Hampton native Milan Brown scored one of his best victories as Holy Cross’ coach, as his Crusaders edged Old Dominion 46-45 Friday in the round-robin Liberty Tax Classic at the Constant Center.
On a night of season-openers around the country, ODU’s Dimitri Batten — who, like Brown, went to Kecoughtan High — hit a basket with 12 seconds left to tie the score at 45.
But ODU’s Nick Wright was called for a loose-ball foul at 0:09, and Holy Cross’ Cullen Hamilton made the first of two free throws. ODU rebounded the second, but after a timeout, Batten lost possession before he could get off a shot.
DeShawn Painter had 12 points and eight rebounds in his ODU debut, and Keenan Palmore added nine of each. Justin Burrell, who hit a 3-pointer to give his team a lead in the last minute, and Hamilton paced Holy Cross with 15 each.
In the night's opener, Morgan State beat Texas-San Antonio -- a future Conference USA opponent for ODU -- 71-59.
Apprentice 82, Penn Highlands 52
The Builders went on a 22-0 run in the first half to beat Penn Highlands in the first round of the Penn State Greater Allegheny USCAA Tipoff.
Tevin Andrews had 27 points and seven rebounds for Apprentice.
Norfolk State 67, Rhode Island 55
Brandon Goode had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Spartans, who dominated the second half in Kingston, R.I.
Pendarvis Williams had 12 points for the defending MEAC champion Spartans.
Jamel Fuentes added 11 off the bench for Norfolk State, which held Rhode Island to 28.3 percent shooting from the floor.
The Rams held a 30-25 lead at the break in the coaching debut of Dan Hurley. But outside of Nikola Malesevic - who finished with a game-high 26 points - URI was unable to find its shooting touch.
VCU 80, Florida Gulf Coast 57
Briante Weber of Chesapeake had 10 steals and 13 points in 18 minutes as the Rams delighted another Siegel Center sellout crowd by hammering Florida Gulf Coast.
Treveon Graham had 15 points and Juvonte Reddic had 10 points and nine rebounds.
The visitors had 25 turnovers and were outrebounded 42-26.
Richmond 84, Liberty 42
Darien Brothers scored 19 for the host Spiders, who never were threatened by the Flames before 6,798 at Robins Center. UR outshot LU 49 percent to 26.
Marshall 81, Longwood 47
DeAndre Kane's 18 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three blocks propelled the Thundering Herd in Huntington, W.Va.
Jeylani Dublin paced the Lancers with 10 points and eight rebounds.