Old Dominion overpowers TU, 71-41
Despite holding Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week Kent Bazemore to just six points, the Tigers extended their NCAA Division-I record to 38 consecutive losses falling to Old Dominion, 71-41, at the Towson Center Wednesday night.
ODU (11-8, 6-1 CAA) has now won four straight games, a streak that started with the Monarchs victory over Towson (0-19, 0-7 CAA) on Jan. 7, the game that handed the Tigers their record-setting 35th straight loss.
Towson Head Coach Pat Skerry said the Tigers should be able to learn from the first-place Monarchs about what it takes to win in the CAA.
“That’s why they are in first place and we obviously aren’t in first place,” Skerry said. “So that’s a learning lesson for any of our guys that end up having two or three more years here. That’s what it is going to take win in this league.”
Towson went into halftime trailing by just nine with the score at 33-24, but the Monarchs outscored the Tigers 38-17 in the second stanza.
“I like how we played early, but in the second half, hats off to Old Dominion they just dismantled us,” Skerry said.
Senior forward Rob Nwankwo earned his second straight double-double by recording 12 points, 10 rebounds. He also added a five blocks; Nwankwo has recorded 11 blocks in the last two games.
Sophomore forward Marcus Damas, who was a consistent offensive threat in the early part of the season, has made 14 of his 51 attempts in the last four games, a 27.5 percent clip. Damas went 4-14 from the field against ODU and registered njust ine points and turned the ball over four times.
“Guys that predicate themselves strictly on making jump shots, that’s a tough way to live in conference play,” Skerry said. “We’ve got to get guys got to figure out what has got to be a staple: get to the foul line, get on the offensive glass, run the floor a little bit harder, dig down deeper defensively. What you see with a lot of new guys that haven’t been around success, you struggle to be able to do that in the heat of the battle.”
With a lack of depth, the Tigers have been reliant on their starters to eat most of the minutes. While the Monarchs had no players play more than 28 minutes Wednesday’s game, the Tigers had four players that registered over 30 minutes in the contest.
Consequently, the Monarchs’ bench out-scored the Tiger bench 33-6.
The Tigers had a hard time preventing the Monarchs from penetrating the paint and getting buckets. Old Dominion scored 40 points in the paint, while the Tigers mustered 22 points in the paint. ODU’s success down low can be attributed to their ability to guard and rebound well Skerry said.
“I think a true testament to why Old Dominion has been a very good team in this league is because they guard your pretty well and they rebound it. I believe, over time, that gives you a chance to compete, year in and year out,” Skerry said. “Obviously, that’s what we are striving for, but we are nowhere near there yet.”
The Tigers will hit the road again when they travel to George Mason on Saturday.