GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman (ODUSports.com) – Malik Curry poured in a career-high 21 points, but it was not enough as the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (3-5) lost to Loyola (Chicago) by a 68-61 score on Wednesday afternoon in the final game of the 2019 Cayman Islands Classic for the Monarchs at the John Gray Gymnasium.
After trailing by as many as 16 in the first half and then by 10 with 8:20 left in the second half, the Monarchs responded with a 14-5 run to make it a one-point game, 56-55, with 2:01 remaining in regulation. The Ramblers (4-4) stretched their lead back to five after scoring the game’s next four points, claiming a 60-55 advantage with 68 seconds to play. Curry would pull ODU within three points on two separate occasions with under a minute to play; however, Old Dominion would get no closer in Wednesday afternoon’s seven-point setback.
“It is always disappointing to lose, but I thought our effort was terrific and we can work with that,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “Right now, it is very clear to everybody that we are going through some growing pains, but if we have that kind of attitude and stick together like the guys did today then we will get better and keep progressing towards becoming a good basketball team.
“That was not necessarily the case yesterday, but to our guys credit they regrouped and came out and I thought they fought and showed a lot of pride. We have to work on and address some things, but maybe, just maybe, depending on what we do with the opportunities in front of us, this could be a turning point for our basketball team.”
Joe Reece went for career highs for both points (10) and rebounds (6). Xavier Green, who was named to All-Tournament Team, finished with nine points, two rebounds and two assists and one steal. For the game, ODU held a 9-3 advantage for steals.
The Monarchs ended the first half on a 7-0 run, cutting their deficit down to nine, 30-21, after trailing by as many as 16 (30-14 at the 2:13 mark) in the opening 20 minutes. Marquis Godwin led the way for ODU in the first half with seven points.
Old Dominion will return to action on Dec. 3, when the Monarchs travel to Williamsburg for a 7:00 p.m. showdown at William & Mary.