Bacote came on strong in the second half, pouring in 20 of his total points after the break and finishing 8 of 10 from the floor while sinking all but one of his six free throws. Jonathan Arledge added 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Old Dominion (14-2, 3-1 Conference USA), which shot 48 percent on 42 attempts from the field and controlled the boards 38-23.
Tied at 19 midway through the first half, the Monarchs pulled away with an 8-2 burst sparked by a bucket from Richard Ross to take a 27-21 advantage into the break. The lead stretched to double digits with 10:57 left when Bacote sank a layup to make it 46-36.
Marcus Jackson led Rice (4-11, 1-3) with 15 points.