HOUSTON, Texas (ODU Media Relations) – The Old Dominion men's basketball team (11-15, 7-6 C-USA) took down Rice (12-14, 4-9 C-USA) by a 73-70 score on Thursday night at Tudor Fieldhouse. Malik Curry poured in game-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. Joe Reece followed with a career-high 19 points (8-11 FG), to compliment five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Also in double-figures for ODU was A.J. Oliver II, who finished with 14 points, a career-high 10 rebounds and three assists.
After trailing 32-22 with 3:59 left in the first half, ODU responded with a 34-13 run, claiming a 56-45 lead with 11:35 to play in the second half. The Owls returned the favor with a 9-2 run of their own, trimming their deficit to four, 58-54, at the 6:32 mark. The Monarchs answered right back with an 8-2 run, ballooning their lead back to double-digits, 66-56, with 2:41 remaining in regulation.
Rice again countered, ending the contest on a 14-7 run to pull within three; however, both of its last second three-point attempts were not close as ODU left Houston with a three-point victory on Thursday night.
"I told the guys earlier today, that we have never lost in this building, but every game seems to be a dog fight," said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. "We didn't play all that well, but we found a way to win. I'd rather not play well and win than play well and lose. It wasn't pretty, but we will take it."
For the game, ODU held advantages for points in the paint (38-28), fast break points (12-4) and points off turnovers (11-3). Old Dominion shot 51.9% (14-27) from the floor in the second half.
The Monarchs ended the first half on an 8-2 run, making it a four-point ballgame, 34-30, at halftime. Curry turned in a half-high 11 points and a half-high six boards, while Reece followed with nine points on 4-6 shooting from the floor.
Old Dominion will return to the hardwood on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET, when the Monarchs take on North Texas in Denton on ESPNU.