NORFOLK, VA-Old Dominion had four players in double figures led by sophomore Aaron Bacote's 20 points to defeat George Mason Saturday night, 71-66 in front of 7,511 in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Bacote hit three-of-four free throws in the final four seconds to help win the game.
ODU, now in Conference USA improves to 6-9 while Mason now in the Atlantic 10 drops to 7-7 as this was the final non-conference game for both. Joining Bacote in double figures were Dimitri Batten with 13 and Richard Ross and Keenan Palmore with 12 each.
The Monarchs took a 40-29 lead into halftime on .560 (14-25) shooting from the field and 10-for-11 shooting from the free throw line. Palmmore led with nine points, followed by eight from Bacote and seven from Ross. The Patriots were shooting .370 (10-27) from the field and had six turnovers which led to 12 Monarch points.
In the second half, the Monarchs led by as many as 13, 51-38 with 14:28 remaining after two Richard Ross free throws. Mason rallied and got to within two at 66-64 with eight seconds left after two Byron Allen free throws and 68-66 with five seconds left again after two Allen free throws.
Bacote hit one of two free throws with four seconds left and after a mason turnover,then hit two more to seal the victory, ending ODU's two-game losing streak and its five-game losing streak to the Patriots which dated back to the 2010-11 season.
The Monarchs didn't score a bucket the last 8:14 of the game, hitting 18-35 free throws in the second half. Both teams made more free throws than field goals for the game.