EL PASO, TX—ODU sophomore guard Aaron Bacote scored 25 points and hauled down eight rebounds to help lead the sixth seeded Monarchs (16-16) to a 73-58 victory over Marshall in the second round of the Conference USA Basketball Championships at the Don Haskins Center. ODU will play third seed Middle Tennessee Thursday at 4:30 ET in the quarterfinals. The game will be available on the C-USA Digital Network.
The Monarchs led 24-22 at halftime and went up, 32-22 after a layup by freshman forward Denzell Taylor with 17:45 left in the game. The Thundering Herd cut the Monarchs lead to four at 32-28 at the 16:22 mark and 35-31 after two free throws by freshman Kareem Canty with 15:04 left. Back-to-back layups by Dimitri Batten helped the Monarchs go on a 15-7 run to take a 12 point lead and control at 50-38 with 8:24 left in the game.
In the second half, ODU shot a blistering .700 (14-20) from the field, outscored Marshall, 10-2 in the paint and outrebounded them, 18-12. Dimitri Batten scored all of his 13 points in the second half and Bacote added 14 of his 25. In the first half, ODU shot only .320 (8-25) from the field.
Besides Bacote’s 25 and Batten’s 13, freshman Ambrose Mosley scored eight, including a big trey with 8:48 left to put the Monarchs up 10 at 48-38. Batten was second on the team with seven rebounds today, while sophomore Kennan Palmore came up with three of ODU’s six steals along with eight points.
ODU outrebounded the taller Marshall squad, 39-26 which is the 22nd time this year they have outrebounded an opponent. The Monarchs shot .489 (22-45) from the field and .719 (23-32) from the free throw line.
Marshall was led by freshman Kareem Canty with 17 (all in the second half), followed by Shawn Smith with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Monarchs now lead the series with Marshall, 6-4, winning both games this year. ODU and Middle Tennessee met back on Feb. 1 in Murfreesboro with the Blue Raiders winning, 64-48.