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ODU men's basketball cruises to 72-53 victory over UTEP

ODU men’s basketball
Posted at 12:01 AM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 00:28:28-05

NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) – Five Monarchs scored in double-figures as the Old Dominion men's basketball team (10-15, 6-6 C-USA) cruised to a 72-53 victory over UTEP (13-12, 4-8 C-USA) on Saturday night at Chartway Arena in front of 6,820 fans. Kalu Ezikpe (15 points and 10 rebounds) and Aaron Carver (11 points and 14 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles. Malik Curry poured in a game-high 18 points, to compliment a career-high eight assists and four rebounds.

In a contest that ODU led for 36:30 of the possible 40 minutes, the Miners pulled within seven, 34-27, at the 18:11 mark of the second half, but would get no closer the rest of the way, as the Monarchs outscored UTEP 38-26 the rest of the way.

Joining Ezikpe, Carver and Curry in double-figures, were Xavier Green (13 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals) and Joe Reece (10 points, two rebounds and two assists).

"Man, it feels good to win," said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. "This feeling is a good one. A lot of different guys chipped in. I thought this performance was very workman-like. I'm real pleased with the win. This is a good night for ODU."

For the game, ODU held advantages for second chance points (19-7), as well as rebounds (41-34). Old Dominion's defense held the Miners to 38.2% (21-55) shooting from the floor and 27.3% (6-22) shooting from deep. ODU connected on 77.8% (14-18) of its free-throws for the contest.

The Monarchs claimed a 34-25 lead at halftime, behind a half-high 11 points from Green. Ezikpe followed with 10 points and five rebounds. ODU forced 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

Old Dominion will return to the hardwood on Thursday, Feb. 13, when the Monarchs travel to Houston for a showdown against Rice. Thursday night's game will tip at 8:00 p.m. ET.