NORFOLK, Va. — Old Dominion turned an offensive rebound and two steals into six points in a 44-second span early in the second half, helping the Monarchs to cruise past East Carolina 68-47 in the teams’ final regular-season Conference USA game Thursday night at the Constant Convocation Center.
Forward Richard Ross’ putback of guard Damon Bacote’s errant 3-pointer got the decisive sequence started. Guard Keenan Palmore quickly followed by converting a steal into a fastbreak layup, and guard Dimitri Batten used another steal to set up an emphatic dunk that left the Monarchs ahead by 13 points with 17:01 remaining.
The lead would swell to 22 points for Old Dominion, which shot 58.9 percent for the game and 70.8 percent in the second half. East Carolina, meanwhile, missed 19 of its first 23 shots after the break and finished the game at 29.8 percent
With the victory, the Monarchs (15-16, 9-7 Conference USA) finished the regular season with three times as many wins as they managed in 2012-13, when they went 5-25.
Guard Ambrose Mosely hit 5-of-10 3-pointers and finished with 17 points to lead four Monarchs in double figures.
Swingman Caleb White scored 12 points and guard Paris Campbell added 10 for East Carolina (16-15, 5-11).
Two acrobatic dunks by Ross and back-to-back 3-pointers by freshman guard Jordan Baker highlighted a fast start by Old Dominion, which jumped out to a seven-point lead.
East Carolina used 3-pointers from guards Akeem Richmond and Paris Roberts-Campbell and a free throw by Brandan Stith to pull even at 21, but Mosley answered with a 3-pointer of his own as the Monarchs regained the edge.
Old Dominion went on to score the final seven points of the half, the last two on a floater by guard Dimitri Batten as time expired, to take a 28-21 lead into the break.
Mosley’s eight first-half points led the Monarchs, who shot 48 percent from the field.
East Carolina’s White led all scorers with nine points, but the Pirates shot just 33 percent from the floor.
NOTES: The game pit Brandan Stith, a freshman reserve forward for East Carolina, against his father Bryant, the former University of Virginia standout and 10-year NBA veteran now in his first year as an assistant at Old Dominion. … Old Dominion came in having won five straight in the series, including an 81-70 decision at East Carolina on Jan. 11. The Pirates’ last win over the Monarchs came in 2002. … This was the final regular-season game in Conference USA for East Carolina, which will become a member of the American Athletic Conference on July 1.
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