NORFOLK, VA—The Monarch trio of Aaron Bacote, Keenan Palmore and Jordan Baker combined for 51 points to lead Old Dominion (11-12/5-3) to a 69-61 C-USA victory over UTSA Thursday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The Monarchs outscored the Roadrunners, 45-36 in the second half.
Bacote led all scorers with 22 points, followed by 16 from Keenan Palmore and a career high tying 13 off the bench from freshman guard Jordan Baker. Bacote also had two steals and four assists.
ODU led by eight (22-14)with 6:25 left in the first half after two free throws by Richard Ross, but UTSA would go on to outscore the Monarchs 11-2 and take a 25-24 lead into the locker room at halftime after two Phillip Jones free throws.
In the second half, Keon Lewis started the half off with a basket for UTSA to give them a 27-24 lead, but Bacote would make a three-point play to tie the game at 27 with 19:05 to go. ODU would go on a 12-0 run and after a layup by Richard Ross, the Monarchs led 39-27 with 16:08 left.
ODU lead by as much as 16 twice, the last, 57-41 with 7:42 remaining as UTSA rallied to cut the lead to seven, 60-53 with 3:35 left and then six, 67-61 with 20 seconds left, but would get no closer as the Monarchs knocked down 20-of-27 free throws in the second half led by Aaron Bacote’s 10-of-11 shooting. ODU also shot .500 (11-22) from the floor in the second half.
For the game, ODU finished at .435 (20-46) from the field to UTSA’s .392(20-51) and outrebounded the Roadrunners, 36-31 led by junior Richard Ross with a game high 10 and freshman Denzell Taylor with five. Every Monarch who played hauled in at least one rebound tonight. ODU also hit .706 (24-34) shots from the free throw line. ODU also blocked nine shots led by Taylor with a career high four, Palmore with three and two for Ross.
UTSA had three players in double figures led by Edrico McGregor with 12, and Phillip Jones and Devon Agusi with 10 points each. McGregor also had nine rebounds. ODU forced UTSA into 16 turnovers, 11 in the second half.
ODU red-shirt junior guard Dimitri Batten injured his left shoulder early in the second half and did not return. The Monarchs hostC-USA co-leader UTEP Saturday night at 7 p.m.