ODU men's hoops opens C-USA play with 82-77 win over FIU, FAU game postponed

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Posted at 10:42 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 22:42:38-05

UNIVERSITY GARDENS, Fla. ( -- 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.

Charles Smith IV made a 3-pointer off a D'Angelo Stines feed with 32 seconds later to put the Monarchs up 17-15 for an advantage they never relinquished.

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.