Keyon Carter wasn't in the mood for drama.
Carter was one of four Old Dominion seniors - and one of two of the fifth-year variety – playing their last game at the Constant Center on Saturday. His 16 points and nine rebounds in ODU's 77-58 victory against William and Mary in the teams' regular-season finale ensured there would be little suspense and helped clinch the No. 2 seed for the Monarchs (24-6, 14-4 CAA) in next week's Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
"I just wanted to come out and take control of the game," Carter said. "William and Mary shoots a lot of 3-pointers (and) they're well-coached. If you give a team like that hope, you're going to have a dogfight, and I didn't want a dogfight on senior night."
The Tribe (9-21, 4-14 CAA) made six first-half 3-pointers on its way to 12 for the game, tying the Constant Center opponent record most recently set by Cleveland State on Feb. 20. ODU kept pace, though, making five 3's in the first half and eight for the game while outrebounding William and Mary 47-15. The Tribe had just four offensive boards.
"We're obviously the better rebounding team," Monarchs coach Blaine Taylor said. "If we had to play a game of HORSE, they might gain an advantage."
Fifth-year senior forward Frank Hassell had his 14th double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds for ODU, leading the nation with a plus-12.3 rebounding margin. Hassell, 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds, averages 14.2 points and 9.8 boards and convinced Tribe coach Tony Shaver that he deserves as much consideration for league MVP as Hofstra's Charles Jenkins, leading the CAA with 23.3 points and 4.8 assists per game.
"It all starts in the post with No. 21," Shaver said. "We don't have anybody who can guard him one-on-one, and because of that, it creates openings for other people."
Double teams of 6-foot-9 senior forward Marcus Kitts, 6-8 junior forward JohnMark Ludwick and 6-9 freshman forward Tim Rusthoven did little to slow Hassell. Rusthoven picked up four fouls in four minutes and didn't attempt a shot.
"Tim Rusthoven is a good player who just got physically manhandled," Shaver said. "We had to get him off the floor. He's just not ready for that."
William and Mary was within four early in the second half and had a chance to get closer, but Julian Boatner missed a 3-pointer, and Rusthoven was called for a foul going after the offensive rebound.
Old Dominion's lead remained four at 51-47 with 12:54 to play before a 23-8 Monarchs run during the next 10 minutes opened up a 74-55 advantage. Carter hit a 3 and a turnaround jumper during the decisive spurt.
The Monarchs shot 53 percent (27-of-51) for the game and outscored the Tribe, which shot 34.7 percent, 38-6 in the paint.
"They have a lot of great athletes who are really good at playing in the passing lanes," said Tribe junior forward Quinn McDowell, who had 14 points. "We tried to shoot them out of (their zone defense), and we did that at times."
Boatner had 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from 3-point range to tie a school freshman record with 54 3's on the season, but the rest of the Tribe was 6-of-23 from long range.
"They have a great zone," said Shaver, whose usual mild manner evaporated with a late second-half technical spurred by the frustration of five second-half fouls called on the Monarchs. "It's as good as we've ever played against, and I mean that sincerely. We played Syracuse, and I think theirs is better.
"I don't think anybody in our league is better than Old Dominion defensively. There are teams who can match up better with them inside than we do, so they've got to make shots, and tonight they did."