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Old Dominion Knocks Off Charlotte, Cracks Top 25

Old Dominion beat Charlotte 61-54 and the Monarchs also cracked the Top 25 for the first time. Trey Freeman had 14 points and 6 assists and Richard Ross added 12 points and 6 rebounds for Old Dominion. The Monarchs were able to hold Mike Thorne Jr. in check; the Charlotte big man had 0 points and 2 rebounds in just 14 minutes because of foul trouble.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte had one more shot at a big win on December 30th, but the 49ers fell short to Georgia Tech, 67-66. Pierria Henry led four players in double figures for Charlotte with 14. With the loss to Old Dominion, Charlotte now falls to 6-7 on the season. The 49ers are one of the strongest teams in Conference USA, but they have played a brutal schedule.

Raheem Appleby scored 30 points for Louisiana Tech as the Bulldogs beat Southern Miss in Hattiesburg for the first time since 1972. Mississippi native Xavian Stapleton added 17 points and 6 rebounds off the bench for Tech. Chip Armelin had 23 for USM and Matt Bingaya added 18.

Vince Hunter had 15 points and 10 rebounds as UTEP beat Rice 66-57. Earvin Morris came off the bench to score 16 points for the Miners on 4-5 shooting from downtown. Marcus Jackson led Rice with 20 points.

Adrian Diaz had 27 points and 11 rebounds as Florida International held off FAU 62-60. Dennis Mavin added 16 points and 6 assists. Solomon Poole had 22 points for Florida Atlantic.

T.J. Price had 25 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds as Western Kentucky had no problems with Marshall in an 81-62 victory. George Fant added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Ryan Taylor had 15 points and 6 rebounds for Marshall.

UAB got 13 points and 6 rebounds from Robert Brown as the Blazers knocked off MTSU 55-49. Jaqawn Raymond had 14 for Middle Tennessee. UAB improved to 5-9 on the season.

UTSA used a 42-29 second half to beat UNT 71-61. Jeromie Hill had 23 points for the Roadrunners and Keon Lewis and Ryan Bowie each added 16. Jordan Williams had 17 for the Mean Green.

This week's action has Louisiana Tech and USM traveling to both UTEP and UTSA. Old Dominion and Charlotte both head to Marshall and Western Kentucky. FIU and FAU make the trip to both UAB and MTSU. Rice takes on North Texas on Saturday.

WKU's T.J. Price leads the league in scoring with 17.5 points per game followed by 17.1 from LA Tech's Raheem Appleby. UTEP's Vince Hunter is third with 16.7 points per game and ODU's Trey Freeman (16.4) is fourth.

Vince Hunter leads Conference USA with 10.3 rebounds per game and Ryan Taylor of Marshall is next with 8.3 per game. Jeromie Hill of UTSA (7.6) is third.

Adrian Diaz of FIU (65.8%), Cedrik Lang of UTEP (63.0%), and Richard Ross of ODU (60%) lead the league in field goal percentage.

Speedy Smith (LA Tech) leads CUSA in assists with 7.64 per game and Pierria Henry (Charlotte) is next with 5.62.  Henry leads the league in steals with 2.46 per game and Smith is next with 2.21 per game.

Keshawn Woods of Charlotte continues to lead the league in 3-point percentage with 54.5%.  LA Tech's Michale Kyser leads the league in blocks with 3.21 per game.

Old Dominion is 26 in the Sagarin Ratings, UTEP is 62, Charlotte is 83, and LA Tech is 97.

Massey has ODU at 35, UTEP at 72, LA Tech at 78, Charlotte at 109, and WKU at 121.

RealTimeRPI has ODU at 17, Charlotte at 59, and UTEP at 67.

LA Tech fell to UTEP in El Paso 89-79 last season. Vince Hunter had 26 points and 9 rebounds in that game. The Bulldogs were without Raheem Appleby.

The Bulldogs failed to knock off Syracuse, NC State, or Temple this year in their search for a headline win. The Bulldogs play UTEP, ODU, and Charlotte all just once this season and all three games are on the road.

Old Dominion has wins over VCU, George Mason, Georgia State, and LSU this season. Charlotte gets another shot at the Monarchs on February 7th.