NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Old Dominion spent about 48 hours chewing on a loss at James Madison. The Monarchs got back on track on Monday.
ODU shot 67 percent in the second half to pull away and roll past Manhattan, 79-58. The win improved the Monarchs' record to 2-1.
Jeff Jones watched his team get out to a slow start, scoring just 14 points in the first 10 minutes of the contest and finding itself in a seven point hole. That's when ODU began to find its stroke, taking a 35-30 lead into the break and catching fire in the second frame. The Monarchs took a double-digit lead at the 13:22 mark of the final half and never looked back.
"I didn't think coming out of the gates that we had the right mentality to play a talented Manhattan team," Jones said. "At some point I think I was able to get their attention and then I thought it was very methodical in terms of the way we kind of took control of the game and stretched the lead out."
Jones got his team's attention by benching three starters shortly after the game tipped off, saying he wasn't seeing his players come out as the aggressors. Once his team woke up, he was happy with what he saw.
"He made a couple of quick subs, which woke us up. I guess it worked," added sophomore guard Jaylin Hunter. "We've got to be a team that doesn't need that to be successful and I think that just comes with learning, knowing what Coach Jones wants."
Hunter and Austin Trice paced the Monarchs with 18 points each while Kalu Ezikpe chipped in 15 points. ODU went to work inside, scoring 42 points in the paint.
The silver and blue did a good job taking care of the basketball, only committing six turnovers on the night. Old Dominion also disrupted the Jaspers, coming away with 10 steals.
Next up for the Monarchs, a trip to South Carolina for the Myrtle Beach Invitational. They'll open with Indiana State on Thursday at 9:00 PM.
"That bus ride down there tomorrow would have been a really, really long one had we lost this," said Jones. "Winning this gets us back in the positive ledger and [we're] excited to get down to Myrtle Beach with a chance to play some really good basketball teams."
In addition to the Monarchs and Sycamores, East Carolina, Oklahoma, Davidson, New Mexico State, Utah State and Pennsylvania will compete in Myrtle Beach this week.