ODU falls to Middle Tennessee again, Monarchs lose 66-59

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY/AP) – Antwain Johnson scored 18 points, Nick King added 17 with 11 rebounds, and Middle Tennessee used a late run to beat Old Dominion 66-59 on Thursday night to remain in first place in Conference USA.

Giddy Potts scored 12 points for the Blue Raiders (17-5, 9-1), who hold a 1½ game lead on the Monarchs (16-5, 7-2) and a half-game lead and tie-breaker over Western Kentucky.

Tied at 33 at halftime, Old Dominion led 42-39 after B.J. Stith’s back-to-back jumpers, then 54-52 on Trey Porter’s dunk with 3:20 left. King put the Blue Raiders up on a 3-point play and Middle Tennessee finished on a 14-5 run.

The Blue Raiders outrebounded the Monarchs 40-29 and held them to 37 percent shooting from the field.

Old Dominion has never defeated Middle Tennessee.

“They are a really good team, it’s frustrating I guess to not be able to break through against them but it’s not like they are a bad team,” ODU coach Jeff Jones said. “It’s not like we can’t beat a bad team, they were better than us tonight, effort was there but when things mattered most they were able to make plays that matter.”

Randy Haynes scored 14 points, Ahmad Caver had 13 and Porter 11 for the Monarchs, who saw their four-game win streak end.

ODU hosts UAB on Saturday.