NORFOLK, VA—The ODU Monarchs (2-1) had four players in double-figures led by sophomore Aaron Bacote (Hampton, VA.) with 21 in a 70-60 victory over Murray State (1-2) Friday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Joining Bacote in double figures were sophomore guard Keenan Palmore (Stone Mountain, GA.) with 13, red-shirt junior forward Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, TX.) with 12 and red-shirt junior guard Dimitri Batten (Newport News, VA.) with 11.
The Monarchs trailed at halftime, 36-29 on .310 (9-29) shooting from the field, while the Racers hit .533 (16-30) for the floor led by Cameron Payne with 10 points.
In the second half, ODU held Murray State to just 24 points on .333 (8-24) shooting, while the Monarchs hit a blistering .516 (16-31).
ODU quickly rallied in the second half to tie the game at 36-36 with 18:44 left in the game on a three-pointer by Batten, a layup by Palmore and a dunk from freshman forward Denzell Taylor (Brampton, Ontario). ODU took the lead for good with 16:04 left, 40-38 on a layup by Aaron Bacote on a pass from Palmore. The Monarchs eventually built the lead to 10, 61-51 with 3:42 left after two Palmore free throws.
Murray State rallied to cut the lead to four, 61-57 with 2:56 left after a three-point play by Tyler Rambo, but a Bacote layup and after a MSU miss, Palmore scored to put the Monarchs up eight with 2:06 remaining.
ODU outrebounded Murray State, 43-36 as Monarch freshman Denzell Taylor hauled down a career high 12 rebounds, followed by Richard Ross with nine boards.
In addition to leading ODU with 21 points, Bacote dished out a career high eight assists, and went seven-for-14 from the field. Richard Ross added four assists, while Keenan Palmore hit five-of-six free throws, had a block and two steals on the evening.
The Monarchs committed only 11 turnovers, just four in the second half, while Murray State turned it over 16 times.
Murray State put four players in double figures led by Cameron Payne with 17 along with five assists and Jarvis Williams added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Monarchs return to action Thursday night, Nov. 21 when they host Presbyterian, then Georgia Southern on Saturday, Nov. 23rd at the Constant Center as part of the Cancun Challenge. ODU then travels to Cancun to play West virginia on Nov. 26 and either Wisconsin or St. Louis on Nov. 27th.