FRISCO, Tex. (Release via ODU athletics) – The Old Dominion men’s basketball team will take on the UTEP Miners on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST in the opening round of the Heritage Landscape Supply Group C-USA Basketball Championships in Frisco, Texas.
The game will be streamed on ESPN+, while you can also hear the call from Ted Alexander and Dave Twardzik on the ODU Sports Radio Network starting with the pre-game show at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Old Dominion enters with a 13-18 record after knocking off East Division Champion Middle Tennessee 68-64 on Saturday. Austin Trice’s putback dunk with 19 seconds left gave the Monarchs a lead, while Jaylin Hunter hit two free throws with four seconds left to ice the win. C.J. Keyser scored 16 points, Kalu Ezikpe added 14 points and seven rebounds, Hunter chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds, while Mekhi Long had 10 points off the bench.
UTEP (18-12) defeated North Texas in its regular-season finale on Saturday. Souley Boum, who joined Trice on the C-USA Second Team All-Conference on Monday, leads the Miners in scoring with 19.9 points per game. He had 28 points going 13-of-14 in the win over ODU.
These teams met in Norfolk on Jan. 15 where the Miners escaped with a 78-70 overtime win. Trice had 19 points and a career-best 20 rebounds to lead the Monarchs in that game. His 20 rebounds is a single-game high in Conference USA this season. Kalu Ezikpe joined Trice in the scoring lead with 19 points.
The winner will face Middle Tennessee on Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST in the quarterfinals.
Women’s Game Preview:
The Old Dominion women’s basketball team begins its run at the Conference USA Tournament on Wednesday with a second-round matchup with UTSA. The game tips at 12:30 p.m. ET, is streaming live on ESPN+ and being carried over the airwaves on ESPN Radio 94.1 FM.
The Starting Five
Iggy Allen and Ajah Wayne received First Team All-Conference USA honors on Monday, marking the first time ODU landed multiple players on the All-C-USA First Team. Additionally, the Monarchs had not claimed multiple first team honorees since 2004, when Monique Coker and Max Nhassengo were named First Team All-CAA. For Allen, it was the second straight year with first team all-conference honors. Wayne placed on the first team for the first time in her career.
The Monarchs return to Frisco a year removed from what was almost a fantastic Cinderella tale. Seeded sixth in the East, a shorthanded ODU won three games in three days, including a pair of overtime contests, to reach the semifinals. Once in the semis, the Monarchs gave top-seeded Rice all it could ask for in an eventual 62-60 defeat. Along the way, Old Dominion knocked out third-seeded North Texas and second-seeded Charlotte in the third of three overtime games with the 49ers that season.
Old Dominion is playing in its 100th conference tournament game on Wednesday. The Monarchs are a combined 83-16 all-time in conference tournament contests. ODU has won 22 conference tournament titles in its history, including 17 straight in the CAA between 1992 and 2008. The Monarchs’ run of dominance in the CAA Tournament included a 50-game win streak.
On Feb. 14, head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones was announced as a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Milton-Jones boasts an accolade-filled career in the game. She received the Wade Trophy in 1997 as the best player in college basketball and won two Olympic gold medals and two WNBA titles. She is the seventh individual with ODU ties to reach the hall and is just the 13th active DI head coach in the WBHOF.
The Monarchs are one of the tightest defensive units in the country this year. ODU entered Monday ranked 23rd nationally and first in C-USA in scoring defense (55.3). ODU is turning teams over 20.23 times per game (17th in DI, 1st in C-USA) while averaging the 30th-most steals per game (10.3) in the country. Additionally, ODU is second in the conference with 4.0 blocks per game.
The Roadrunners reached Wednesday’s second round by virtue of a 58-57 overtime win over UTEP on Tuesday. Elyssa Coleman netted a team-best 21 points and 11 rebounds on 10-of-18 shooting. Jadyn Pimentel chipped in 14 points and six boards.
Pimentel leads UTSA in scoring at 8.5 points per game. Queen Ulabo is the leading rebounder (5.7), and Coleman paces the Roadrunners in blocks (1.3).
Pimentel is also the team leader in steals at 2.7 per game and earned a place on the all-defensive team.
ODU is 7-4 all-time over UTSA. A 19-point, 10-rebound double-double from Allen carried ODU past UTSA 57-46 on Jan. 13. Defensively, the Monarchs held the Roadrunners to 23.6 percent shooting and 25 turnovers.
ODU in Conference Tournaments
The Monarchs are 22-time conference tournament champions, winning five in the Sun Belt and 17 straight in the CAA. ODU is 83-16 all-time in conference tournament games. The Monarchs’ reign of dominance in the CAA included a 50-game win streak in CAA Tournament contests.
ODU has won at least one game in 35 of the 36 conference tournaments in which it has competed.
Conference Tournament Record by Conference:
Sun Belt –17-4 (five championships)
CAA – 54-4 (17 championships)
C-USA – 12-8
Conference Tournament Record by Head Coach:
Marianne Stanley – 11-1
Wendy Larry – 59-6
Karen Barefoot – 9-6
Nikki McCray-Penson – 1-2
DeLisha Milton-Jones – 3-1
With a win on Wednesday, the Monarchs advance to the quarterfinals, where they will play the No. 2 seed out of the West, North Texas, at 12:30 p.m. ET.