ODU Off-Beat Against Middle Tennessee
Old Dominion (14-10, 7-5) took on C-USA defending champions Middle Tennessee (21-4, 11-1) at the Murphy Center Complex. It’s always tough to win on the road in conference play, and it looked every bit of that for the Monarchs Thursday night as they never could seem to find a groove as they ultimately fell 64-51 to the Blue Raiders.
ODU trailed 32-21 at the half despite a hot start from guard Ahmad Caver, who went 4-of-6 from the field scoring nine points leading the Monarchs at halftime, and ultimately finishing the game with 13 points. Despite Caver’s start, the Monarch offense struggled to find a rhythm to ultimately get them back into the game.
The Monarchs never led in this game despite multiple efforts to shave the lead down to single digits, including a nine-point deficit at 39-30 at the 14-minute mark of the half and a six-point deficit at 48-42 with 8:20 left in regulation. Middle Tennesse responded to the latter with a 16-4 run, essentially putting the game to rest.
“Middle Tennessee is a very good basketball team. Against such a good team, there is so little room for error and we had some uncharacteristic errors tonight,” ODU head coach Jeff Jones said.
The Blue Raiders were led by forward Reggie Upshaw, who tallied 18 points and four rebounds and guard Giddy Potts who notched 14 points to go along with six rebounds. ODU was led by guard B.J. Stith who had 17 points and six rebounds, along with guard Ahmad Caver posting 13 points and three assists. The Monarchs also received a quality contribution from Trey Porter off the bench ten points and three rebounds.
ODU shot an underwhelming 20 percent from the three-point line, something that has plagued the Monarchs all year, as well as a consistent go-to scorer. Middle Tennessee was able to take advantage of that by hitting some threes of their own in the second half.
“There were times we played some very good defense and Middle Tennessee still hit big time shots. We have to work our way through this and find a way to get better,” Jones said.