HATTIESBURG, Miss. (ODUSports.com)– Malik Curry and A.J. Oliver II combined for 35 points to lead the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (9-13, 5-4 C-USA) over Southern Miss (6-16, 2-7 C-USA) by a 68-58 score on Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum. ODU knocked down a season-high 10 three-pointers in the win.
The Golden Eagles opened the second half on a 24-13 run to take a one-point advantage, 47-46, at the 9:13 mark. The Monarchs answered right back with a 17-0 run of their own, with nine of the points coming from Oliver II, ballooning their lead to 16, 63-47, with 2:19 remaining in regulation en route to 10-point victory in Hattiesburg.
“It was working tonight is how I would describe that performance,” explained ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “This was very much a team win. A lot of different guys at really stepped up at different times. This is a tough place to play. We kept telling our guys that we had to bring our own energy and intensity and I thought we did that tonight.”
Curry led the way for ODU, pouring in 18 points to go along with three assists and two steals. Oliver II followed with 17 points, six rebounds and one steal. Also in double-figures for the Monarchs was Kalu Ezikpe, who went for 10 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal. Xavier Green chipped in eight points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. Aaron Carver turned in a six point, nine rebound and one block performance.
For the contest, ODU’s bench outscored USM’s 10-3. The Monarchs led for 37:27 of the possible 40 minutes.
In a first half that Old Dominion led by as many as 15, the Monarchs claimed a 10-point lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime. ODU was led by Curry and Reece, who each chipped in eight points. The Monarchs defense held the Golden Eagles to 33% shooting from the floor and 14% shooting from deep in the opening 20 minutes.
On Saturday, Feb. 1 at 5:00 p.m. ET, ODU will travel to Ruston, La. to take on LA Tech (16-5, 7-2 C-USA).