NORFOLK, VA—A Richard Ross basket with 2:04 remaining put the Monarchs (13-14/7-5)up for good capping a 10-2 run and a 55-51 Conference USA victory over the Rice Owls Thursday evening at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Richard Ross led with 18 points and Aaron Bacote added 13 for ODU.
The Monarchs led 32-25 at halftime and 38-31 after a Richard Ross layup with 13:49 left in the game, but Rice rallied and when Austin Ramljak hit a three–pointer with 10:47 left as the Owls led 49-38. Rice would build a seven point lead, 47-40 with 7:47 left and 49-42 with 6:49 left after a Ross Wilson layup.
The Monarchs 10-2 run started with an Aaron Bacote basket at the 6:38 mark to make it 49-44. Neither team would score again until 4:22 left on a Denzell Taylor free throw to make it 49-45. ODU cut it to two at 49-47 after a Richard Ross basket, then took the lead on a three-pointer by Ambrose Mosley with 2:46 left. Rice re-took the lead at 51-50 on two Max Guercy free throws, but Richard Ross hit another shot down low to put the Monarchs up for good, 52-51 with 2:04 left. ODU finished out the scoring with a free throw each from Bacote and Mosley and Bacote hit one more with three seconds left for the final, 55-51 score.
ODU finished the game shooting .382 (21-55) from the field, while Rice was .348 (16-46). ODU dominated the boards, 43-31 as both Richard Ross and Keenan Palmore hauled down ten rebounds each. For Palmore, it was a career high. Ambrose Mosley also grabbed a career high seven rebounds.
Palmore scored all nine of his points in the first half and led with four assists, while Bacote added three assists and three steals to go along with his 13 points.
Rice was led by center and C-USA rebound leader Sean Obi who scored 11 points and ten rebounds, followed by Max Guercy with ten points.
The Monarchs return to action on Saturday night when they host LA Tech at 7 p.m.