DENTON, Texas — Old Dominion Monarchs guard Ambrose Mosely made the best of his 13 minutes Thursday night.
The freshman came off the bench to score 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, including 11 in a row during a crucial run of a 72-62 Conference USA victory over the host North Texas Mean Green.
Mosley, who averages only five points a game and was limited Thursday because of foul trouble, hit three 3-pointers and two free throws during an 11-1 surge late in the second half that gave the Monarchs a lead they would not relinquish.
Old Dominion burned North Texas by hitting 58 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
“I knew I had to get hot real quick because we were down … my team needed me,” said Mosley. “My teammates and coaches always believe in me. I just had to find the sweet spot on the rim.”
Monarchs shooters hit 11 of 19 3-point attempts. Mosley hit five of his seven tries.
Guard Aaron Bacote added 20 points for the Monarchs, who improved to 6-4 in the conference and 12-13 overall. In all, Old Dominion guards accounted for 63 points.
“We didn’t do a good job getting to their shooters,” North Texas coach Tony Benford said. “I don’t care what level you’re at, you give a good shooter open looks like that, good shooters are going to make shots.”
Guards Alzee Williams and Chris Jones each had 13 for North Texas, which fell for a fifth consecutive game and dropped to the bottom of the conference standings.
The Mean Green shot 33 percent while falling to 2-8 and 11-13.
Old Dominion trailed by five when Mosley started his run at the 6:49 mark. After two made free throws, the Monarchs held a 56-51 lead.
North Texas, meanwhile, did not respond well to the change in momentum. The Mean Green failed to execute on its end and was undone with eight turnovers in the second half.
“We needed to get this one,” North Texas guard Maurice Aniefiolk said. “We felt like this was an opportunity we let slip.”
Old Dominion had not been playing well, either, having lost three of its past four games entering play Thursday.
Now they’re in the mix to finish in the top half of the league with six games to go.
“This was a game that determines what kind of team we are,” Mosley said. “We haven’t been playing well together.
“This was big for us.”
The Monarchs withstood a 6-0 North Texas run and closed the first half with a 10-4 run of their own to take the last of five first-half lead changes into intermission.
Bacote led all players in scoring with 11 points in the first 20 minutes.
The Monarchs used a decisive shooting advantage (46 percent to 34) but were victimized by 10 first-half turnovers, which the Mean Green turned into 10 points to keep the game close.
NOTES: Old Dominion’s turnaround this season marks one of the most dramatic in the nation. The Monarchs (12-13) went 5-25 a season ago. A victory would have matched North Texas’ win total of 2012-13 with 12. … With six games remaining, the Monarchs are vying to be one of Conference USA’s top four teams in the regular season, which would earn them a double-bye for the conference tournament. Seeds 5-9 of the 16-team league receive a bye. Old Dominion sat in sixth with Tulane before Thursday’s game. … G Alzee Williams entered play Thursday with an eye on becoming the 20th player in North Texas history to score 1,000 career points. He fell short, but needs only seven points. Teammate G Jordan Williams needed 48 to reach the same status. He played sparingly Thursday, limited by foul trouble, and was held to five points.
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