Western Kentucky hosts No. 25 Old Dominion

Jan 10, 2015 - 3:44 PM Bowling Green, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Ranked by the Associated Press for the first time in school history, the 25th-ranked Old Dominion Monarchs try to keep the good times rolling on Saturday as they clash with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Conference USA play at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Off to the best start in program history, the Monarchs have lost just one of their first 14 outings, a surprising 64-45 setback versus Illinois State in late November. Since then the team has rattled off 10 straight victories which, while impressive, is still 12 shy of the school record of 22.

Closing up a three-game road trip with this outing, Old Dominion most recently delivered a 72-51 knockout to Marshall on Thursday night in West Virginia. ODU, which has won 12 straight at home, returns to the Ted Constant Convocation Center next week for a meeting against Rice.

As for the Hilltoppers, they too are off to a 2-0 start to the league slate thanks to an 81-62 beating of the Thundering Herd last weekend and a 74-66 triumph over Charlotte two nights ago at home. WKU has won four straight and six of the last seven outings, the one loss during the stretch coming against fourth-ranked Louisville, 76-67, on Dec. 20.

With respect to the all-time series between these former Sun Belt Conference foes, the Hilltoppers cling to a 15-12 advantage, although this is the first meeting since the 1990-91 campaign.

Defensively, the Monarchs held Marshall to just 37.0 percent shooting from the field and forced a total of 22 turnovers, far too much for the Herd to be competitive a few nights back at the Cam Henderson Center. At the offensive end, Jonathan Arledge tallied 13 points, followed by Trey Freeman and Jordan Baker with 11 points apiece. For Baker, the scoring burst marked just his second double-digit effort of the season and came on the heels of his scoreless performance versus Charlotte.

From an offensive standpoint, Freeman is the only double-digit scorer for Old Dominion with his 16.0 ppg, stemming from 82.0 percent accuracy at the free- throw line. Freeman, who accounts for 3.9 rpg, is also first on the unit with 47 assists, just ahead of Aaron Bacote (9.1 ppg) who has handed out 40.

From a defensive perspective, there are few teams in college that are as suffocating, limiting foes to only 54.8 ppg on 38.5 percent shooting from the field and 28.9 percent beyond the arc.

After being knotted at 40-40 at the break, the Hilltoppers found themselves behind by seven in the second half before producing a 15-point swing in the period and the eventual victory at home. Except for Aleksej Rostov who finished with just two points in 12 minutes of action, every starter landed in double figures, led by T.J. Price who tallied 21 points. George Fant registered a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, followed by Trency Jackson and Chris Harrison-Docks with 15 points apiece.

Price, who is now 15th on the school's all-time scoring list and just 16 points shy of 1,500 for his career, is leading the WKU offense with 17.7 ppg, stemming from his 47.7 percent accuracy from behind the three-point line, which just happens to be better than his 46.9 percent from the field overall. Fant adds another 11.8 ppg and is tops with 7.7 rpg, although his 61.2 percent effort at the free-throw line keeps him from catching up to Price on the all- time scoring list.

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