Old Dominion guard Aaron Bacote led a balanced attack with 16 points as the Monarchs held off Tulane 70-64 Saturday night at the Constant Center.
Guard Dimitri Batten added 15 points, guard Keenan Palmore 14 and forward Richard Ross 10 for the Monarchs (10-10, 4-1 Conference USA), who won for the fifth time in six games.
Guard Jonathan Stark scored 21 points to pace Tulane (11-10, 3-3), which weathered a poor-shooting first half and pulled to within three points with 15:39 remaining. But a Palmore three-point play, a jumper by guard Ambrose Mosley and a layup by Bacote boosted the Monarchs ahead by 10, and Old Dominion went on to lead by as many as 15.
Aided by shaky Old Dominion free-throw shooting, the Green Wave made things interesting down the stretch as 3-pointers by Stark and guard Jay Hook in the final minute cut the deficit to four. But Palmore made two from the line with 5.7 seconds left to seal it.
Old Dominion made just 14 of 25 free throws for the game.
Guard Louis Dabney added 17 points and Hook chipped in 14 for Tulane, which hurt itself with 17 turnovers.
Batten scored Old Dominion’s first five points as the Monarchs got the jump on the ice-cold Green Wave. Tulane missed its first five shot and made only two of their first 19 over the opening 15 minutes.
The Monarchs offense was only marginally better, though, and when Hook made a layup with 4:36 left, the Green Wave trailed by just five at 22-17.
It stayed that way until the final minute, when a layup by Bacote and a tip-in from Ross finally got the Monarchs some separation. Stark made a layup just before the halftime buzzer to cut the deficit to seven at 32-25.
Batten led the Monarchs with 10 points and forward Denzell Taylor added six. Hook had eight points to lead Tulane, which shot just 29 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.
NOTES: The Monarchs completed a highlight-worthy play early in the contest when G Keenan Palmore poked the ball free from G Jonathan Stark. F Joe Ebondo dove to recover the loose ball and from his belly flipped it ahead to a streaking Palmore, who tossed up a lob that F Richard Ross flushed home with two hands. … Tulane and Old Dominion were meeting for the first time since 1994, when the Monarchs prevailed 85-80 in overtime. … The Green Wave missed its first eight 3-point attempts before Stark drained back-to-back bombs inside the final two minutes.
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