Regular Season Finale: Monarchs Never Trail in 74-67 Win at Rice
HOUSTON, Texas – The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (19-12, 12-6 C-USA) never trailed in its 74-67 win at Rice (12-19, 7-11 C-USA) in the 2015-16 regular season finale. The Monarchs have now four in a row and nine of their last 11. Trey Freeman led all scorers with 33.
Rice cut its deficit to eight, 62-54, utilizing a 7-0 run over a 1:40 span, before making it a three-point game, 64-61, with 2:03 to play; a 14-2 run over a 5:03 span.
Brandan Stith came up with a big steal with 89 seconds remaining, which led to a Trey Freeman made three-pointer to give ODU a 67-61 advantage with 1:19 to play. Rice’s Max Guercy made two free-throws before Jordan Baker made a layup while absorbing contact for an old-fashioned three-point play. Aaron Bacote and Trey Freeman would then seal the deal at the free-throw to lift Old Dominion to a 74-67 victory on Saturday in Houston.
Trey Freeman scored his 33 on 7-14 shooting from three and hitting all four free-throw attempts, while collecting four rebounds and dishing out two assists. Aaron Bacote also scored in double-figures, netting 14 for the game. Denzell Taylor hauled down a game-high 12 rebounds, while Brandan Stith finished with 10 boards to compliment eight points.
The Monarchs owned a 16-7 advantage for second chance points for the contest, while Rice outscored ODU in the paint, 28-18. Rice connected on 52.4% from the floor in the second half. The Owls were led by Marcus Evans’ 28 points (9-10 FT’s), while Connor Cashaw chipped in 12 points.
The Monarchs claimed their largest lead of the ballgame, 57-40, at the 11:58 mark of the second half off an Ahmad Caver made jumper.
The Monarchs jumped out to a 10-4 lead off a made Freeman three-pointer at the 13:36 mark of the first half. Freeman’s fourth made three-pointer of the first half gave the Monarchs a 29-18 advantage, before Aaron Bacote drilled a deep three to extend ODU’s lead to 36-20 at the 3:08 mark.
Trey Freeman led all scorers in the first half with 26 points on 4-6 shooting from three. Brandan Stith hauled down a half high eight rebounds, while Denzell Taylor followed with seven.
The Monarchs outrebounded Rice in the opening 20 minutes, 24-9. ODU held an 11-2 advantage for second chance points in the first half. Old Dominion connect on 6-12 from three in the first half.
The Monarchs will find out what seed they will be for the Conference USA Tournament tonight. The C-USA Tournament will be held in Birmingham, Ala. next week.
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