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January 11, 2014
ODU Tops ECU 81-70
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Keenan Palmore scored 17 in the first half on the way to a game high 23 points to lead Old Dominion to a 81-70 road win over East Carolina in their first ever C-USA game.
Palmore went 11 of 13 as he wheeled and dealed past Pirate defenders for the better part of the evening. Aaron Bacote had 18 points and Dimitri Batten tossed in 12 in the victory.
"Great win for our team. Our guys were surely emotional. Our guys were ready to play. Our message before the game. We asked them to channel that emotion. Paris Campbell in the first half kind of thwarted our defensive plan. He was terrific in the first half. Over the course of the game our guys did a terrific job of making Richmond work and take difficult shots. That was obviously key," Jeff Jones said after the contest.
It was a tough night at the office for East Carolina and Jeff Lebo talked about it in the postgame.
"Tough game for us especially on the defensive end of the floor. Palmore dominated the game. The guards got to the painted area. We tried to mask our inability to guard the ball but they exposed it tonight," said ECU head coach Jeff Lebo, "Their ability to beat us one on one was the bottom line. They got to the basket too easily. Our freshmen played like freshman tonight. Petar was a bright spot with four threes, he showed a lot of confidence. Paris was really good in the first half."
After jumping out to a quick 5-2 lead, Palmore got to work, scoring on three straight occasions in paint as the Monarchs took a 16-12 lead.
Paris-Roberts Campbell got hot in the first half, scoring four different times and giving ECU the lead by one at the ten minute mark in the first period.
A pair of Petar Torlak treys offset a pair of Ambrose Mosley three-pointers as the Pirates kept it close in the first half. But Parmore scored on a drive, then scored again on a floater in the lane and finally another drive in the paint to tie the game.
Caleb White's left hand drive tied the game 37-37 going into halftime.
Batton and Palmore got after it early in the second half as ODU(7-9/1-0) stretched the lead to five in the first three minutes of the second period.
Two Bacote three-point plays suddenly found the Monarchs up by 7 at the 13:14 mark. Richard Ross's drive extended the lead to eleven before a pair of Torlak threes cut the lead back to seven.
Aaron Bacote pumped in eight unanswered points to ignite a 12-2 run for ODU.
A pair of Richard Ross slams coupled with Batton's three point play gave ODU a 14-point 74-60 lead with 4:40 to play. The Pirates cut it to seven on a Prince Williams free throw with 3:18 left but that is as close as ECU(11-5/0-1) would get in the end.
Paris-Roberts Campbell, who suffered leg cramps in the second half on two separate occasions, led ECU with 21 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
Akeem Richmond scored just 14 points after going hitless in the first period. Pete Torlak had a career high 12 points while Michael Zangari scored 11 for the Pirates.
ODU hit 56 percent from the floor including 5-13 from the arc and 14 of 18 from the foul line. ECU connected on 40 percent of their shots, going 22-55 from the floor inclding 10 of 29 from the arc and 16-24 from the charity stripe in the loss.
The Monarchs scored 50 points in the paint to just 24 for ECU in a game that contained nine lead changes, mostly in the first half. ODU won the rebounding battle 36-29.
Catch a complete video recap of Saturday night's ECU - ODU game at the premium links provided in this story. Jeff Lebo, Jeff Jones and players from both teams review ODU's 81-70 win over ECU.
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