NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Physicality and aggressiveness are two things that Old Dominion head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones stressed during the preseason. Both were on display during the Monarchs' season opener on Tuesday night.
ODU forced South Carolina State into 35 turnovers and got contributions from up and down the roster, topping the Bulldogs, 80-52.
Iggy Allen and Ajah Wayne scored 15 points each to pace Old Dominion, leading all five Monarch starters in double figures. The Monarchs led wire-to-wire in their first regular season game since March of 2020 that featured no-limit capacity at Chartway Arena.
ODU set the tone from the get-go, opening on an 11-0 run and never looking back. Milton-Jones and company would hold a 48-25 advantage at the break and 14 players on the roster saw minutes on Tuesday. Among the 35 turnovers forced by the silver and blue were 19 steals.
2021-2022 got off to a much better start than last season. The Monarchs fell at George Washington to open Milton-Jones's first campaign at the head of the program, but bounced back to post a 13-11 record. Expectations are much higher for this season, as ODU is picked to finish second in Conference USA.
Old Dominion is back in action on Sunday when Auburn visits Chartway Arena for a 2:00 PM tip-off. The Tigers are the first of two Power Five squads the Monarchs will face during their non-conference slate (Texas Tech).