CHARLOTTE, NC—The ODU Monarchs opened Conference-USA play with a 61-54 win at Charlotte for their ninth straight win and improve to 12-1 (1-0) C-USA) which is the best start in the school’s Division I history.
Three Monarchs scored in double figures led by junior guard Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, VA.) with 14, senior forward Richard Ross (Witchita Falls, Tx.) with 12 and junior guard Aaron Bacote (Hampton, VA.) with 10. Graduate forward Jonathan Arledge (Silver Spring, MD.) added nine points.
The Monarchs jumped out to a 29-18 halftime lead and pushed the lead to as much as 17, at 47-30 with 13:14 left after two free throws by Richard Ross.
Charlotte would go on a 19-6 run to cut the ODU lead to four at 53-49 with 4:38 left after a Pierria Henry basket. But Monarch red-shirt sophomore guard Ambrose Mosely nailed a three-pointer from the right corner and two free throws by Aaron Bacote put ODU back up to eight at 58-50 with 1:09 left.
The Monarchs finished the game shooting .429 (21-49) from the field while Charlotte shot .409 (18-44). ODU dominated the boards, 37-24 as sophomore forward Denzell Taylor (Ontario, Canada) hauled down eight, followed by seven rebounds from Arledge and six by Richard Ross.
ODU came up with eight steals on the day, led by three from Taylor and two from Freeman. The 54 points by Charlotte was their fewest of the season as they came into the contest averaging 75.4 points per game. ODU came into the contest ranked 13th nationally in scoring defense at .588.
Torin Dorn led the 49ers (6-7/0-1) with 13 points followed by Willie Clayton with 12. The Monarchs return to action on Thursday night at Marshall.