RUSTON, La. – Old Dominion (9-6, 2-0 C-USA) snapped the country’s second longest home win-streak when the Monarchs handed LA Tech (12-3, 1-1 C-USA) a 56-53 loss at the Thomas Assembly Center. Prior to Thursday night, the Bulldogs had not lost a game on their own hardwood since Dec. 14, 2013. Thursday night also marked LA Tech’s first ever home loss in Conference USA. The victory was the Monarchs’ fifth straight win.
Aaron Bacote drilled two free-throws with 1:05 left, giving ODU a 55-53 lead. After Old Dominion forced a turnover, Denzell Taylor went 1-2 from the charity stripe to extend ODU’s lead to three points (56-53) with 15 seconds remaining. LA Tech’s Derric Jean’s contested three-pointer bounced off the back iron as time expired, securing a 56-53 win for Old Dominion.
In what was ODU’s first time playing in Ruston and only the third ever meeting between Old Dominion and La Tech, Trey Freeman led all scorers with 21 points to compliment five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Aaron Bacote followed with 17 points on 6-10 shooting and 2-3 from three. The Monarchs led for a total 32:38 of the possible 40 minutes in a game which experienced six lead changes and five ties.
After trailing 36-30 with 13:54 to play in the second half, ODU went on a 15-0 run over a 4:22 span to claim a 45-36 advantage forcing a Bulldogs timeout at the 9:38 mark.
LA Tech answered back with a 12-4 run of its own, taking a 51-49 lead, forcing an ODU timeout with 2:47 to play. Two made free-throws by Zoran Talley and then a dribble-drive layup by Freeman gave ODU a 53-51 lead with 1:50 remaining in regulation, before LA Tech tied the game back up at 53-53 with 1:26 to play.
The Monarchs jumped out to an early 13-6 lead after a made Jordan Baker three with 12:13 to play in the first half. Old Dominion held a 24-21 lead at halftime, behind Trey Freeman’s half-high 10 points and Brandan Stith’s half-high six rebounds.
In the opening half, Old Dominion held the Bulldogs to 25% (6-24) shooting from the floor. ODU led for 18:46 of the possible 20 minutes in the first half.
NEXT UP FOR THE MONARCHS Old Dominion will remain on the road to take on Southern Miss on Saturday, Jan. 9. Tipoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. EST.
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