NORFOLK, VA—Sophomore guard Aaron Bacote (Hampton, VA.) scored 22 and junior forward Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, TX.) added a career high tying 19 points along with 10 rebounds as the Monarchs defeated Marshall, 70-63 in a C-USA contest Thursday night. ODU improves to 14-15 overall and 8-6 in league play. ODU clinches a first round bye in the C-USA Tournament.
Marshall led 27-25 at halftime and upped the lead to four at 31-27 with 18:27 left after two free throws by Ryan Taylor. THe Monarchs began their rally after two Keenan Palmore (Stone Mountain, GA.) free throws tied the game at 31-31 and then an Aaron Bacote trey put the Monarchs up for good at 34-31 with 17:21 left.
The Monarchs biggest lead was 56-42 with 7:07 left after a Dimitri Batten(Newport News, VA.) layup. Marshall would make a run and cut the lead to five late in the game, 65-59 after a Kareem Canty three-pointer, but Aaron Bacote would go 6-for-6 from the free throw line the final 34 seconds to clinch victory.
Richard Ross was 8-for-10 from the floor and hauled down 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He also blocked three shots to up his total to 147 which ranks him eighth all-time at ODU. Beside scoring 22, Bacote dished out four assists and was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
ODU outrebounded Marshall, 39-35 as freshman forward Denzell Taylor (Ontario, Canada) hauled down a game high 11 rebounds along with Ross’ 10. The Monarchs shot .490 (25-51) while Marshall finished at .370 (20-54) from the floor. Keenan Palmore and Dimitri Batten added nine points each tonight.
Marshall was led by Kareem Canty with 24 points, followed by Chris Thomas with 17.
ODU returns to action on Sunday in Charlotte against the 49ers. Game time is 4 p.m. for the televised contest which will be shown in Hampton Roads on Cox channel 114 and in West Point, Gloucester, New Kent and King and Queen counties on Cox 110.