ODU survives scare at Scope, pulls away from Norfolk State in crosstown hoops showdown

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NORFOLK, Va. - In the 19th all-time meeting, the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (9-3, 0-0 C-USA) needed an 18-to-3 game-ending run to take down Norfolk State (1-12, 0-0 MEAC) by a 61-to-50 score on Friday night at the Norfolk Scope.

Norfolk State men's basketball

6,711 fans were on hand for the first meeting at Scope between the crosstown programs since January 2001. The two teams combined to shoot just 36 percent from the floor for the game - a contest that experienced 15 lead changes and 10 ties.

ODU men's basketball

“This was the kind of the game we expected,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “Tonight was a game between two teams who really cared and really got after it. I kept telling our guys to just keep playing. It wasn’t always pretty but there wasn’t anything wrong with our effort.”

The Spartans claimed a 36-32 lead at the 11:48 mark of the second half. With 8:30 to play, the game was tied, 40-40. A 16-to-6 ODU run gave the Monarchs a 56-46 advantage with 2:13 remaining in regulation, before Old Dominion ultimately claimed an 11-point victory. The Monarchs outscored Norfolk State, 38-28, in the second half.

ODU basketball's B.J. Stith dunks vs. NSU

The Monarchs now lead the all-time series 13-to-6. However, it ODU has its way - this may the final time, at least for a while, we see a crosstown showdown played at Scope Arena.

Old Dominion will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 7:00 p.m., when the Monarchs host Charlotte for the Conference USA opener. NSU returns after the Christmas break to take on Stony Brook on the road on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.