NORFOLK, VA—Old Dominion University junior guard Aaron Bacote (Hampton, VA.) scored a career high 31 points to lead the Monarchs (5-1) to a 73-67 victory over 14th-ranked VCU (4-2) Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 8,472 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
The victory was the Monarchs first over a nationally ranked team since beating No. 11 Georgetown in 2009-10 in Washington, DC. It was also the Monarchs first ever win at the Constant Center over a top twenty team.
Bacote was a perfect eight-for-eight from the field which included four treys along with 11 free throws on the day.
In the first half, the Monarchs took a 9-6 lead on a Bacote three-pointer with 14:25 left and kept the lead the rest of the game. The Monarchs led by as much as 15 at 23-8 with 9:17 left and 25-10 with 5:33 remaining in the half, taking a 14-point halftime lead of 32-18.
ODU shot .520 (13-25) in the first half, including .600 (6-10) from three-point range while the Rams shot .348 (8-23) from the field an only two made treys in nine attempts. ODU only committed four turnovers in the first half.
In the second half, the ODU lead stretched to 18 points at 41-23 with 16:00 minutes left after a jumper by Jonathan Arledge(Silver Spring, MD.), but the Rams managed to cut the lead to six with 1:34 left on a three-pointer by Treveon Graham, at 59-53. Graham scored 22 second half points for VCU. The Monarchs would hit 11 free throws in the final 1:30 (six by Bacote along with a two-pointer) to hold on for the win.
Junior guard and newcomer Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, VA.) added 15 points for the Monarchs, including eight-of-10 free throws, while graduate student Jonathan Arledge and sophomore guard Ambrose Mosley each scored nine points. Senior forward Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, TX.) was the Monarchs leading rebounder with six along with a game high four blocked shots and two steals to go along with five points.
VCU never effectively employed its "Havoc" full-court pressure defense. They entered the day forcing opponents into 18 turnovers per game and averaging 10 steals. But ODU committed just 12 turnovers and VCU collected only five steals, three by senior guard Briante Weber, the NCAA's active leader in steals.
The Monarchs finished the day shooting .476 (20-42) from the field while VCU shot .390 (23-59).
VCU was led by Graham who scored 34 points, including six three-pointers. Melvin Johnson added 14 points and Mo Alie-Cox hauled down a game high 13 rebounds.
The Monarchs, who beat LSU in the Paradise Jam Tournament last week travel to George Mason on Wednesday night.