NORFOLK, VA—Keenan Palmore (Stone Mountain, GA.) scored 11 and Jonathan Arledge (Silver Spring, MD.) added 10 points to lead the top seeded Monarchs of Old Dominion (26-7) to a 50-49 victory over Illinois State (22-13) Monday night and advance to the quarterfinal round of the NIT. ODU will host the Murray State Racers from the Ohio Valley Conference Wednesday night at 7 pm on ESPN2. Murray defeated Tulsa, 83-62.
Parris Lee hit a three-pointer with 35 seconds left in the game to give Illinois State a 49-48 lead. After a timeout, Jonathan Arledge scored on a layup with 19 seconds left to give ODU the 50-49. The Redbirds had a chance to win the contest when Mikyle McIntosh missed two free throws with 4 seconds left, but after ODU’s Ambrose Mosley missed a front end of a bonus free throw, Illinois State had one last shot with two seconds left, but the length of the court pass was knocked away.
ODU shot .364 (20-55) from the field, while Illinois state shot .388 (19-49). The Monarchs outrebounded the Redbirds, 40-34.
Illinois State, members of the Missouri Valley Conference were led by Daishon Knight with 14 points, followed by DeVaughan Akoon-Purcell with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Monarchs led by five at halftime, 27-22, but Illinois State re-took the lead after back-to-back three-pointers from Akoon-Purcell for a 28-27 lead with 18:04 left in the game. Jonathan Arledge tied the game at 28-28, followed by an Aaron Bacote layup and another jumper by Arledge to put ODU up six at 34-28. ODU would keep the lead until Daishon Knight tied the contest at 46-46 with 1:20 left.
The Monarchs played most of the contest without leading scorer Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, VA.) who injured his ankle in practice over the weekend. Freeman started the game and played 12 minutes with three assists and three rebounds.
The last time the Monarchs reached the NIT quarterfinals was in 2006, after beating Colorado and Manhattan. ODU then played at Hofstra, defeating the Pride and advancing to the semifinals. ODU also played in the 1979 NIT quarterfinals, losing at Purdue.