ODU loses the tussle for the top spot in the C-USA to Middle Tennessee 66-59

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NORFOLK, Va. (ODU Sports) - The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (16-5, 7-2 C-USA) had its four-game win-streak snapped by Middle Tennessee (17-5, 9-1 C-USA) on Thursday night by a 66-59 score at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in front of 7,297 fans.

With 9:38 to play in the second half, Middle Tennessee took a 48-44 lead, before ODU went on a 6-0 run (first five points from Randy Haynes) to claim a 52-50 advantage with 5:45 remaining in regulation. The Blue Raiders would then go on a 15-4 run over a 5:19 span, taking a 65-56 lead with 26 seconds left.

“Middle Tennessee is a really good team and I don’t think we made the most of our opportunities tonight,” said Jeff Jones after the contest. “Our guys absolutely played as hard they could, but it wasn’t enough, Middle Tennessee was better than us tonight and they made plays down the stretch. There are lessons to learn from this one if we want to take the next step, we have to become mentally tougher.”

Randy Haynes paced three Monarchs in double-figures, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Ahmad Caver went for 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Trey Porter scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out one assist, had one block and one steal.

Giddy Potts shoots a three.

For the game, ODU held advantages for points off turnovers (17-11), fast-break points (11-3) steals (11-2) and turnovers (9-14).

The Blue Raiders claimed an eight-point lead, 21-13, with 9:57 to play in the opening half, before the Monarchs went on an 8-2 run to close their gap to 23-21 at the 7:11 mark. At the half, the score was tied up, 33-33, as ODU was led by Ahmad Caver and Randy Haynes, who each scored nine points respectively. Middle Tennessee shot 50% (13-26) from the floor in the first half and 50% (3-6) from deep. ODU held advantages for points off turnovers (10-3) and fast-break points (7-0).

“I love our guys, now we have to bounce back against UAB on Saturday night,” concluded Jones.

Old Dominion will be back on Saturday, Feb. 3 against UAB at the Ted Constant Convocation Center for a 7:00 p.m. tip on ESPN3.

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