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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ted Constant Convocation Center (9,520) -- Norfolk, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Towson 2-5. ODU 1-10. Away Record: Towson 5-7, ODU 0-7. Neutral Record: Towson 3-0, ODU 1-0. Conference Record: Towson 5-4, ODU 0-7. Series Record: ODU leads, 27-1.
GAMES NOTES: Still in search of their first win in league play, the Old Dominion Monarchs will try once again when they host the Towson Tigers for a Colonial Athletic Association clash at the Constant Convocation Center.
Towson got off to a strong start in league play with wins in five of its first six CAA bouts. However the Tigers have begun to come back to Earth recently with losses in three straight after a 63-56 loss to William & Mary last Saturday. The Tigers are 10-12 overall on the campaign but have been a team that is unafraid on the road with a mark of 5-7 in away contests. Towson plays its next two games at home beginning against UNC Wilmington.
At no point this season has Old Dominion had anything resembling a strong stretch of games. The Monarchs are a miserable 2-17 overall and winless in all seven of its matchups with CAA squads. A 56-46 loss to James Madison on Saturday was the eighth straight for the Monarchs who have lost at least eight in a row twice already. ODU has just one win in 10 tries at home but will travel to Georgia State next.
If history has anything to say about this game than Old Dominion might be in luck. In 28 previous meetings the Monarchs have captured wins 27 times. Towson's only win in the series came more than a decade ago when the Tigers earned a 67-55 win in February of 2002.
Towson shot below 40 percent from the field and allowed William & Mary to run out to a 17-4 advantage on points off turnovers. The Tigers actually led at halftime (30-29) but in the second half they cooled to 33.3 percent shooting while missing on all but one of 13 shots from beyond the arc.
On the season the Tigers have fought to about even on the scoreboard with a point differential of +0.3 overall. The Tigers rank fourth in the CAA in scoring (65.9 ppg). However the Tigers have preferred to create its offense off of more one-on-one plays as they rank last in the league in assists (9.5 pg). Towson has done a good job on the boards as it ranks at the very top of the CAA in rebounds (39.1 pg). Jerrelle Benimon (16.7 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.1 bpg) has been invaluable for the Tigers leading the way in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. Benimon is also the league leader in rebounds and one of just three players in the conference averaging a double-double. Marcus Damas (10.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) is the only other double figure scorer but shoots just 39.1 percent from the field.
Old Dominion shot just 32 percent from the field and hit only 2-of-14 shots from 3-point range in the loss to JMU. The Monarchs offense struggled to move the ball with just six assists for the game, while also having a deficit on the boards (41-33).
While searching for their first conference win the Monarchs have also been trying to find some kind of rhythm on offense. Thus far that search has been fruitless as they rank second to last in the conference in points (60.8 pg) and dead last in field-goal percentage (.388). Old Dominion normally wins the battle of the boards ranking second in the CAA (37.6 pg). On the defensive end the Monarchs let up 69.1 points per game on 45.8 percent shooting. DeShawn Painter (11.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg) has been the most reliable performer for the Monarchs this season and the only player scoring more than nine points per game. Donte Hill (8.7 ppg) is the closest thing to a second option the Monarchs have but by shooting just 36.7 percent has not been overly productive.
It has been a season to forget for Old Dominion and until the Monarchs can prove they can score more consistently the losses will keep coming.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 67, Old Dominion 62
01/30 10:39:17 ET
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