Freshman helps lead ODU to 68-63 win at Southern Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WAVY/AP) — B.J. Stith made four 3-pointers and scored 19 points with seven rebounds and Old Dominion shot better from outside the 3-point arc than inside it in a 68-63 victory over Southern Mississippi on Thursday night.

Another spark for ODU came in the form of freshman Marquis Godwin from Hampton. He scored a career high 12 points, all three pointers.

“Marquis gave us a big, big lift, not just shooting but at the top of the zone as well,” coach Jeff Jones said. “He made the most of his opportunities tonight.”

Ahmad Caver added 11 points and seven assists and Brandan Stith pitched in with 10 points and five boards for the Monarchs (18-5, 9-2 Conference USA). Old Dominion knocked down 12 of 25 from 3-point range (48 percent), while connecting on 10 of 25 2-pointers (40 percent).

“We are thrilled to get this win and have our guys bounce back especially when seemingly everything was going against us like the way Southern Miss was shooting and our foul trouble,” Jones said. “Somehow, someway we were able to pull this out. If there was going to be a game for us to be hanging our heads at halftime, this would’ve been it, but our guys kept their heads up and figured it out. Our guys never gave up.”

Cortez Edwards scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half as the Golden Eagles (12-13, 5-7) shot 73 percent from the floor (16 of 22) and took a 39-30 lead into intermission. Two free throws by D’Angelo Richardson gave Southern Miss a 48-37 lead four minutes into the second half, but Godwin had two straight 3s to key a 13-0 run capped by Caver’s 3-pointer and the Monarchs had a 50-48 lead with 11:45 left to play.

The Golden Eagles regained the lead on Edwards’ 3-point play, but Godwin buried a 3 and Randy Haynes tipped in an errant shot by Trey Porter to push Old Dominion back in front for good.

ODU plays at Louisiana Tech on Saturday.