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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Bears Unravel Monarchs

Bears Unravel Monarchs

Old Dominio University men’s basketball team (0-1) shriveled up in crunch time on its way to a 79-67 overtime loss to Missouri State (1-0) Friday night at the Ted Constant Center.

“It’s tough to lose I think our guys worked extremely hard. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort. Certainly our execution needs to be better particularly in crunch time, whether its fatigue, whether it’s the moment, I thought the difference came down to about three minutes,” Monarchs head coach Jeff Jones said after the game. “We got into the overtime period and just kind of loss control.”

Freshman Jordan Baker, junior transfer Joe Ebondo, and Denzell Taylor. They combined to play 62 minutes, score five points and secured 14 rebounds.

This Monarchs team does not have the ability to score at a premium. Friday night it shot just 39 percent for the game.

ODU will rely heavily on its sophomore duo of Aaron Bacote, who scored a career high of 28 points, and C- USA Player-to-Watch Keenan Palmore to create for other teammates. Palmore struggled to get in a consistent rhythm as he was plagued with foul trouble. He scored three points, dished out two assists and grabbed three rebounds in just 25 minutes.

The NCAA is trying to curb extracurricular physicality this year inserting a rule to initiate more foul calls.

Despite several of its players obtaining early foul trouble ODU was only down two at halftime, 30-28.

Early on in the second half the Bears went on a run to push the lead to seven. After MSU freshman Austin Ruder rimmed out a three that would have pushed the Monarchs deficit to 10, ODU went on an offensive tear.

Propelled by Bacote, Ebondo and another freshman Ambrose Moseley, the Monarchs pushed ahead and secured an eight point lead twice in the second half, a 54-46 lead with 8:28 left and 58-50 with 7:01 remaining.

With a relentless attack inside the paint from MSU guard Marcus Marshall, the team found its way back in the game.

Marshall was last year’s Missouri Valley Conference top freshman and was honored as an all-preseason MVC team member.

In addition to his poor shot touch from the field, he made just 4-16 from the free-throw line. Quick to bounce back however with a minute on the clock and a two point lead for the Monarchs, Marshall knocked in a bucket to tie the game at 63 apiece.

“I thought Marshall from Missouri State was outstanding he kind of controlled the game and he shot 4 for 16 you know so it wasn’t the fact he was making a ton of shots. He was driving and I thought he kind of spear headed their effort and they became the aggressor,” said Jones.

Batten pushed ODU back up with 22 seconds left, but a shot indicative of his 14 percent shooting night did not go down.

The Monarchs could not pull together any additional late runs heading into overtime.

The last 12 minutes saw the Bears go on a 29-9 run to lift them from an eight point deficit to a 12 point victory.

With 1.3 seconds left in overtime, Bacote hit a 3-pointer to give the Monarchs its first and only basket of the period.

“We got away from what we were doing rather than coming together,” said Bacote. “We just unraveled towards the end.”

Monarchs will host the Murray State Racers on Fri., Nov. 15 at the Ted Constant Center at 7:00 p.m..

By Brian Saunders

Staff Writer