GREENVILLE, N.C. --- Kent Bazemore scored 20 points and Ben Finney added 17 to lead Old Dominion to an 81-68 victory over East Carolina Wednesday night ending the Pirates’ five-game winning streak.
The Monarchs (6-2) ended the game on a 17-5 run holding the Pirates (7-3) to just one field goal in the final six minutes. Ben Finney scored five points in 54 seconds to stretch the ODU lead from one to six, 69-63, with 5:09 to play. Three consecutive layups pushed the lead to 12 to cap an 11-0 spurt.
East Carolina committed 16 turnovers and ODU seemed to take advantage of every one, scoring 27 points off Pirate miscues.
“Old Dominion is an excellent basketball team,” Pirate coach Jeff Lebo said. “You can’t have those types of mistakes against a good basketball team like [ODU]. They beat us, but in some ways we helped them out. We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball.
“We did some good things tonight. We shot the ball well, but that wasn’t the problem. They wore us down and capitalized on our mistakes.”
The Pirates built a 10-point first half lead on the strength of a 16-3 run that turned a three-point deficit into a 10-point advantage. Jamar Abrams started the run with a 3-pointer from the top of key followed by a layup from Chad Wynn and a pair of free throws by Brock Young.
Robert Sampson and Jontae Sherrod sank consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to eight before Abrams got free off a screen for a jump shot and gave the Pirates a 25-15 lead.
Abrams led all scorers with a season-high 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range. Darrius Morrow also scored double figures adding 14 points.
The Monarchs outscored ECU 13-4 over the final 7:24 of the first half to cut their deficit to one, 31-30, at halftime.
ODU extended its run into the second half by scoring the first two points. The Pirates scored the next five to take a five-point lead before an exchange of baskets. Abrams and Bazemore each scored the next two baskets for their team.
Beginning with a made technical foul free shot, the Monarchs scored seven unanswered to take a five-point lead, 46-41.
Morrow’s dunk started a 9-4 run that tied the game at 50 with 12:36 to play. The game remained a two-possession game for the next eight minutes before the Monarchs asserted themselves and pushed their lead to double digits with under four minutes to play.
ECU finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor (24-48), while Old Dominion connected on 54.4 percent of its field goal attempts (31-57).
The Pirates will have 11 days off before returning to the hardwood Dec. 18 against Coastal Carolina and the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.