FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthews Arena (6,000) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: CSN. Home Record: ODU 2-15, NU 7-7. Away Record: ODU 1-10, NU 10-2. Neutral Record: ODU 1-0, NU 2-1. Conference Record: ODU 2-15, NU 14-3. Series Record: ODU leads 7-5.
GAME NOTES: In a matchup between the best and worst the Colonial Athletic Association has to offer, the Northeastern Huskies will play host to the Old Dominion Monarchs, who will play their last CAA game before moving to Conference USA next season.
The Monarchs most recently suffered a loss to Drexel, 81-77, which was the second in a row for ODU. Since Jim Corrigan has stepped up to take the position of head coach the team has seemingly improved and is 2-5 under his reign after starting off the season 2-20 and going 0-10 to start conference play. Of his five losses, one came in overtime to Northeastern and two others came by a total point differential of -6.0.
Northeastern is fresh off a 90-84 win at Georgia State in overtime. The win was the second consecutive after a two-game slump and allowed the Huskies to clinch the CAA title with a 14-3 record. This matchup will be the final regular season action for Northeastern before competing in the CAA Tournament from March 9th to the 11th.
Old Dominion leads the all-time series 7-5, but it was the Huskies who emerged victorious with a 79-74 overtime win in the last matchup back on Feb. 9 at the Constant Convocation Center. The Monarchs had won three in a row over the Huskies before that meeting.
The Monarchs played valiantly in the loss to Drexel, shooting over 50.0 percent from the field and well over 40.0 percent from 3-point range. DeShawn Painter led the team with a double-double made up of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Aaron Bacote also scored 15 points, while Donte Hill added 14 points and Dimitri Batten managed 12.
Painter is the team's leading scorer with 12.9 ppg and also the leading rebounder with 8.5 rpg. Batten is the only other Monarch averaging in double- figure scoring with 10.2 ppg, but shoots just 37.9 percent from beyond the arc. ODU struggles offensively but even more defensively, allowing opponents to score over 70.0 ppg.
Joel Smith led the Huskies with 29 points and nine rebounds in the win over the Panthers but the real boost for Northeastern came at the free-throw line where the squad shot a perfect 27-of-27, including 12-of-12 in overtime. David Walker scored 16 points, Zach Stahl added 12, and Quincy Ford and Jonathan Lee tallied 11 points each. Stahl grabbed seven rebounds, while Lee dished out nine assists and hit all nine of his free-throw attempts to make up for his poor 1-of-8 shooting from the field.
Smith leads the team in scoring this season with 16.4 ppg, while shooting efficiently from everywhere: 48.7 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from 3- point range, and 86.8 percent from the free-throw line. Ford and Lee add 13.2 ppg each, while Reggie Spencer manages 10.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg, shooting 52.4 percent from the floor.
With ODU's rising play and NU having recently already clinched the conference, this matchup could turn into a battle. The Huskies should be able to take this one at home though, although it may be closer than expected.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 68, Old Dominion 66
03/02 10:43:57 ET
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