NORFOLK, VA—Old Dominion University junior guard Aaron Bacote (Hampton, Va.) scored 25 and forward Jonathan Arledge (Silver Spring, MD.) added 15 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Monarchs (14-12/3-1) to a 63-53 Conference-USA victory over Rice Thursday night before a crowd of 7457 at the Constant Center. The Monarchs have now won 13 straight home games since last season and are 9-0 this year.
Bacote scored 21 of his game high 25 in the second half, going seven-for-eight from the field, including a perfect three-for-three from beyond the arc and four-for-four from the free throw line.
The Monarchs led 27-21 at halftime and took a 10-point lead, 36-26 with 16:32 left after a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jordan Baker (Hampton, VA.) Rice rallied and cut the lead to five, 36-31 with 15:55 left after a layup by Jeremy Jones.
Rice again got to within five (41-36) with 12:52 left on a Max Guercy three-pointer, but Aaron Bacote came back to knock down a trey, then followed with another basket to give the Monarchs a 10-point lead at 46-36 with 10:57 left. A Jonathan Arledge layup with 1:51 left in the game gave the Monarchs their biggest lead of 14 at 57-43.
The Monarchs finished the night shooting .476 (20-42) from the floor, while Rice shot .396 (21-53). ODU dominated the boards, 38-23 as Arledge led with 11, followed by junior forward Javonte Douglas (Charlotte, NC.) with seven.
The double-double by Arledge was his first of the season as a Monarch (he had a career high 12 rebounds in ODU’s win against LSU in the Paradise Jam). While junior guard Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, VA.) scored only seven points, he dished out a game high five assists and came up with four steals on the night.
ODU entered the game ranked 13th nationally in scoring defense at 55.9 and 45th nationally in field goal percentage defense at .385.
Rice falls to 4-11 overall and 1-3 in C-USA. The Owls were led by Marcus Jackson with 15 points and Max Buercy scored 13.
The Monarchs return to action Saturday night against the Mean Green of North Texas at 7 p.m. Head Coach Jeff Jones will be coaching barefoot this Saturday as part of his support for Samaritan’s Feet.