- Associated Press - Friday, November 25, 2016

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) - Old Dominion couldn’t shoot. Fortunately for coach Jeff Jones, the Monarchs did just about everything else well enough to win their final game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Ahmad Caver scored 15 points to help Old Dominion hold off St. John’s 63-55 on Friday night in the seventh-place game despite shooting 30 percent. But the Monarchs dominated the glass and played defense well enough to please Jones, who was irked by the way his team played in Thursday’s loss to LSU.

“To win a game against a good opponent shooting 30 percent is tough,” Jones said. “But I thought our guys responded and the played with energy. We executed offensively even though we didn’t finish. And then obviously our defense was terrific.”

That was much better than a night earlier, when Jones said his team had “atrocious” offensive execution.

“It felt better,” Caver said of his team’s energy. “The whole day felt better, the game felt better.”

Trey Porter had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Monarchs (3-2), who blew much of a 16-point second-half lead but came up with a couple of key plays in the final 30 seconds to hang.

Marcus LoVett’s layup cut ODU’s lead to 57-54 with 44.8 seconds left, but Caver responded by hitting two free throws with 29.9 seconds left. ODU also came up with a layup off a turnover.

LoVett scored 16 points to lead the Red Storm (2-4), who shot 34 percent. ODU also took a 54-34 rebounding advantage, including 26-9 on the offensive glass.

“The bad thing is we played good defense, we really did,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said. “We just couldn’t get the ball. I mean, it was amazing. I never saw so many balls pop out of guys’ hands, hit guys in the head, it looked like a circus.”

BIG PICTURE

ODU: Jones said Thursday after the LSU loss: “What we found out (about ourselves) wasn’t very pretty.” He had reason to feel a little better with the way his team closed its stay in the Bahamas.

“If we don’t have that edge and play with that level of intensity, it’s just going to be really, really hard for us,” he said.

St. John’s: Mullin said it would take time for a group led by a young backcourt to figure out how to play together for a complete-game performance. The three games in Atlantis only reinforced that, with St. John’s trailing by double figures at some point in all three games.

TIP-INS

ODU: Denzell Taylor had nine points and 16 rebounds. … ODU shot just 9 of 36 (25 percent) in the first half but led 30-24. … The Monarchs made 19 of 31 free throws (61 percent), capping a tournament that saw them miss 36 and shoot just 54 percent over three games.

St. John’s: Shamorie Ponds had 10 points. … St. John’s made 5 of 25 3-pointers (20 percent). … The Red Storm blocked six shots.

UP NEXT

ODU: The Monarchs host Dartmouth on Wednesday.

St. John’s: The Red Storm return home to play Delaware State on Tuesday.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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More AP college basketball at https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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