GAME NOTES: The Old Dominion Monarchs have won five of their last six games, and they'll try to stay in the win column as they travel to face the UAB Blazers in Conference USA action at Bartow Arena.
Following a loss to Southern Mississippi, the Monarchs rebounded with a 70-64 victory over Tulane in conference play Saturday. The loss to Southern Miss was the first in conference play on the season for ODU. The Monarchs are a half- game back of Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech for first place in Conference USA.
UAB ended a two-game losing streak with a win Saturday against Tulsa, 70-64. The Blazers have only won two of their last five games, and find themselves two and a half games back in conference standings at 2-3.
UAB holds a 17-9 edge in the all-time series with Old Dominion. The Blazers have taken three of the last four meetings between the programs. This is the first and only time they'll play during the regular season.
When it came down to free throws, Old Dominion was clutch against Tulane. Keenan Palmore and Dimitri Batten each came up with clutch free throws in the final minute of play that sealed the win for ODU. Aaron Bacote led the way for the Monarchs with 16 points, while Batten turned in 15 points and Palmore with 14. Richard Ross contributed 10 points for good measure, adding seven rebounds in the win. ODU shot 49.1 percent from the floor in the game.
Bacote tops the team in scoring this season with 17.5 ppg on 42.1 percent shooting from the field. Bacote's 64 assists is a team best, but his 61 turnovers is also a team high. Batten and Palmore are second and third on the squad in scoring, respectively, at 11.6 and 11.4 ppg. Ross tops the team in rebounding with a 7.5 rpg average. The Monarchs are scoring an average of 65.4 ppg this season.
UAB has been one of the nation's top rebounding teams this season. The Blazers recorded their eighth game with 50 or more rebounds in the team's win over Tulsa Saturday. Rod Rucker and Chad Frazier each netted 21 points to pace UAB. Rucker added seven rebounds, and Frazier gave away a team-high six turnovers. C.J. Washington grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds in the victory. The Blazers shot 37.7 percent from the floor.
Frazier has been the go-to scorer this season for UAB, averaging 17.7 ppg on 42.3 percent shooting from the field. His 81 assists this year is a team best, but his 84 turnovers can be a concern. Washington is second in scoring with 13.4 ppg and a team high-tying 7.5 rpg. He shares that distinction with Rucker, who is third in scoring averaging 11.3 ppg. The Blazers average 47 rpg and 75.9 ppg this season.
Though UAB just ended a two-game losing skid, the Blazers should be able to pick things up and string some wins together with ODU in town. If the Blazers can dominate the boards and eliminate second chance points again, they'll come away with the home victory.
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