ODU men’s hoops never trails against North Texas in pivotal Conference USA tilt

Posted at 10:57 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 22:57:32-05

NORFOLK, Va. ( - The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (17-6, 7-3 C-USA) earned a wire-to-wire victory over North Texas (18-4, 6-3 C-USA) by a 72-61 score on Thursday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. ODU’s bench outscored UNT’s 34-4.

ODU mens hoops

The Monarchs led for 39:37 of the possible 40 minutes, while the game was tied for the other 23 seconds. Old Dominion has now won 15 of its last 18 ballgames.

Justice Kithcart’s third three-pointer of the contest extended ODU’s lead to 14, 64-50, with 5:50 remaining in regulation, before the Monarchs ultimately cruised to an 11-point victory on Thursday night in Norfolk.

“Obviously, this was a nice bounce back performance,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “We were very consistent and tough from the beginning of the game. And we never blinked. We played very good team defense tonight. This is a good win against a good team. We need to continue to do this on a game-by-game basis.”

Kithcart paced the Monarchs with 13 points (5-6 FG, 3-3 3PT) and four rebounds. Kalu Ezikpe tied his career high of 12 points on 4-6 shooting from the floor, to go along with six rebounds and a career high three blocked shots. B.J. Stith also finished with 12 points, respectively. Xavier Green chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

For the game, ODU connected on 47.2% (25-53) from the field. Old Dominion held the Mean Green to 26.7% (8-30) shooting from three-point range for the contest.

The Monarchs claimed a 36-28 advantage at the half behind Elbert Robinson III (4-4 FG in 6 minutes) and Justice Kithcart (2-2 3P), who each scored eight points in the opening 20 minutes. ODU’s bench outscored UNT’s 16-0 in the first half.

Old Dominion will return to the hardwood on Saturday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m., when the Monarchs welcome Rice to the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Saturday night’s game will stream on ESPN+.