Old Dominion Falls to UNI in Season Opener

The Old Dominion Monarchs Men’s Basketball team starts the 2019/20 in the losing column as they fall to the University of Northern Iowa Panthers 58-53. 

Sloppy Play

It was blatantly evident that Tuesday’s game was the first as the season as both teams were sloppy. Both sides committed a large number of turnovers throughout the game. Shooting percentage for both sides was also an issue during the matchup. Old Dominion ended up shooting 35.6% from the field. On the UNI side, the Panthers shot only 34.5%.

Photo From ESPN+

 Although the subpar play with transition defense, the Monarchs were impressive in the steal catagory. ODU tallied 12 steals in the loss, showing aggressiveness, and willing to work on the defensive side of the ball. Look for ODU Head Coach Jeff Jones to make some fine-tune adjustments for this Monarch squad in the games to come.

Due to the clumsy play of both teams, the score was low during the season opener. The Monarchs trailed by one at the half with a score only at 26-25. Surprisingly, although these two teams came into the matchup closely matched, UNI lead for the entire game. Old Dominion missed two attempts at game-tying three’s during the last possession for the Monarchs.

Conference Contenders

The Offense for Northern Iowa was lead by sophomore AJ Green. Green, who was superior last season as a freshman, started the season off right. AJ Green, who was named to the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason 1st Team, recorded 12 points and four assists. True Freshman’s Noah Carter and James Betz also gave UNI some critical bench points. UNI is a strong team, and will easily be a contender for the MVC title this season.

Joseph Cress/ Iowa City Press

For the Monarchs, The scoring was lead by Xavier Green, and Jason Wade as both guards came away with 13 points. ODU tallied 25 of there 53 points off the bench, as some starters seemed lacklucker in the matchup. The Monarchs struggled to get the ball in the paint, as ODU’s “big-men” only went a combined 5-7 from the field. 

The season has just begun, but some adjustments will have to be made for this Monarchs’s squad if they want to return to the NCAA Tournament. Defensive transition and ball security are the top teaching moments seen after the opener for ODU. Look to see the Monarch make adjustments as the season progresses, as the potential of this team sits atop Conference USA. 

The Monarchs will move to 0-1 to start the season. They will head back to ODU for there home opener this Sunday against Saint Joseph’s.


Christian S. Rauh is a Sports Writer for Overtime Heroics.

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