NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion (1-0) extended the country’s seventh longest home-winning streak to 25 in the 2015-16 season opener with a 67-50 victory over Niagara (0-1) on Friday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in front of a crowd of 8,150. Trey Freeman led the Monarchs with 20 points, while Aaron Bacote followed with 18 points and three assists in his 100th game in a Monarch uniform. Denzell Taylor combined for four points, a game-high nine rebounds, a game-high four assists, two steals and one block in the win.
The Purple Eagles would pull to within eight points (51-43) with 9:35 to play in regulation, but would come no closer the rest of the way, as Old Dominion held a 41-20 advantage for points in the paint for the contest.
The Monarchs used a 14-0 run to jump out to an early 18-7 advantage at the 10:10 mark of the first half after holding the Purple Eagles scoreless for 4:52. ODU senior captain Aaron Bacote was the first player to record 10 points (4-6 FG) just before the under-eight media timeout. At the final media timeout of the first half, Old Dominion held a 30-20 advantage.
Old Dominion would take a 36-24 lead into the locker rooms at halftime, as Bacote led all scorers with 12 points, while Trey Freeman followed with 11. Niagara was led by Matt Scott’s nine points and six boards.
The Monarchs shot 15-29 (51.7%) from the floor in the first half, 2-8 (25%) from three and 4-8 (50%) from the free-throw line. The Purple Eagles were held to 38.5 (10-26) shooting from the floor, 16.7% (1-6) from deep and (75%) from the charity stripe. Old Dominion held a 23-10 advantage in points in the paint in the first 20 minutes of action.
Nik Biberaj put an end to Niagara’s 17-10 run to open the second half, when he converted on a layup plus the foul, giving Old Dominion a 49-41 lead at the under-12 media timeout (11:41). ODU held onto a 12 point lead (55-43) at the under-eight media timeout of the second half, before Niagara cut its deficit to 10, 59-49, with 3:37 remaining in regulation, before the Monarchs ultimately pulled out the 67-50 victory on Friday night at the Ted.
For the game, ODU shot 45.6% (26-57) from the floor, 25% (3-12) from three and 57.1% (12-21) from the free-throw line. Niagara finished hitting 32.7% (18-55) from the floor, 11.8% (2-17) from deep and 66.7% (12-18) from the charity stripe. The Purple Eagles were paced by Matt Scott’s 19 points and eight rebounds on 7-16 shooting.
NEXT UP FOR THE OLD DOMINION MONARCHS Old Dominion will be back in action at home on Monday, Nov. 16 against Buffalo as part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic at 7:00 p.m.
DON’T MISS THE ACTION! Monarch basketball season tickets are on sale now for the 2015-16 season at YNottix.com or by calling the box office 757-683-4444.
TICKETS (Single Game) Adult Lower Bowl - $17 Adult Club - $31 Military/Seniors/Youth/Faculty Staff - $15 Group pricing available by calling Todd McKeating at 757-683-7087
WHAT A DEAL! - VOUCHER BOOKS Get 10 tickets to use at any home ODU basketball games during the 2015-16 regular season. Use them all at one game to bring family and friends, or spread them out over the season. The choice is yours! The price is $120 for a men’s basketball voucher book. That’s a $50 savings over purchasing at the ticket window.