NORFOLK, Va. — Old Dominion guard Ambrose Mosley made his team’s only 3-pointer of the second half at just the right time, and the Monarchs held off Rice 55-51 Thursday night at the Constant Convocation Center.
The Monarchs led 38-31 midway through the second half before Rice used a 15-2 spurt to vault in front. The Owls went on to lead by seven, but the Monarchs chipped away and finally pulled even with Mosley buried his 3-pointer with 2:38 remaining.
It was the only successful field-goal attempt of the game for Mosley, who finished 1-for-8 from the floor. The Monarchs were 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the second half when Mosley let it fly.
The Owls took their final lead of the night on two free throws by guard Max Guercy, but Monarchs forward Richard Ross tied the score at 51 on a layup with 2:04 left.
The Monarchs made four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory, while Rice forwards Sean Obi and Ross Wilson missed wide-open layups inside the final 30 seconds.
Ross finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Monarchs (13-14, 7-5 Conference USA). Guard Aaron Bacote added 13 points for Old Dominion.
Obi had 11 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Owls (7-18, 2-10), and Guercy scored 10. Rice fell to 0-6 in conference road games.
Old Dominion guard Keenan Palmore (nine points, 10 rebounds) scored four points in a 6-0 spurt to close the first half, and the Monarchs went into the break ahead 32-25.
The Owls had pulled within a point at 26-25 on a layup by freshman forward Sean Obi.
Ross led all players with 12 first-half points. Ross also got the game off to a emphatic start after 23 seconds when he soared to collect a rebound and powered it through the rim with both hands. Old Dominion rode that momentum to an early nine-point edge. It was one of two crowd-pleasing dunks by Ross in the opening half.
Palmore had nine first-half points for Old Dominion, which shot 42.1 percent from the field.
Obi and Guercy each scored eight first-half points to lead Rice, which shot just 37.5 percent from the field before intermission.
NOTES: Both teams came in off 39-point conference road losses Saturday. Rice fell 85-46 at Louisiana Tech, while Old Dominion took a 76-37 beating from Tulsa. … The 37 points Old Dominion mustered against the Golden Hurricane were the fewest in a single game in the program’s Division I history. … The Owls’ last road win was a 67-66 decision at Santa Clara on Nov. 20.
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