SYRACUSE, N.Y. (ODUSports.com) - The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (8-3) erased a 13-point first half deficit and took down No. 25 nationally ranked Syracuse (7-3) by a 68-62 score on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. ODU outscored SU 45-29 in the second half.
After trailing by 10 at the half, ODU opened the second half on an 18-8 run to tie the contest at 41-41 with 10:19 to play. A Caver three gave Old Dominion a 51-50 advantage with 5:27 left. Three Stith free-throws followed by a five straight points from Green gave the Monarchs the lead back, 59-54, at the 2:47 mark. The Orange would pull within two, 59-57, with 2:02 remaining in regulation, but would get no closer as the Monarchs sealed the deal at the charity stripe, going 5-6 down the stretch to ultimately lift ODU to a six-point victory.
Saturday marked the Monarchs first win over a ranked team since Nov. 19, 2014, when ODU defeated No. 14 VCU, 73-67. Saturday also marked Old Dominion’s first road win over a ranked team since Nov. 19, 2006, when the Monarchs were too much for No. 8 Georgetown, 75-62.
“This is certainly a good win for our team,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “We battled throughout the game. Syracuse is a very talented and very good basketball team. We knew it would not be easy.”
After a scoreless first half, B.J. Stith poured in 18 second half points to compliment 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal for the contest. With the 18 points, Stith landed exactly on 1,000 points for his collegiate career. Xavier Green scored a season-high 15 points (6-9 FG, 3-4 3PT), to go along with two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Marquis Godwin finished with 11 points, while Ahmad Caver chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
ODU’s defense held the Orange to 28.0% (7-25) shooting from the floor in the second half and 33.3% (4-12) from deep. The game experienced six ties and five lead changes. ODU led for a total of 4:23, Cuse led for 29:55, while the game was tied for 5:29. For the game, Old Dominion held advantages for points in the paint (22-10), second chance points (11-0) and bench points (15-6).
“We really started to believe we could win in the second half,” said Jones. “I thought we played good defense throughout the game and never got too high or too low. This is a very tough place to play as the opposing team.”
The Orange ended the first half on a 12-3 run and claimed a 33-23 lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime. The Monarchs were led by Green’s six first half points on 2-3 shooting from deep.
Old Dominion will remain on the road on Wednesday, Dec. 19, when the Monarchs will take on Richmond at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night’s game will air on ESPN+.