NORFOLK, VA—ODU newcomers Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va.) scored a game high 23 points and Jonathan Arledge (Silver Spring, MD.) added 19 points with nine rebounds to lead the Monarchs to a 76-56 season opening win over UNC Wilmington Saturday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
UNCW led the entire first half, and by as much as nine, 18-9 with 9:49 left in the half, but the Monarchs cut the lead to four, 32-28 at halftime.
In the second half, the Monarchs tied the contest at 32-32 on two free throws by Freeman with 18:12 left. Sophomore forward Denzell Taylor tied the game again at 34-34 at the 16:58 mark and after Freeman scored six straight points, the Monarchs took the lead for good at 42-40 with 12:39 left. Sophomore Jordan Baker (Hampton, VA.) then nailed a three-pointer, followed by back-to-back treys from sophomore Ambrose Mosley (Jacksonville, FL.) and the Monarchs were up nine, 51-42 with 11:06 left. In all, after the 40-40 tie, ODU finished the game on a 36-16 run.
Arledge, a graduate student who came to ODU from George Mason hit seven-of-14 shots from the field along with nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Freeman, a junior who came to ODU from Campbell hit seven-of-nine shots from the field and eight-for-eight from the line to go with his 23 points, four assists and a steal.
ODU sophomore forward Denzell Taylor (Ontario, Canada) hauled down a career high tying 12 rebounds, along with two of ODU’s nine blocked shots. Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, TX.) swatted five and Arledge added two.
The Monarchs finished the game, shooting .473 from the field (26-55) after only shooting .333 (9-27) in the first half. The Monarchs shot a blistering .607 (17-28) in the second half. UNCW shot .321 (18-56) for the entire game. ODU also outrebounded the Seahawks, 45-28 and dished out 16 assists. Nine of the 11 Monarchs who played scored.
The Monarchs return to action Tuesday night when they host Richmond at 8 p.m. in a televised contest by the American Sports Network.