No. 11 Hoyas fail to overcome slow start in loss to ODU

WASHINGTON -- On the long bus ride to the nation's capital, Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor put on the video of the Monarchs' win over Georgetown three years ago, when they became the first visiting team in decades to win at the Hoyas' tiny on-campus gymnasium.

"I watched the film from that win," Taylor said, "and I said 'How in the world could we play that well again?"

Or, better yet, why would Georgetown tempt fate by inviting Old Dominion back?

Sure enough, the Monarchs spoiled Georgetown's annual game at McDonough Arena once more, capitalizing on 18 turnovers in a 61-57 victory Saturday night and handing the No. 11 Hoyas their first loss of the season.

"Lightning struck twice," Taylor said. "I didn't get hung up in the fact that we fact that we beat them here before, but it is interesting that that they haven't lost here much and we've done it twice. At the end you say, 'Wow, we did it again."

Old Dominion (7-4) is the only team since 1982 to beat Georgetown in the 2,400-seat gymnasium, where the Hoyas (8-1) average one game a year as a break from their usual home at the Verizon Center. This time, the school from Virginia's Hampton Roads also ruined a snow day for the stir-crazy students, who trekked to the gym through a record-breaking December snowstorm that brought the city to a virtual standstill.

The preseason favorites to win the Colonial Athletic Association never trailed. The Hoyas looked as cold as the outside temperature when they tallied nine turnovers and nine points in the first 13 minutes.

The Monarchs led 32-21 at the half and 47-29 with 14:20 to play before Georgetown mounted a rally, outscoring Old Dominion 28-14 the rest of the way. Julian Vaughn's three-point play cut the lead to eight with 3:20 left, and Greg Monroe's 3 narrowed the gap to five with 2:43 to go.

Taylor had the Monarchs milk the clock for much of the second half, leaving the Hoyas short on time to complete the comeback. Monroe's two free throws made the score 59-57 with 1:16 remaining, but Frank Hassell's tip-in with 41 seconds left ended a 3 1/2 minute drought for Old Dominion and wound up being the final points scored in the game.

Georgetown's Jason Clark missed a 3-pointer, Monroe couldn't convert the offensive rebound, and Chris Wright committed another turnover for the Hoyas. Old Dominion turned the ball back over to Georgetown, but Austin Freeman missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final 15 seconds.

Ben Finney led Old Dominion with 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Monroe had with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Hoyas, who shot only 14 for 22 from the free-throw line. Vaughn had 13 points but also committed five turnovers, and Freeman had 13 points and three turnovers.

"If I had to pick something, it would be turnovers because that's something we can control," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "We have to hit our free throws, but the turnovers are something we have to stop doing. We have to make sure we get a shot. We're a very good offensive team but we have to make sure we get shots."