NORFOLK, Va. — Old Dominion connected on 10 of its first 13 second-half field-goal attempts and roared past Marshall 70-63 Thursday night at the Constant Convocation Center.
With the victory, the Monarchs (14-15, 8-6) assured themselves of finishing no worse than ninth in Conference USA. The top nine teams receive first-round byes in the conference tournament March 11-15 in El Paso, Texas.
Old Dominion trailed 31-27 early in the second half when guard Keenan Palmore’s floater triggered a 9-0 Monarchs run. The Thundering Herd got to within three points on two occasions, the last on a 3-pointer by guard Kareem Canty with13:19 left that made it 40-37. But Old Dominion forward Richard Ross had back-to-back layups to kick off a 16-5 spurt that put the Monarchs ahead by 14 points.
Three times the Thundering Herd closed to within five points in the final minute, but Monarchs guard Aaron Bacote went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 28 seconds to seal the victory.
Bacote finished with 22 points and Ross added 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 10 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Monarchs, who shot 61.5 percent from the field in the second half.
Canty led all scorers with 24 points for Marshall (9-20, 3-11).
Canty sank consecutive 3-pointers early in the game to put the Thundering Herd up 11-6. The Monarchs responded with a 8-0 run, a spurt punctuated by Palmore’s steal and lob to Ross for a fast-break dunk.
The Thundering Herd heated up from long range again, as Canty, guard Chris Thomas, forward Shawn Smith and guard Tamron Manning each drilled a 3-pointer within a five-possession span. Canty then scored seven straight points to put Marshall ahead 26-21.
Canty finished with 13 first-half points, and Marshall took a 27-25 lead into the break. The Monarchs scored nine points off seven first-half Old Dominion turnovers.
The Monarchs’ bid to send the game into the break tied at 27 was waved off when Ross was whistled for offensive goaltending at the buzzer.
NOTES: Marshall’s run of consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer reached 739 when G Kareem Canty hit a long-range shot with 15:30 remaining in the first half. The streak began on March 3, 1989. … The teams split their previous eight meetings, with the most recent encounter coming in 2009. … Before Thursday, Marshall lost four of its previous five games, with each defeat coming by six points or fewer.
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