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Old Domionion 65, Florida Atlantic 60

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BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Old Dominion Monarchs came to South Florida with the expressed goal of sweeping its new Conference USA brethren.

The Monarchs got what they wanted, but probably not quite the way they expected.

With their leading scorer, guard Aaron Bacote, out with an ankle injury, the Monarchs overcame an 11-point second-half to beat the Florida Atlantic Owls 65-60 on Saturday night.

Coupled with their win at Florida International two nights earlier, the Monarchs (9-9, 3-0) extended their winning streak to four games and got them back to even on the season since they were 4-4 back on Dec. 3.

FAU (6-12, 2-2) lost its second in a row.

The Monarchs trailed 40-30 early in the second half and were still back by eight, 49-41, when they began their decisive run. Guard Keenan Palmore, the hero of the win over Florida Atlantic with 17 points, ignited the comeback with a jumper.

Forward Richard Ross' shot in the lane gave the Monarchs their first lead since the first half, 54-53, and the they went on from there.

Palmore led ODU in scoring with15 points.

Owls center Justin Raffington led all scorers with 16.

ODU took nearly six minutes before scoring its first basket on forward Denzell Taylor's driving hook shot that made it 7-2 FAU.

The Owls continued to hold onto their lead until less than six minutes remained in the half when Ross slammed home a dunk to give the Monarchs their first lead, 18-17.

The two teams jockeyed back and forth over the next few minutes until guard Pablo Bertone's 3-pointer gave the Owls a little cushion at 22-18. Then Bertone's two free throws with 7.6 seconds left in the period gave the Owls their 27-21 advantage at the break.

NOTES: Though this was the first time the two teams met as members of Conference USA, it was the second time they have faced each other. ODU won the initial meeting 70-55 back on Nov. 17, 2006. ... After the three road games, the Monarchs are back home to face Southern Mississippi on Thursday night. The Golden Eagles are 15-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference heading into a Sunday afternoon game against C-USA leader Louisiana Tech. ... FAU steps out of league play to host Harvard on Tuesday night in its next outing.
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