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Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Monarchs Late-Rally Falls Short Against Georgia Southern

Chaunce Jenkins led ODU with 20 points in spite of the defeat.
ODU+mens+basketball+Alumni+take+the+court+to+pose+for+a+group+photo.
Bruce Butler (Courtesy of ODU Athletics)
ODU men’s basketball Alumni take the court to pose for a group photo.

Despite a season that has been quite rough for the ODU men’s basketball team, they showed out against Georgia Southern on Saturday night in front of 5,519 fans on the Annual Alumni Night. 

This game in the first half shared eerie resemblances to the previous contest against James Madison, however, the Monarchs fought fiercely and were able to cut Georgia Southern’s lead down to one at 69-68 with 32 seconds left. This was in part due to a Chauncey Jenkins steal and R.J. Blakney’s score. This turn of events brought the crowd to their feet, motivating their home team for a sorely needed win. 

Unfortunately, after suffering a nine-point deficit at halftime 31-22, the Monarchs trailed by as many as 16 points midway through the second half. In the end, the Monarchs could not secure victory as they were forced to foul, leaving the deficit 76-70 to the Georgia Southern Eagles. 

With this loss, the Monarchs move to 5-16, 1-8 in Sun Belt play. The record does not completely tell the story of the team though as in post-game interviews of the recent games, the mindset of players seems to be improving. 

When talking to guard Imo Essien, who provided six points and five rebounds to the cause, he said, “I feel like we fought for the entire 40 minutes. They went on runs and that’s how basketball is played. But I think that ultimately, we did have a better competitive spirit today.”

Junior guard goes up for the tough layup in the contest against the Eagles. (Bruce Butler (Courtesy of ODU Athletics) )

This competitive spirit was evident as players on the team established themselves in new roles. Topping this list is Leeroy Odiahi, a college transfer from Tralee, Ireland. The 6-foot-11 forward provided a solid physical performance off the bench after freshman forward Dani Pounds stumbled upon some early foul trouble. Odiahi finished with a season-high 23 minutes and a team-high eight rebounds to tag along with a block and three fouls, growing his role as height and rim protection on the ODU squad. 

Chauncey Jenkins was able to pick up some of the offensive slack for freshman Vasean Allete, ODU’s leading scorer. Allette did not dress for the contest “because of conduct unbecoming of a Monarch” and when asked about the situation, coach Kieran Donohue declined to say how long he would be out. 

Jenkins was able to contribute 20 points and six assists to the cause, yielding a singular turnover in 34 minutes. His six assists accounted for half of the Monarchs’ assist total (12). This was partially due to double teams that seemed to flock his way, leaving a teammate open. 

Overall, neither team shot well on the evening — the Monarchs shot 35.9% and the Eagles shot 37.5% from the field. With this, Donohue stressed the need for constant improvement. 

“No one is here for moral victories,”  Donohue said. “I think our guys played pretty good basketball for a large part of the game … but we have to keep fighting because the alternative isn’t an option if you’re a competitor.”

The ODU Monarchs hit the road to take on the University of Marshall on Feb. 1. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Art Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Art Neal serves as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Mace & Crown. He is in his second year at Old Dominion and is currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Art is excited for the opportunity to write sports journalism and further expand his sports fanaticism that he has had since a young age. After Old Dominion, Art hopes to head off to medical school where he is hopeful for the opportunity to incorporates his journalism experiences into his future career. You can reach him at [email protected].

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