NORFOLK, VA—The ODU Monarchs (4-1) won their fourth straight game with an 86-69 victory over Georgia Southern (2-3) in game two of the Cancun Challenge Saturday afternoon as sophomore guard Aaron Bacote scored 26 points, freshman Jordan Baker had a career high 17 and Dimitri Batten added 15.
ODU shot a blistering .593 percent from the floor in the first half (16-27), including 8-for-12 shooting from behind the arc. The eight three-pointers in one half is one shy of the school mark of nine set against UAB on Jan. 4, 1989 and UNC Wilmington on Jan. 17, 1994. The overall shool mark for the most treys in one half is 11 (11-12) vs. JMU in the second half of the Feb. 17, 1993 game.
Baker’s three-pointer at the 13:16 mark of the first half put ODU up for good, 12-9. ODU led by as many as 17 in the first half, 37-20 after a three-pointer by Ambrose Mosley with 5:28 left, and took a 47-33 halftime lead. The Eagles made a rally in the second half to get to within 11 at 72-61 on two free throws by Tre Bussey with 3:42 left, but could get no closer.
The Monarchs finished the day shooting .519 (27-52) from the field and hit .206 from the free throw line. Bacote’s 26 was his second highest point total this season (28 in the season opener against Missouri State) as he was 7-for-13 from the field and 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Baker was 6-for-10 from the field, and 4-for-5 from three-point range.
The Monarchs outrebounded the Eagles, 38-32 led by freshman forward Denzell Taylor with eight, followed by five rebounds each from Richard Ross, Dimitri Batten and Joe Ebondo. The Monarchs also handed out 15 assists led by Bacote with six.
Georgia Southern was led by its guard tandem of Tre Bussey with 28 and Jelani Hewitt with 23 points. The Eagles shot .351 (20-57) from the field.
The Monarchs return to action Tuesday against West Virginia at 6 p.m. in the Cancun Challenge and will play either Wisconsin or Saint Louis on Wednesday either 7 or 9:30 p.m. The games will be played at the Aventura Palace Resort Convention Center and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network in Hampton Roads on channel 216 for COX subscribers.