BOSTON, Mass. (ODUSports.com) – Head coach Jeff Jones earned his 500th career victory, as he led the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (3-1) to a 76-69 win over Northeastern (2-2) at historic Matthews Arena on Saturday afternoon. Jones’ 500 wins rank 71st in NCAA Division I history and is the 25th most among active coaches.
With 13:55 to play in the second half, the Huskies trimmed their deficit down to four, 49-45. The Monarchs answered with a 19-11 run, extending their lead to 12, 68-56, with 3:10 remaining in regulation. Northeastern would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.
“I am extremely pleased with how we played,” said Coach Jones. “500 wins is great, but getting win number three for this season on the road against a good opponent is even better.
“Now our focus turns to trying to get number four on Wednesday. I’m sure there will be a day when I look back on the total career wins and certainly appreciate it and think about highlights and all of that kind of stuff, but right now we are all just grinding and fighting like crazy to become a good team, which is a lot more important right now than all the career numbers.”
Old Dominion was led by Xavier Green’s career high 24 points, to compliment with two assists and two steals. Jason Wade poured in a career high 18 points, to go along with five rebounds, three steals and two assists in 28 minutes of work. Also in double figures for ODU was Malik Curry, who finished with 11 points, three steals, two rebounds and two assists. Kalu Ezikpe went for nine points, five rebounds, four steals and one block. Aaron Carver hauled down a game-high nine rebounds.
For the game ODU held advantages for points in the paint (40-18), bench points (29-9), points off turnovers (30-12), fast break points (16-0) and rebounds (36-26). The Monarchs led for 36:26, while the Huskies held a lead for 37 seconds. Old Dominion shot 50.8% (30-59) from the floor for the contest.
In a first half that the Monarchs led by as many a 10, ODU claimed a 39-33 lead at halftime, behind 12 points from Wade (6-7 FG), to compliment two boards and two steals. Old Dominion’s bench outscored Northeastern’s 23-3 in the opening 20 minutes and held a 24-10 advantage for points in the paint.
The Monarchs will return to the hardwood on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m., when ODU plays host to James Madison on WGNT/ESPN3.