point lead (57-56) with 4:59 remaining.
A Brandan Stith layup in traffic gave Old Dominion a 64-61 advantage with the 2:10 to play. Cortez Edwards answered with a floater to cut the Golden Eagles deficit to one (64-63) with 30 seconds to play; 10 seconds later B.J. Stith put the Monarchs back up three (66-63) with a floater in the lane at the 20-second mark. The ODU defense would force a Golden Eagles missed three-pointer, in which Brandan Stith hauled down the rebound, before getting fouled and hitting both his free-throws to seal the deal in ODU’s 68-63 victory.
“We are thrilled to get this win and have our guys bounce back especially when seemingly everything was going against us like the way Southern Miss was shooting and our foul trouble,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “Somehow, someway we were able to pull this out. If there was going to be a game for us to be hanging our heads at halftime, this would’ve been it, but our guys kept their heads up and figured it out. Our guys never gave up.”
B.J. Stith recorded a game-high 19 points (4-7 3PT), to go along with seven rebounds. Marquis Godwin entered the game with 13 points scored for the season, but on Thursday night he went for a career-high 12 points on 4-5 shooting from deep. Ahmad Caver scored 11 points (3-6 3PT) and dished out a team-high seven assists. In 18 minutes of work, Brandan Stith finished with 10 points (6-6 FT) and grabbed five rebounds. Randy Haynes hauled down a game-high nine rebounds to compliment seven points and two assists.
“Marquis gave us a big, big lift, not just shooting but at the top of the zone as well,” Jones explained. “He made the most of his opportunities tonight.”
For the game, Old Dominion connected on 70.6% (12-17) from the charity stripe.
The Golden Eagles claimed the largest lead of the opening half, 27-16 before taking a 39-30 advantage with them into the locker rooms at halftime. B.J. Stith poured in a half high 14 points (5-8 FG, 3-5 3PT) in 17 minutes of work. Southern Miss shot 73% (16-22) from the floor in the first half.
Old Dominion will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 10 in Ruston, La., where the Monarchs will take on LA Tech for 7:00 p.m. EST tip, which will air on exclusively on Facebook Live via Stadium.
“Physically preparing for Saturday’s game against LA Tech, we will be smart and we will be ready,” Jones concluded. “We really need to recharge mentally and get ready for a tough LA Tech team.”