Old Dominion snaps 6-game losing streak

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WILMINGTON, N.C -- In a season during which Old Dominion guard Aaron Bacote has often had to put the Monarchs offense on his back, on Saturday his teammates carried him for a change.
Guard Keenan Palmore scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, while freshman guard Jordan Baker and freshman forward Denzell Taylor also had key contributions as the Monarchs snapped a six-game losing streak with 69-57 victory over North Carolina-Wilmington Saturday at Trask Coliseum.
Richard Ross added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Monarchs, who notched their first road win of the season and their first victory of any kind since Nov. 23 against Georgia Southern.
"This will definitely make for a little bit merrier break," Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones said.
Forward Cedrick Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds and guard Luke Hager added 10 points for the Seahawks.
"I didn't see this one coming," Seahawks coach Buzz Peterson said. "It was a very frustrating loss."
The Monarchs prevailed despite minimal contributions from Bacote, who was averaging 18.4 points per game, and having scored at least 20 points in six of his team's 10 games.
Because of a violation of team rules, the sophomore was held out of the starting lineup for the first time all season. He entered the game with 16:19 left in the first half, but didn't until the 7:21 mark of the second half.
That was the only field goal in seven shots for Bacote, who finished with nine points.
His teammates picked him up, however, and the Monarchs led, 24-22, at halftime, and Palmore scored Old Dominion's first eight points before the second half was two minutes old to build a 32-24 advantage.
Palmore made only one of his four shots in the first half but, but was 7- for-11 after the break.
The Seahawks answered with an 11-0 run, capped by a layup from guard Freddie Jackson, that moved Wilmington ahead by three.
Guard Jordan Baker got the Monarchs even with a 3-pointer, then snapped a 37-37 tie with another shot from behind the arc. A steal and a dunk by Palmore with 7:52 left capped a decisive 11-2 spurt from which the Seahawks couldn't recover.
"We discussed all week about focusing today," Peterson said. "Old Dominion didn't hang their heads. They kept competing and fighting and they came out with a win."
Baker finished with 10 points, while Taylor chipped in eight points, seven rebounds and some quality defense on Williams.
"The big matchup was Denzell against Williams and Denzell did a terrific job," Jones said. "They do a lot to free Williams and our guards did a good job of letting Denzell get through the screens."
The Monarchs shot 64 percent in the second half and 50 percent for the game.
NOTES: The Monarchs didn't get their fifth victory in 2012-13 until last March in their season finale at Northeastern. ... Guard Aaron Bacote did not start because he was late for the team bus. ... Both teams struggled to score in the early going, as Old Dominion led, 2-0, at the first media timeout.

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