Monarchs No Sweetheart In 81-64 Loss
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
Norfolk, Virginia - Preseason Colonial Athletic Association Player-of-the-Year Kent Bazemore erupted for 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first half and Old Dominion coasted past visiting UNCW, 81-64, in a Valentine's Day men's basketball matchup Tuesday night at the Ted Constant Center.
The Monarchs swept the regular season series from the Seahawks and moved to 17-11 in all games and 12-4 in CAA action. It was ODU's sixth straight win over UNCW.
The Seahawks suffered their third straight loss to drop to 9-17 overall and 5-11 in CAA play. UNCW steps out of the conference on Saturday with a Sears BracketBusters afternoon matchup at Manhattan.
"Our game plan was to play a lot of zone and matchup zone," said Buzz Peterson, UNCW's second-year coach. "That allowed them to get a lot of second-chance points. We wanted to slow them down as much as we could."
UNCW had its hands full in slowing down the slippery Bazemore, who ranks 10th in the league in scoring at 13.6 ppg. The senior from Kelford, N.C., anchored three ODU players in double figures. Junior forward Nick Wright added 19 points and six rebounds and senior forward Chris Cooper contributed 12 points, six boards and three blocks.
Junior forward Keith Rendleman placed four Seahawks in double figures with 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for his 15th double double of the season and the 21st of his career. Sophomore guard Tanner Milson collected 12 points and the freshman duo of Cedrick Williams and Adam Smith chipped in 11 points apiece.
After getting off to a good start out of the gate, the Seahawks got a steady diet of Bazemore in the opening period to fall behind, 43-24, at intermission.
Bazemore canned 7-of-11 shots from the floor and added a free throw in the first 20 minutes to hand ODU a big lead it never relinquished. The Monarchs shot 51.5 percent in the first half on 17-for-33 attempts, while UNCW managed just 33.3 percent on 9-for-27 field goals.
Long balls by Trevor Deloach and Tanner Milson helped the Seahawks jump out front, 9-5, five minutes into the contest before the Bazemore got untracked. UNCW still led, 15-12, when ODU cranked out a 19-2 run to take control.
With Rendleman saddled with three fouls just 14 minutes into the contest, the Monarchs seized on the opportunity. Bazemore did most of the damage in the spurt, scoring nine points, and the Monarchs pushed the margin to 31-17. An alley-opp dunk by Smith chopped the deficit to 33-21 before ODU closed out the half by scoring 10 of the next 13 points to carry a 19-point bulge into the lockerroom.
In the second half, the Seahawks closed to within 16 points with 6:16 remaining when Trevor Deloach made a shot in the lane to cap a 10-2 spurt and slice ODU's cushion to 68-52. But ODU answered with seven straight points and a pair of free throws by Wright extended the margin back to 75-52 with 4:27 on the clock.
While the Seahawks travel to the Big Apple on Saturday, the Monarchs visit Missouri State in a 5 p.m. tip-off in Springfield, Mo.
GAME NOTES: ODU leads the all-time series against UNCW by a 29-17 margin, including 7-1 at the Ted Constant Center...UNCW is 7-10 lifetime on Valentine's Day and Buzz Peterson is now 0-3...The Seahawks stand 4-10 on the road this season and 2-6 in CAA road contests...Adam Smith led the Seahawks with five assists...The Seahawks outscored the Monarchs in the second half, 40-38....ODU won the battle of the boards, 45-33...Senior guard Trian Illaidis entered the game averaging 8.8 ppg and was held scoreless....Keith Rendleman and Cedrick Williams had two blocks apiece for UNCW...UNCW outscored ODU at the free throw line, 15-9....ODU's bench outscored UNCW, 23-6...Adam Smith reached double figures for the 20th time in 26 appearances...Sophomore guard and Virginia Beach native Donte Morales did not make the trip because of an illness.