NORFOLK, Va. -- Zoran Talley's potential game-tying three-pointer with two seconds remaining came up short and Old Dominion fell to Middle Tennessee, 64-61, on Saturday afternoon at the Ted Constant Center.
Middle Tennessee led by as many as six in the final minute, but the Monarchs rallied to close the gap to two after a Trey Freeman triple with 10 seconds remaining. MTSU went 1-of-2 at the line, which led to Talley's opportunity to tie the game in the waning seconds.
The defeat comes just two days after the Monarchs had their 32-game home winning streak snapped by UAB in a 72-71 overtime loss.
Middle Tennessee (12-5, 4-1 C-USA) had the better of the play early on, as the Blue Raiders surged out to an early 7-0 in the first four minutes of play.
ODU (9-9, 2-3 C-USA) responded, taking its first lead of the game at 19-18 seven minutes before halftime. Defense keyed the Monarch resurgence, as ODU held MTSU scoreless for a five-minute span in the latter part of the opening half.
The Monarchs would carry a 26-24 lead into halftime, thanks to a Talley tip-in just before the buzzer. Freeman paced ODU in the opening half with 11 points, while Aaron Bacote added six points and three assists.
In the second half, the Monarchs led 45-42 with just under 10 minutes to play, but Middle Tennessee went on a 10-1 run to take a 52-46 lead. The Blue Raiders would not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the contest, and would hold on for the 64-61 victory.
Overall, the Monarchs outrebounded the Blue Raiders, 37-32, but Middle Tennessee was able to shoot 47.2 percent from the field, while ODU shot 40.4 percent.
Freeman tied his career high with 28 points, while Bacote added 13 points and four assists and Talley contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.
Darnell Harris led Middle Tennessee with 19 points and six rebounds, with Edward Simpson adding 14 points and Giddy Potts finishing with 11 points.
NEXT UP FOR THE MONARCHS ODU remains at home for a C-USA matchup with WKU on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Ted Constant Center. The game will air on American Sports Network (ASN).
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