BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Trey Freeman’s game-high 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists lifted the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (21-12) over LA Tech (23-8) by a 68-52 score in the Quarterfinals of the 2016 Conference USA Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Legacy Arena. The Monarchs will take on No. 8 seeded Western Kentucky tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network for a chance to advance to the C-USA Finals. ODU has now won six in a row and 11 out of their last 13.
Old Dominion held LA Tech to just 52 points on 32.7% (18-55), as the Bulldogs averaged 80.3 points a game entering the contest. ODU held a 16-2 advantage for second chance points for the ballgame.
Also in double-figures for the Monarchs was senior Aaron Bacote, who netted 14 points (2-3 3PT, 6-7 FT) to go along with five rebounds and two assists. Denzell Taylor hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds to compliment eight points on 4-5 shooting from the floor.
Old Dominion opened the second half on a 10-2 run to claim a 42-29 LEAD at the 15:55 mark. The Monarchs held onto their 13-point lead at the under-12 media timeout (11:32), as they lead the Bulldogs 48-35.
ODU extended its lead to 18, 55-37, with 6:55 remaining in regulation, before utilizing a 13-4 run to take a 59-39 lead with 4:34 left in regulation and ultimately claiming the 68-52 victory on Thursday in Birmingham.
LA Tech was led by Erik McCree’s 15 points and seven rebounds, while Conference USA Player of the Year, Alex Hamilton, went for 12 points on 4-13 shooting.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage two minutes into the contest, before the Monarchs answered with a 13-4 run of their own to bring the score to 13-11 at the 11:07 mark.
With 3:55 left in the first a made Ahmad Caver pull-up jumper tied the contest at 23 apiece. Freeman’s elbow jumper at the 1:58 mark gave ODU its largest lead of the first half, 28-24, before claiming a 32-27 advantage heading into the locker rooms at half time.
Freeman (3-6 3PT) led all scorers in the first half with 13, while Bacote followed with nine. Denzell Taylor hauled down a half-high six rebounds.
The first half experienced seven lead changes and six ties, as LA Tech led for 10:28 compared to ODU holding an advantage for just 4:26. The Monarchs held advantages in rebounds (20-12), offensive rebounds (8-1), points off turnovers (11-4) and second chance points (11-0).
---RADIO--- Friday’s Semifinal game will air across the Commonwealth on ESPN Radio 94.1 in Hampton Roads, Sports FM 100.5 in Central Virginia and WLVA 94.1 and FOX Sports 580 in Lynchburg. (Ted Alexander and Dave Twardzik’s live pregame show begins at 3:30 p.m. EST)
Following each contest, fans can tune into all post-game press conferences, courtesy of the C-USA Digital Network.