NORFOLK, Va. - After falling from first place, the Old Dominion men's basketball team is back atop the Conference USA standings - and wants to stay a while.
The Monarchs have won 10 of their last 11 games. The lone loss? A 75-68 defeat to Western Kentucky on January 11th in a first-place showdown in Norfolk. The loss dropped ODU from its perch atop the league.
However, because WKU lost at Middle Tennessee Saturday, Old Dominion is back in a virtual tie for first place with MTSU and Western.
Before hosting Middle Tennessee Thursday (February 1st), the Monarchs play at Charlotte Saturday. Unlike ODU and MTSU, the 49ers are not in first place. In fact, Charlotte, at 1-and-6 in the league, is tied for last place.
"This is the definition of a trap game," admitted ODU guard B.J. Stith - the team's leading scorer. "Just because Charlotte is having a down year, Charlotte is still our rival. They still have a really good program."
With a 6-and-1 league record, Old Dominion is off to its best ever start in Conference USA.
"If we're there in first place, then the Charlotte game matters if we want to stay in first place," head coach Jeff Jones said when asked about the potential of ODU's tilt with Charlotte being a trap game. "It's simple. It ain't rocket science. You have to keep winning."
The Monarchs play at Charlotte Saturday at 7:00 p.m. They then host Middle Tennessee at 8:00 p.m. February 1st in what should be a battle to remain in first place.