MURFREESBORO, TN—ODU's Dimitri Batten scored 14, Aaron Bacote 13 and Richard Ross added 11 points, but the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee defeated the Monarchs, 64-48 Saturday night at the Murphy Center led by Shawn Jones with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The Monarchs are now 10-12 overall and 4-3 in conference USA, while MTSU improves to 15-7 overall and 5-2 in the league.
The Monarchs jumped out on the Blue Raiders in the first half with an 11-4 lead as Richard Ross scored six points during that stretch, capped by a trey from Aaron Bacote. MTSU would go on a 10-0 run and after two Kerry Hammonds free throws led by three, 14-11 with 9:50 left in the half.
MTSU would talk a 29-24 lead into halftime, but the Monarchs rallied to cut the lead to one at 33-32 with 16:18 left in the game on a layup by Dimitri Batten. Shawn Jones then answered with a basket for a 35-32 lead. MTSU would then outscore the Monarchs on an 8-1 run for a 43-33 lead with 12:56 left to go after a Neiko Hunter jumper.
The Monarchs got it down to six at 43-37 on a Batten jumper, but would get no closer.
ODU shot .333 (16-48) from the field, while MTSU was .512 (22-43). Jones led the Blue Raiders with 9-for-11 shooting from the field. The Monarchs outrebounded MTSU, 34-31 as freshman Denzell Taylor led with eight, while Jones led MTSU with 10.
ODU returns to home Thursday to host UTSA, then on Saturday host UTEP.