MIAMI, Fla. (ODUSports.com) – Malik Curry led the way with 27 points, five steals, two rebounds and two assists as the Old Dominion men's basketball team (5-3, 1-1 C-USA) took down FIU (7-3, 1-1 C-USA) by an 71-66 score on Saturday afternoon at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
The Monarchs largest lead, 42-29, came with 16:09 left in the second half. The Panthers clawed back to claim a 61-59 advantage with 1:53 remaining in regulation; however, ODU would score the game's next eight points, highlighted by an A.J. Oliver II three-pointer with 38 seconds to play.
Ultimately, Old Dominion would end the game on a 12-5 run, which included a perfect 9-9 shooting from the charity stripe to seal the deal on ODU's five-point victory in Miami on Saturday afternoon.
For the game, ODU forced 25 FIU turnovers, which led to a 29-12 advantage for points off turnovers.
Joining Curry in double-figures was Oliver II, who went for 14 points and hauled down four rebounds.
"I think any team could've folded, it would have been human to hang our heads when FIU made its run," said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. "As I told our team yesterday, we need to learn how to win tough games. We had energy, we battled and we had a sense of urgency. Last night I thought we got outworked, but that wasn't the case today. This is a terrific win. I am very happy with the guys."
The Monarchs claimed a 33-22 lead at halftime, led by Curry's 18 points (7-10 FG, 2-3 3PT) and five steals. Old Dominion's defense forced 15 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, while holding FIU to 32% (9-28) shooting from the floor. The 22 points were the fewest scored by the Panthers in a half this season.
Old Dominion will return to the hardwood on Friday, Jan. 8, when the Monarchs welcome Florida Atlantic to Chartway Arena for a 7:00 p.m. EST tip. Friday night's contest will be streamed on ESPN+.