HOUSTON, Texas ( ODUSports.com) – Malik Curry’s 20 points, seven steals and five rebounds lifted the Old Dominion men's basketball team (8-4, 4-2 C-USA) over Rice (10-4, 4-2 C-USA) by a 61-58 score on Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
With five seconds remaining in regulation and the Monarchs up by one, 59-58, Rice’s Travis Evee missed two free-throws; Curry hauled down the defensive rebound and then sealed the deal at the charity stripe with two made free-throws.
ODU started the second half on an 11-3 run to claim a 14-point lead (41-27) at the 14:27 mark of the second half. The Owls responded with a 29-11 run, taking a 56-52 lead with 4:40 to play. The contest then experienced three lead changes and one tie, before Curry scored six of the game’s last eight points, including a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line.
Also in double-figures for the Monarchs was Xavier Green, who finished with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Kalu Ezikpe and Jaylin Hunter each chipped in eight points, while Austin Trice went for seven points and nine rebounds.
“First of all, we are really happy with this victory,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “Our defense was outstanding and we were tremendous on the boards. We didn’t come apart when Rice made their run and we ended up making enough plays and free-throws to squeak out this big road win.”
For the game, ODU held a 28-14 edge for points in the paint. The Monarchs led for 32:36 of the possible 40 minutes, while Rice held a lead for 4:12 and the game was tied for 3:13. In all, the contest experienced six lead changes and three ties.
At the half, Old Dominion held a six-point advantage, 30-24, as the Monarchs were led by Curry’s eight points and four steals. Trice followed with seven points and six rebounds. ODU held the Owls to 33% (7-21) shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The Monarchs held advantages for points in the paint (16-2) and bench points (12-3) in the first half.