NORFOLK, VA Sophomore guard Aaron Bacote (Hampton, VA.) scored 22 and junior forward Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, TX.) added a career high tying 19 points along with 10 rebounds as the Monarchs defeated Marshall, 70-63 in a C-USA contest Thursday night. ODU improves to 14-15 overall and 8-6 in league play.ODU clinches a first round bye in the C-USA Tournament.
Marshall led 27-25 at halftime and upped the lead to four at 31-27 with 18:27 left after two free throws by Ryan Taylor. THe Monarchs began their rally after two Keenan Palmore (Stone Mountain, GA.) free throws tied the game at 31-31 and then an Aaron Bacote trey put the Monarchs up for good at 34-31 with 17:21 left.
The Monarchs biggest lead was 56-42 with 7:07 left after a Dimitri Batten(Newport News, VA.) layup. Marshall would make a run and cut the lead to five late in the game, 65-59 after a Kareem Canty three-pointer, but Aaron Bacote would go 6-for-6 from the free throw line the final 34 seconds to clinch victory.
Richard Ross was 8-for-10 from the floor and hauled down 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He also blocked three shots to up his total to 147 which ranks him eighth all-time at ODU. Beside scoring 22, Bacote dished out four assists and was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
ODU outrebounded Marshall, 39-35 as freshman forward Denzell Taylor (Ontario, Canada) hauled down a game high 11 rebounds along with Ross' 10. The Monarchs shot .490 (25-51) while Marshall finished at .370 (20-54) from the floor. Keenan Palmore and Dimitri Batten added nine points each tonight.