NORFOLK, Va. –Trey Freeman poured in a game-high 27 points, but Old Dominion (14-11, 7-5 C-USA) fell to Rice (9-16, 4-8 C-USA), 75-66, on Alumni Day on Saturday at the Ted Constant Center. The loss snapped ODU’s four-game winning streak.
Nik Biberaj’s layup pulled Old Dominion within six, 70-64, with 47 seconds left, before the Owls hit both free-throws to take a 72-64 lead with 37 seconds to play. Rice then got a stop and sealed the deal at the free-throw line to complete the 75-66 win.
Freeman brought the Monarchs within seven points, 67-60, with a made three with 65 seconds to play. Rice went 1-2 from the line, before ODU’s Ahmad Caver knocked down both of his attempts from the charity stripe to pull within six, 68-62, with 55 seconds remaining in regulation.
Old Dominion cut its deficit to nine, 64-55 with 1:31 to play, before Rice knocked down two free-throws to stretch its lead back to 11. Freeman then went to the charity stripe and hit both attempts to bring the score to 66-57 with 1:16 to play.
With 16:52 to play in the contest, Rice held a 45-31 advantage, before the Monarchs began chipping away at its deficit with a 13-6 run bringing the score to 51-44, forcing a Rice timeout with 9:40 to play. Rice answered on a 9-4 run taking a 60-48 lead, before Freeman buried a three-pointer with 5:20 to bring the Monarchs within nine, 60-51.
The Monarchs jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage at the 17:19 mark of the first half, before the Owls responded on an 8-0 run to claim an 8-7 lead at the first media timeout of the first half (14:53).
The game experienced its fifth tie of the contest at 22-22 with 6:55 remaining in the opening half. The Owls claimed a 39-31 lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime. Freeman led all scorers at the half with 14. Egor Koulechov paced the Owls with 10 first half points.
Overall, the Monarchs shot just 34.7 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from beyond arc, while Rice connected on 46.5 percent of its field goal attempts and 45.5 percent of its three-point attempts. The Owls also held a 42-38 advantage on the boards.
Aaron Bacote was the only other Monarch in double figures with 13 points, while Brandan Stith added six points and hauled in a career-high 16 rebounds.
For Rice, Chesapeake native Marcus Evans led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds and Egor Koulechov added 17 points and seven boards.
The victory was Rice's first ever win over Old Dominion.
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