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Old Dominion shows no rust in easy win

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NORFOLK, Va. — Some teams struggle coming out of exam breaks. For Old Dominion, the layoff set up the team’s cleanest, most decisive performance to date.

In their first game in 11 days, the Monarchs seized control with a nearly flawless first half and raced past North Carolina A&T 85-48 Sunday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

“We thought they might be a little rusty — that’s what I was hoping for,” North Carolina A&T coach Cy Alexander said. “But they showed no rust at all.”

Instead, the Monarchs (7-1) were razor-sharp from the opening tip and never let up in cruising to their fourth straight victory.

“In terms of their energy, concentration and focus, we couldn’t have asked more from them,” Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones said.

Forward Richard Ross led a balanced Old Dominion attack with 12 points and contributed a pair of rim-rattling dunks to ignite and close a game-opening 19-4 run.

Old Dominion methodically built its advantage to 22 points and headed to the locker room up 41-21 after a half in which the Monarchs shot 48 percent, were plus-13 on the boards, committed only three fouls and had just one turnover.

Despite liberal substitutions after the break, Old Dominion continued pouring it on and led by as many as 40 points before closing things out.

In addition to Ross, guard Ambrose Mosley (11 points), forward Nik Biberaj (10) and guard Aaron Bacote (10) all finished in double figures in scoring, and the Monarchs got at least two points from 12 of the 13 players that saw action.

For the game, Old Dominion shot 54.1 percent, outrebounded the Aggies 41-19 and committed just six turnovers.

“It turned out to be a pretty easy game — not because of the opponent, but because we just continued to play at a stellar level,” Ross said.

Forward Khary Doby led all scorers with 16 points and forward Bruce Beckford added 15 points for the road-weary Aggies (1-10), who dropped their 10th straight. North Carolina A&T hasn’t played a home game since Nov. 17.

Despite their record, the Aggies had been competitive in most games, most notably in a 57-54 loss at St. Louis on Nov. 25. But even Alexander acknowledged his team was never in it Sunday, and he cited the rebounding disparity as the prime reason.

“My biggest disappointment was we didn’t compete on the glass,” Alexander said. “That set the tone. Old Dominion was just physically better than us today.”

NOTES: Sunday’s game featured the Old Dominion debut of F Javonte Douglas, a junior college transfer who was suspended indefinitely following an offseason altercation. Douglas finished with seven points and three rebounds in 15 minutes . … North Carolina A&T has now lost 16 straight games away from Greensboro, N.C. … Old Dominion’s point total was a season high, eclipsing the 83 points it scored against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 24.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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