UNIVERSITY GARDENS, Fla. (ODUSports.com) -- Austin Trice recorded a season high 25 points and hauled in nine rebounds to lead three in double figures as Old Dominion scored an 82-77 win over FIU to open Conference USA play on Thursday night.
"A well-balanced effort, offensively and defensively tonight with so many people standing out," said ODU Head Coach Jeff Jones. "When we put pieces together like that you can get a good idea of what we can be. "
C.J. Keyser scored the first five points as his 3-pointer gave the Monarchs a 5-0 lead just 63 seconds into the contest. FIU tied it twice in the first nine minutes and took their only lead of the game with 11:59 left as Denver Jones made a layup to put the Panthers up 15-14.
Trice closed the first half for ODU scoring 12 of their final 16 points as he dunked an offensive rebound off a Mekhi Long miss to put ODU up 44-39 with 13 seconds left in the half.
In the second half, the Panthers cut the lead to two twice, the last being on a Seth Pinkney layup with 18:25 remaining to trail 46-44. ODU went on an 11-2 run as Long hit a 3-pointer to lead 57-46 with 14:22 left.
Trice was 10-of-11 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line for his 25 points. He also had a career-high and team best four assists in the win. Keyser was next with 16 points, while Long had 14 points and a career-best 13 rebounds to lead the Monarchs in double figures.
As a team, ODU hit a season-high 57.9% from the field (33-57) and held a 36-24 advantage on the boards.
Saturday's scheduled contest at Florida Atlantic was postponed due to contact tracing among the FAU team, so the next scheduled game is Jan. 8 at Charlotte for a 4 p.m. tip.