First place Monarchs looking for payback in Texas against UTSA

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Old Dominion men’s basketball team will continue Conference USA’s “Bonus Play” by traveling to the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

The place left a sour taste in the Monarchs’ mouth the last time they were there, with ODU losing an 18-point lead with a little over three minutes to play. 

First place ODU has a chance to become regular season conference champions for the first time since 2010, when they played in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Coach Jeff Jones understands how vital this game is for his team: “This is the closest we’ve been, there’s always a chance for us, certainly we as a basketball team, coaches, players, everybody, we want to win that, the fact that it’s the first time since 2010, I don’t know if that registers with us. I do think people that support the program probably think in those terms, but for us, this about this year’s team and trying to accomplish everything that we can.” 

More than anything, the players want this win for a multitude of reasons. Both senior leaders Ahmad Caver and B.J. Stith will be playing with a big chip on their shoulder.

“Winning a championship is something that not a lot of people can say that they have done, so it’s an honor to play with this team, playing with the coaches, we have one more game to secure that, but it’s one game left in the season, as great as it feels, we’ve still got work to do,” Stith said. 

“It definitely adds some fuel and revenge to try and get that win on Thursday,” Caver said. “We’ve never won there, so that’s one of mine and B.J.’s goals to beat another team we haven’t beat them there, so I think it adds a little more to the game, I think it worked out perfectly that’s what we talked about on film and we’re just ready for the challenge.”

ODU will tip-off against UTSA on Thursday at 8 p.m. 

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