NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) – The Old Dominion University men's basketball team opens Conference USA action this week starting on Thursday night at 7 p.m. when they face the FIU Panthers to start a two-game swing in south Florida.
Game two for the Monarchs will have them in Boca Raton, Florida where they'll face the Owls of Florida Atlantic University on January 1 at 4 p.m. Both games of the Florida swing will be streamed on CUSA.tv.
Old Dominion enters conference play with a 5-8 record after a tough 82-80 loss to College of Charleston on December 22. C.J. Keyser had a season-high 26 points to lead the Monarchs, while Kalu Ezikpe added 19 points and nine rebounds and Jaylin Hunter chipped in 11 points.
FIU (8-3) will be playing its first game coming off a COVID pause, having last seen action on December 15 losing to Jacksonville State 66-59. They previously lost a four OT thriller to Eastern Michigan 92-88 on Dec. 11.
Florida Atlantic (7-6) will open conference play on Thursday night hosting Charlotte before taking on the Monarchs. The Owls have lost two of their last three games dropping decisions to VCU (66-46) and High Point (55-52).
ODU leads the all-time series 8-2 with FIU as all the meetings having taken place since ODU joined Conference USA. These teams split meetings last season at FIU with the Panthers winning the opener 82-67 and ODU taking a 71-66 win in day two.
Against Florida Atlantic, Old Dominion leads the all-time series 11-3. The Monarchs have won four of the last five against the Owls including an opening weekend sweep last year. ODU won the opener 71-67 and took game two 64-55 at Chartway Arena. Since joining Conference USA, ODU leads the series 10-3.
The Monarchs start conference play having lost its last three games, all by single digits. Keyser leads the team in scoring averaging 14.2 points per game, while Ezikpe is averaging 12.1 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds per contest. Hunter is just behind at 9.5 points, 4.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. Austin Trice averages 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, while Mekhi Long is chipping in 8.3 points and is second in rebounds at 6.2 per contest.
Tevin Brewer leads FIU in scoring averaging 16 points per game to lead three in double figures. Daniel Parrish is next at 15 points per game and Denver Jones follows at 11.4 per game. Clevon Brown is just off the double figures mark at 9.8 per game, but leads the team in rebounds at 6.3 per game. Isaiah Banks is next in rebounding at 4.5 per game, while Brewer is just behind at 4.4 per contest.
ABOUT FLORIDA ATLANTIC
Michael Forest leads the Owls in scoring at 14.4 points per game to top three in double figures and is also second in assists with 38. Alijah Martin is second in scoring at 12.8 points per game and second in rebounds at 5.2 per contest. Bryan Greenlee rounds out the double figure scorers averaging 10.6 points per game and leads the team in assists with 48.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|3-PT FG% defense||.348||.260||.383|
The Monarchs will visit Charlotte for a 4 p.m. tip on January 8