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Curry’s 20 Points Lifts Monarchs Past Rice in Houston, 61-58

Box Score
Maria Lysaker

HOUSTON, Texas – Malik Curry's 20 points, seven steals and five rebounds lifted the Old Dominion men's basketball team (8-4, 4-2 C-USA) over Rice (10-4, 4-2 C-USA) by a 61-58 score on Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
With five seconds remaining in regulation and the Monarchs up by one, 59-58, Rice's Travis Evee missed two free-throws; Curry hauled down the defensive rebound and then sealed the deal at the charity stripe with two made free-throws.
ODU started the second half on an 11-3 run to claim a 14-point lead (41-27) at the 14:27 mark of the second half. The Owls responded with a 29-11 run, taking a 56-52 lead with 4:40 to play. The contest then experienced three lead changes and one tie, before Curry scored six of the game's last eight points, including a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line.
Also in double-figures for the Monarchs was Xavier Green, who finished with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Kalu Ezikpe and Jaylin Hunter each chipped in eight points, while Austin Trice went for seven points and nine rebounds.
"First of all, we are really happy with this victory," said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. "Our defense was outstanding and we were tremendous on the boards. We didn't come apart when Rice made their run and we ended up making enough plays and free-throws to squeak out this big road win."
For the game, ODU held a 28-14 edge for points in the paint. The Monarchs led for 32:36 of the possible 40 minutes, while Rice held a lead for 4:12 and the game was tied for 3:13. In all, the contest experienced six lead changes and three ties.
At the half, Old Dominion held a six-point advantage, 30-24, as the Monarchs were led by Curry's eight points and four steals. Trice followed with seven points and six rebounds. ODU held the Owls to 33% (7-21) shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The Monarchs held advantages for points in the paint (16-2) and bench points (12-3) in the first half.
Old Dominion will return to action on Friday, Jan. 22, when the Monarchs welcome North Texas to Chartway Arena for a 7:00 p.m. EST tip. Friday's game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.
Get in the Game! 
Old Dominion athletics is providing Monarch Nation two opportunities to be involved in the 2020-21 basketball season virtually, as the athletic department is creating a virtual ticket, presented by the Virginia Lottery, that will allow fans to win various prizes, as well as the opportunity to purchase fan cutouts to be placed in Chartway Arena throughout the 2020-21 season, brought to you by Chartway Federal Credit Union. Proceeds from the sale of fan cutouts and virtual tickets will assist with paying for student-athlete scholarships. 

With the purchase of a $20 virtual ticket, fans will receive one Virginia Lottery digital scratcher with the possibility to win, among other things, two season tickets for all ODU sports in 2021-22, use of a Chartway Arena suite for a basketball game in 2021-22, a $500 Harris Teeter gift card, a $500 Under Armour shopping spree, free Papa John's pizza, or Moe's Bucks to Moe's Southwest Grill. 

The "Monarch Cutouts", presented by Chartway, are available for $59 and will be placed in camera-view seats. The cutouts will be in attendance at all ODU men's and women's basketball games during the 2020-21 season. Be on the lookout during games because your Monarch Cutout could be featured on the game broadcast or ODU Basketball social media.