LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (25-13) won the inaugural Vegas 16 Championship, as the Monarchs took down Oakland (25-12) by a 68-67 score on Wednesday night at the Mandalay Bay Arena. Trey Freeman was named the Tournament MVP, while being joined by teammate Aaron Bacote on the All-Tournament Team. ODU only trailed for a total of 6:41 for the entire tournament.
Old Dominion had a 30-23 lead at the half, before claiming its biggest lead of the ballgame, 37-23, at the 18:15 mark of the second half. However, Oakland utilized 14-0 run to tie the game at 44 at the 11:55 mark. ODU answered back going on an 8-0 run to claim a 53-46 lead with 7:49 to play in the contest.
The Golden Grizzlies pulled within two points, 66-64, with 44 seconds remaining in regulation, before the Monarchs defense forced an Oakland turnover leading to Freeman hitting two free throws with five seconds remaining to secure the victory.
Freeman tallied 15 of his 25 points in the second half to go along with six rebounds, as he ended his college career with 2,304 points.
Brandan Stith recorded his 10th double-double of the season, going for 14 points and 15 rebounds. Bacote followed, chipping in 12 points, while Denzell Taylor hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds to compliment a team-high five assists. Jordan Baker finished with six points and four assists.
Old Dominion held advantages in rebounds (40-27), points in the paint (36-18), points off turnovers (22-18) and second chance points (25-4). The Monarchs led for a total of 32:30 of the possible 40 minutes. The game experienced six ties and two lead changes.
Felder led Oakland in points with 24, combined with 11 rebounds, notching a double-double. Percy Gibson chipped in 13.
Joining Freeman and Bacote were Oakland's Kay Felder and Max Hooper as well as East Tennessee State's Ge'Lawn Guyn.