NORFOLK, Va. – The Old Dominion University men’s basketball team (11-6, 4-1 C-USA) used its defense to put Southern Miss (5-11, 2-2 C-USA) away and claim a 54-50 victory on Thursday night at the Constant Convocation Center. ODU led for 36:17 of the possible 40 minutes. The Monarchs have now won four of their last five and six of their last eight contests.
A Michael Ramey three-pointer brought the Golden Eagles within two, 49-47, with 58 seconds remaining in regulation. Old Dominion answered with five consecutive free-throws to take a seven point lead with seven seconds left to ultimately claim the four point win on Thursday night.
“It is great to win,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “For 38 minutes tonight, I thought our defense was really good; we were terrific on that end of the floor, so that is a credit to our guys for sticking together. I also thought our effort was pretty good tonight.”
B.J. Stith (8-9 FT’s) scored 12 of his game-high 14 points in the second half to go along with eight rebounds. Ahmad Caver (seven rebounds) and Zoran Talley (three rebounds and three assists) each scored 12 points. Denzell Taylor hauled down a game-high nine rebounds to compliment three assist and two points.
For the game, the Monarchs held advantages in rebounds (43-28), offensive rebounds (14-5), points in the paint (20-12) and second chance points (12-6).
Thursday night marked the 10th time ODU has held an opponent to 60 points or under and sixth time this season an opponent has scored 50 or less.
Southern Miss was held to 35.3% (18-51) shooting from the floor and 29.6% shooting from deep for the contest.
The opening 20 minutes was a game of runs, as ODU jumped out to an early 9-0 advantage, before the Golden Eagles responded with a 9-0 run of their own. Southern Miss ended the first half on a 7-0 run, but the Monarchs claimed a 25-24 lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime, behind a half-high nine points from Ahmad Caver as he went 3-4 from three-point range.