CHARLOTTE, N.C. (ODUSports.com) – A Malik Curry layup with 1.7 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Old Dominion men's basketball team (10-5, 6-3 C-USA) over Charlotte (9-10, 5-6 C-USA) by a 78-76 score on Wednesday night at Halton Arena. Curry finished with 21 points, five assists and four rebounds, while teammate Kalu Ezikpe poured in a career-high 22 points (10-11 FG) to compliment four blocks, four rebounds and three steals. For the game, the Monarchs shot 61.7% from the floor.
Trailing by two with 41 seconds remaining in regulation, ODU’s A.J. Oliver II tied the game with a lay-in to force overtime. In overtime, the 49ers claimed three different two-point leads, only to have the Monarchs force three ties on ensuing possessions. The third tie was broken with Curry’s contested layup with 1.7 seconds left. Old Dominion’s defense would force a steal as time expired, sealing the deal on the Monarchs two-point victory in Charlotte on Wednesday night.
Joining Ezikpe and Curry in double-figures was Austin Trice, who went for 12 points, four rebounds, two steals and one block. In all, the game experienced 11 ties and seven lead changes. The Monarchs held a 46-32 advantage for points in the paint for the contest.
“We are very happy to win this one, we definitely had to gut it out,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “I thought we played really hard and defensively we got some big stops. We have a long bus trip back tonight, but winning this one will make it feel a heck of a lot better.”
In a first half that Old Dominion trailed by as many as nine, ODU went into the locker room down by four, 41-37, as the Monarchs were led by Ezikpe’s 14 points on 6-6 shooting from the floor. The 49ers connected on 67% (6-9) of their three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes.
Old Dominion will return to the hardwood on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 4:00 p.m., when the Monarchs welcome Charlotte to Chartway Arena. Saturday afternoon’s game will stream on ESPN+.