C-USA BASKETBALL RECAP: UTSA AT OLD DOMINION
Thursday night was an absolute wire-to-wire Old Dominion domination and one of the most impressive wins for the program since head coach Jeff Jones took the head job in 2013. The Monarchs laid an authoritative 38-point smackdown win over a young UTSA team that came into the matchup riding a four-game win streak.
Here are some of the impressive benchmarks ODU hit last night:
- 100 points is the most the program has scored in a regulation game since 1998.
- 15 three-pointers made is the most in a game in the Jeff Jones era - breaking the previous mark set earlier this year by three.
- B.J. Stith scored 28 of his 36 points in the first half - setting a new school record for points in a first half since the program joined Division I in 1976.
- With the win over UTSA and a North Texas loss, the Monarchs guaranteed themselves a first-round bye in next month’s Conference USA Tournament in Frisco, Texas.
In a night that featured impressive performances from several different Old Dominion players, Stith’s performance stands in a class of its own. He hit the first shot of the game - a three-pointer 20 seconds in - and it was off to the races for the one-time Virginia transfer.
ODU’s leading scorer hit seven of his first eight attempts - including his first four attempts from beyond the arc. Stith’s previous career high for points was 26. Stith set that mark twice this season against Rice and William & Mary.
He broke that with 1:42 left to go in the first half.
Stith finished with 36 points on 65% shooting and a game-high 10 rebounds - his third career double-double. He was pulled out of the game with five minutes left after picking up a technical following a vicious posterization of Giovanni Di Nicolao.
Stith wasn’t the only ODU player that balled out on Thursday night.
Point man Ahmad Caver scored 15 points on 3 of 6 shooting from beyond the arc despite largely deferring to Stith in the first half. He dished out 10 assists for the second consecutive game and did not commit a turnover in 36 minutes of play - the first time he’s notched double-digit assists in a game where he didn’t turn the ball over. It was his fourth double-double of the season.
Senior guard Randy Haynes helped light up the scoreboard with 16 points - including a career-high 5 three-pointers. Freshman Xavier Green made the most of his extended playing time as well - pitching in with a career-high 17 points.
For UTSA, this is a crushing loss for a team that had put together an impressive streak of surprising wins against UAB, Marshall, and Western Kentucky. There were signs that the Roadrunners were beginning to come back down to earth after they barely scraped by bottom-dwelling UTEP on Saturday, but the level of domination was still surprising.
They looked like a really young team on Thursday night for the first time in a couple of weeks.
After getting beaten down in the first half by Old Dominion, you half-expected the Roadrunners to fight back in the second half, but the Monarchs nipped that right in the bud. Old Dominion followed up a 52-36 advantage in the first half with a 16-3 run to open up the second half - effectively neutering any potential comeback bid.
During their four-game win streak, the Roadrunners bested opposing teams on the boards by an average of 10 rebounds per game - on Thursday night they lost the rebounding battle by 10. They gave up 17 turnovers - the most UTSA has given away since November.
The only two players that showed up offensively were freshmen Jhivvan Jackson and Deon Lyle. Jackson had a solid outing with 22 points on 8 of 15 shooting. Lyle contributed 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Both players went 5 of 9 from downtown respectively.
The good news for UTSA fans: the team will have a good opportunity to bounce back with a road test against league-worst Charlotte 49ers.
Other Conference USA Scores
UTEP 87, Charlotte 86
Marshall 93, Rice 80
Middle Tennessee 72, Southern Miss 62
UAB 60, Louisiana Tech 73
Western Kentucky 102, North Texas 94