Monarchs Cruise to 64-49 Win Over UCSB in Vegas 16 Semifinals
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Aaron Bacote poured in a game-high 26 points to lead his Monarchs (24-13) over UC Santa Barbara (19-14) by a 64-49 score in the semifinals of the Vegas 16 tournament on Tuesday night at the Mandalay Bay Arena. The Old Dominion men’s basketball team will take on Oakland on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. EST on the CBS Sports Network for the championship.
Bacote went 8-9 from the free-throw line for the game, as well as hauled down six rebounds. Trey Freeman recorded a double-double, going for 18 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with three assists. Ahmad Caver dished out a game-high four assists.
The game was tied, 24-24, at halftime before ODU outscored the Gauchos 40-25 in the second half. The Monarchs used a 10-0 run to claim a 37-29 advantage at the 13:58 mark of the second half. Old Dominion scored 20 of the first 30 points in the opening eight minutes of the second half to take a 44-34 lead.
The Gauchos pulled within nine, 52-43, with 5:53 remaining in regulation, but would get no closer as Trey Freeman immediately answered with a three-pointer and the Monarchs never looked back on their way to claiming a spot in the inaugural Vegas 16 championship game.
ODU used 50% (13-16) shooting from the floor, 46.2% (6-13) from three and 100% (8-8) from the free-throw line in the second half to pull away from the Gauchos in the final 20 minutes.
The Monarchs led for a total of 35:18 of the 40 minutes on Tuesday night, as they held a 19-2 advantage for points off turnovers for the contest. Old Dominion has now won nine of its last 10 games, as well as claimed victory in 14 of its last 17 contests.
For the ballgame, ODU held UCSB to 33.3% (17-51) shooting from the floor and 31% (9-29) from deep. Old Dominion only turned the ball over five times for the contest, while forcing 15 Gaucho turnovers.
Old Dominion utilized a 7-0 run to claim a 7-3 lead at the 17:13 mark of the first half. UCSB ended the opening half on a 6-0 run to tie the contest at 24-24 heading into the locker rooms at halftime.
ODU shot just 28.1% (9-32) from the floor, 14.3% (2-14) from three and 57.1% (4-7) from the free-throw line in the first half, but forced nine Gaucho turnovers, while holding a 12-0 advantage for points off turnovers. All eight Old Dominion players who played in the first half scored. The Monarchs held Santa Barbara to 34.6% (9-26) shooting from the floor in the opening half. ODU led for a total of 17:02 of the possible 20 minutes in the first half.
For the contest, Santa Barbara was led by Michael Bryson’s 17 points and six rebounds. Gabe Vincent followed, netting 13 points.
Wednesday, March 30
Game 7: Championship – 10 p.m. EST – CBS Sports Network/ESPN Radio 94.1 (pregame show begins at 9:30 p.m. EST)
Tournament tickets are priced from $15 per session for the tournament. All sessions include two games except for the championship game. Tickets can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay box office, MandalayBay.com, AXS.com, Vegas16.com or by calling 888-AXS-TIX. The Mandalay Bay Events Center seats 10,000 for basketball and has played host to NBA preseason games.
For more details on tournament, please visit their website: http://www.vegas16.com.
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