Freshman Ambrose Mosley poured in a career-high 21 points and Old Dominion used precision 3-point shooting to outlast North Texas for a 72-62 Conference USA win Thursday night at the Super Pit.
The Monarchs (12-13, 6-4) were a solid 57.9 percent from long distance, and the workhorse was Mosley, who made four of the team’s six second-half 3-pointers. His surge included 11 points in a span of 1:09 late in the game, which offset a 7-2 run from the Mean Green and gave ODU a 56-51 lead with 5:40 remaining.
North Texas (11-13, 2-8) was held to four free throws in the final 3:19 as the Monarchs closed the game on a 15-4 run.
“It was a hard zone to get into because I was in foul trouble in the first half,” said Mosley, who had three first-half points. “I knew I had to get hot quick because my team needed me.”
ODU, which had lost three of four, snapped a two-game road losing skid.
But on this night, the Monarchs remained poised despite the slimmest of margins. Leading 59-58 with 3:19 left in the game, they forced three turnovers and converted them into points for an eight-point lead. They also hit six free throws in the closing seconds and were 19 of 28 for the game.
It was the first meeting against North Texas, which has lost five in a row.
“It’s hard to win on the road, but when you have an opportunity to position yourself for a win late in the game, you need to take control and win,” ODU coach Jeff Jones said. “This was big. It was a game of streaks, and when it looked like North Texas was going to take control, we were able to make big shots.”
The Monarchs had four players in double figures. Aaron Bacote scored 20 points while Keenan Palmore and Dimitri Batten each chipped in 11. Mosley was 5-for-7 from 3-point range and Bacote finished 6 of 8.
Trailing 35-32, the Mean Green opened the second half on an 11-6 run to take a two-point lead, then extended its advantage to five with 7:22 to play. That’s when Mosley went off, connecting on three-straight 3-pointers in 46 seconds to give ODU a 54-51 lead.
North Texas clawed back and took a one-point lead with 3:39 remaining, but quickly lost the lead and the game.
“The last few games we haven’t played well as a whole,” Mosley said. “This was a big win for us.”
The Monarchs next travel to Tulsa to play the Golden Hurricane at 4 p.m. Saturday.
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