NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- It had everything that an in-state rivalry should include- rowdy fans, lead changes, energy. For the the 7,919 fans at Chartway Arena, however, the only thing missing was an Old Dominion victory.
Some Monarch missteps and key three pointers from VCU down the stretch led to a 75-66 Rams win on Saturday night, dropping ODU's record to 5-6 on the season. The Monarchs have lost eight of the last 10 match-ups with their rival from Richmond.
Things looked good early on for the silver and blue. C.J. Keyser's lay-up fell and he was fouled, sinking the free throw to give Old Dominion the 24-13 lead with 10:56 to play. The Rams would trim it to two, but the Monarchs went into the locker room holding a 37-31 lead.
VCU charged out of the gate in the second half on a 9-1 run, capped off by a Vince Williams three pointer to put the Rams in front and the two teams played a tight game for most of the frame. Austin Trice threw down a thunderous dunk to give ODU the 51-50 lead, but was whistled for a technical foul after celebrating, giving him his third foul of the game.
Williams' driving lay-up with 7:05 remaining gave VCU a 57-55 lead and the Rams would never look back. Four big three-pointers, two by Marcus Tsohonis, helped the black and gold pull away and go on for the nine point win.
Trice led the Monarchs with 16 points off the bench and also pulled down nine rebounds. Keyser scored 14 points, while Kalu Ezikpe added 11 points and Mekhi Long chipped in 10 points. Williams and Levi Stockard paced VCU with 16 points each.
ODU connected on just one of its nine three point attempts on Saturday night.
The Monarchs will be back in action next Sunday when they travel to Richmond to face another in-state foe. Tip-off with the Spiders is set for 4:00 PM.