Monarchs' comeback attempt falls short in non-conference finale

Austin Trice
Posted at 11:13 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 23:13:56-05

NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- It's been the story for Old Dominion over the course of its last three games- close, but not close enough.

The Monarchs erased a 12-point deficit late in the second half, but C.J. Keyser's three point attempt in the final seconds was off the mark, giving College of Charleston the 82-80 victory.

Babacar Faye's free throws gave the Cougars a 64-52 advantage with 10:02 to play, but the Monarchs went to work. A 9-0 run trimmed the Charleston lead to a single point with 3:37 remaining. Kalu Ezikpe's jumper with 1:56 left put ODU in front briefly, but Faye's jumper with 27 seconds remaining put the Cougars back in front.

Rebounds played a key part in this match-up, as College of Charleston won the battle of the boards, 46-32, including a 19-6 lopsided advantage on the offensive glass. The Cougars took advantage with 22 second-chance points to just five for Old Dominion. They also outscored the Monarchs in the paint, 40-14.

Another big factor was free throws. ODU attempted 46 foul shots on Wednesday night, more than double its average of 21 free throws per game. The Monarchs connected on 34 of them.

Keyser paced all scorers with 26 points, while Kalu Ezikpe added 19 points and nine rebounds. Jaylin Hunter rounded out the Monarchs in double figures with 11 points.

Old Dominion ends its non-conference schedule 5-8 and will open Conference USA play on December 30 at Florida International. The Monarchs will be back home on January 13 for a match-up with Texas- San Antonio.