Monarchs Lose To Middle Tennessee In C-USA Quarterfinals
EL PASO, TX--Richard Ross scored 12 and grabbed eight rebounds, Ambrose Mosley added 13 points and Keenan Palmore scored 10, but the Monarchs (16-17) lost to third seeded Middle Tennessee, 62-48 in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championships at the Don Haskins Center.
Middle Tennessee (24-8) was led by Neiko Hunter with 16 points, followed by Tweety Knight and Kerry Hammonds with 11 points each.
ODU shot .321 (18-56) from the field, while the Blue Raiders ht .543 (25-46) from the floor. MT also outrebounded ODU, 36-28 led by Conference Player of the Year Shawn Jones with a game high 11. The Blue Raiders outscored ODU in the paint, 30-10, and blocked eight shots.
ODU trailed at halftime, 30-19 after shooting .276 (8-29) from the floor while Middle Tennessee shot .500 (13-26).
Middle Tennessee led by 19, 42-23 with 16:27 left after a three-pointer by Hammonds, but the Monarchs rallied to cut the lead to nine thanks to six points from Ambrose Mosley and four from Keenan Palmore. After Mosley's three free throws at the 12:32 mark, the scored was 42-33.
ODU would get it down to 10, at 48-38 with 9:53 left on a Dimitri Batten trey, but Kerry Hammonds scored for Middle Tennesse and then Shawn Jones followed with a basket to help the Blue Raiders push the lead back to 16 at 54-48 with 7:01 left in the game.
Palmore led the Monarchs with three assists and Richard Ross blocked two shots on the day.
Aaron Bacote ended the season as ODU's leading scorer at 16.1.leading free throw shooter at .779, and assist leader at 92, follwed by Palmore with 81. Ambrose Mosley was the Monarchs top three-point shooter with 53 made. Ross led in rebounds at 7.1 and blocked shots with 77.
As a team, ODU are currently among the top three in the nation's most improved teams with a plus 9.5. over last season.