HUNTINGTON, WV (WTKR)- Thursday's showdown between Old Dominion and Marshall saw a very different script than when the teams met two weeks ago in Norfolk, as the Thundering Herd were not about to let the silver and blue sweep them away at home.
The Monarchs threw away an inbounds pass in the final seconds trailing by two and Marshall connected on the ensuing free-throws, as ODU fell, 67-63, in Huntington on Thursday night. The loss drops Old Dominion's record to 10-16, 5-8 in Conference USA and 3-9 in true road games.
Early on it looked as though Jeff Jones and company might put together a pretty good night. Austin Trice's lay-up at the 9:28 mark of the first half gave ODU a 19-13 lead, but the Herd charged back and took a 32-29 advantage into halftime.
Marshall would swell the lead to seven points in the second half, but Old Dominion would chip away. Mekhi Long's triple pushed the Monarchs back in front, 50-48, with 10:29 remaining in the game. The Thundering Herd would quickly respond and would cling to a lead heading down the stretch. Mikel Byers connected on a three-pointer with 2:59 to play to push Marshall's cushion to 63-58.
After a C.J. Keyser jumper and two free throws by Marshall's Andrew Taylor, the Monarchs trailed by five with 11 seconds remaining. Keyser connected on a triple with five ticks left on the clock and Taevion Kinsey missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving ODU the ball back with three seconds remaining and down two. Jaylin Hunter heaved the ball down-court, but it sailed over the heads of his teammates and out of bounds, giving the Herd the ball back, and Kinsey would ice it with two free throws.
Old Dominion won the battle of the boards, 46-38, and the battle in the paint, 30-26. However, Marshall showed its depth, outscoring the Monarch reserves, 17-5. The Herd took care of the ball as well, only committing eight turnovers.
Keyers led the way with a game-high 21 points, while Trice posted another monster night with 14 points and 19 rebounds. Mekhi Long scored 11 points and pulled down eight boards and Kalu Ezikpe grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with eight points. Marko Sarenac led four Marshall players in double figures with 16 points off the bench.
Old Dominion returns to action on Saturday when the Monarchs visit Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers outdueled ODU two weeks ago at Chartway Arena, 77-60.
On the women's side, ODU trailed by 10 at halftime but then fought its way back into the game with an 11-0 run to start the third quarter. That run gave ODU a brief 36-35 lead nearly four minutes into the third quarter.
Although the game remained close until the fourth quarter, Marshall led the rest of the way. The Thundering Herd opened the fourth quarter with four long jump shots, including 3-pointers from Kennedi Colclough and Aaliyah Dunham and blew the Monarchs out.
ODU made just three of 17 shots in the final period while Marshall made eight of 12, including three of four 3-point shots. Marshall led by as many as 19 points, and players and coaches turned the final minutes into something of a Herd pep rally, beating ODU 64-48.