Men’s basketball can’t complete comeback in 66-62 loss to Old Dominion


Sarah Olender

The Huskies were unable to make a comeback Sunday afternoon against Old Dominion despite a hard fight.

Eamonn Ryan, deputy sports editor

The Huskies (1-3, 0-0 CAA) were unable to complete a late comeback in their loss to Old Dominion (3-2, 0-0 C-USA) Sunday afternoon. Redshirt junior guard Shaquille Walters scored 17 and redshirt sophomore forward Chris Doherty added eight points and nine rebounds off the bench, but it was not enough as the Huskies could not find a way to win.

For Old Dominion, they were led by junior forwards Kalu Ezikpe and Joe Reece with 17 points and 11 points, respectively, along with senior guard Malik Curry, who finished with 10 points and eight assists. The Monarchs started the game on a 9-0 run and allowed Northeastern just four points in the first 10 minutes, effectively forcing the Huskies to play from behind for most of the afternoon.

“We started the game slow,” head coach Bill Coen said. “It was 9-0 out of the gates, you’re playing catch-up the rest of the day.”

The Huskies, however, did not go down without a fight, as they clawed their way back into the game and were down 29-26 at the end of the first half. Again, they started slow in the second half, and with 10:52 to play, they were losing by 13. 

Freshman forward Coleman Stucke and Doherty were able to bring the Huskies back from the 13-point deficit with Stucke’s three-point bombs and Doherty’s offensive rebounding. With 2:40 to play, Stucke banged home a trifecta to tie the game at 60. Old Dominion, however, made a layup and converted from the free throw line four times in the last two minutes and sent the inexperienced Huskies packing.

Old Dominion’s offense also made it difficult for the Huskies to come back in this game. They shot 52 percent from the field and finished with 18 assists on the day.

“We lost this game with our inexperience on the defensive end,” Coen said. “You got to give ODU a ton of credit, they do a great job of executing their stuff. They get the ball where they need to get it, and they challenge you both on the block and on the perimeter.” 

Offensively, the Huskies were stifled for most of the afternoon, finishing 25-63 (39.7%) from the field. Even with 11 offensive rebounds, they had trouble. 

“And then defensively, [the Monarchs] don’t gamble,” Coen said. “They protect the paint and they contest shots. We bent a little bit there on both the execution of the offensive and defensive schemes, and we got to get a little better at that.” 

Coen was pleased with the Huskies’ mental toughness, however. They had to come back from a substantial deficit against the Monarchs and almost pulled it off on the road. 

“What I’m looking at is this team. They didn’t quit on themselves, they didn’t quit on their teammates,” Coen said. “When you have a group of guys that do that, it’s gonna give you a chance each and every night.”

As for some bright spots, Stucke finished with 12 points and two three-pointers in his first double-digit scoring game at the collegiate level. 

“Coleman [Stucke] had a little bit of a slow start but came back. It speaks to his mental toughness. He was able to hit some big shots for us down the end and really compete and do a nice job for us on the defensive end,” Coen said. 

Doherty, a transfer from Notre Dame, was a force in the paint today, collecting nine rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end. 

“[Stucke and Doherty] gave us a ton of energy and a lot of hard work,” Coen said. “[Doherty] came in and really gave us a lift and competed on the backboard and obviously in the second half he did a great job carving out some space down low, rebounding the ball, defending and so on.”

Sophomore guard Tyson Walker, who finished with 10 points, started for the Huskies after his injury in the second half during Wednesday’s game at Syracuse, but also took a few hits today and was on the floor in the second half. Freshman forward Jahmyl Telfort, who has averaged 13 points a game for the Huskies so far this season, was out for today’s game due to a sprained ankle.

“I don’t think [Telfort’s injury] is anything long term, but he’s day-to-day,” Coen said. “And Tyson [Walker], it’s just the nature of how he plays. He’s a guy who gets into the lane and attacks the basket. He’s gonna take some bumps and bruises but he’s a tough kid and he’ll want to play certainly against Georgia, but we’ll have to get him checked out by the trainer and make sure he’s good to go.” 

While the Huskies have one more non-conference game on their schedule, Coen said that they are actively trying to schedule another game before the new year. Until then, they will continue their travels to face Georgia Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.