NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion men's basketball team cruised to a 78-56 victory over UTSA in front of a lively crowd of 8,372 on Saturday evening at Ted Constant Center. Saturday's night contest served as Senior Day, as Martin Shaw, Nik Biberaj, Aaron Bacote and Trey Freeman were all honored in a pre-game ceremony.
Brandan Stith paced ODU (17-12, 10-6 C-USA) with a career-high 21 points, while also adding 14 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks. The double-double was Stith's second consecutive double-double and his fifth in the past seven games.
Freeman also dumped in 21 points with five rebounds and six assists. Zoran Talley was the other Monarch in double figures with 10 points and five boards.
UTSA (5-25, 3-14 C-USA) got off to a hot start, as they led 13-6 just five minutes into the game. However, the Monarchs responded with a 12-0 burst to take a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. The Roadrunners' three-point shooting kept them in the game through the first half, as they connected on six of their 12 three-point attempts.
At the half, the Monarchs led 42-30 behind 12 points apiece from Freeman and Stith. In the fast-paced first half, the Monarchs shot 51.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Roadrunners, 18-13. ODU also held a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint.
The Monarchs continued their momentum into the second half, outscoring UTSA, 36-26, after halftime. After the high-scoring first half, the Monarch defense took control, bottling up the Roadrunner attack and holding UTSA to just 29 percent shooting in the second half.
Overall, Old Dominion shot 50 percent from the field, while holding UTSA to 36.4 shooting. The Monarchs also ended the game with a 45-30 edge in rebounding and a 19-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
Senior guard Bacote finished with six points and five rebounds for the Monarchs, while Shaw and Biberaj each made their first career starts. Shaw nailed a mid-range jumper in the final minute to the delight of the Monarch crowd for his only points of the game and Biberaj added two points, two rebounds and one assist.
J.R. Harris paced the Roadrunners with 17 points, while Christian Wilson added 13.
For the ballgame, the Monarchs held advantages for points in the paint (36-23), points of turnovers (19-6), second chance points (13-3) and bench points (26-6).
NEXT UP FOR THE MONARCHS Old Dominion closes out the regular season next weekend with a road trip to Texas. The Monarchs take on North Texas on Thursday, March 3, at 8 p.m. ET, before traveling to Rice on Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m.
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