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2016 Conference USA Tournament Second Round Recap: WKU continues to roll

A quick recap of the first full day of C-USA Men's Basketball Action.

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

(8) WKU 84  (9) North Texas 76

Western Kentucky used some efficient offense, and elite rebounding, along with 17 points, and 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Justin Johnson to roll over North Texas 84-76.

The Mean Green hung around early in the first half thanks to 13 first half points by Eric Katenda, but a 12-2 WKU run late in the first half dug a hole the Mean Green couldn't climb out of.

The Toppers shot 59.2 percent from the field in the game, and wiped the glass clean with a 42-24 rebounding advantage.   North Texas shot 34.3 percent in the first half which helped WKU grab a double-digit lead going into halftime.

North Texas cashed in on 15 points off turnovers in the game, but were a brick laying 10-of-21 from the free throw line, while WKU was 19-of-26 from the charity stripe, and knocked down seven 3-pointers.

Aaron Cosby added 16 points for WKU, Nigel Snipes knocked down four of those 3-pointers and finished with 16 points to spearhead a solid all-around performance by the Tops.

North Texas was able to cut it to single digits once in the second half, but WKU was almost unstoppable in the second half shooting 66.7 percent and led by as much as 17-points midway through the final half.

WKU will face top seeded UAB tomorrow at 11 a.m. Mountain Time in the quarterfinals in what should be an interesting game to tip off the quarterfinal action.

(5) Old Dominion 72 (12) FAU 46

Old Dominion put on a defensive clinic, holding FAU to just 31.4 percent shooting in the ball game, and led for all but 51 seconds in a 72-46 drubbing of FAU.

Trey Freeman posted 25 points, and six rebounds, Aaron Bacote added a much needed 15 points, as ODU shot 50.8 percent from the field and only attempt two 3-pointers.

The Monarchs put on a dominating rebounding performance on both ends and ended with a 44-26 margin thanks to FAU's cold shooting, and inability to keep the Monarchs off the offensive glass.

Brandan Stith added 11 points, and 11 rebounds, Denzell Taylor fell a point short of a double-double chipping in nine points, and hauling in 12 rebounds.

FAU was 5-of-19 from 3-point land for the game, including a 1-of-8 mark in the second half.  Ronald Delph led the Owls with 16 points, and seven rebounds.

ODU flexed their defensive muscle in the second half as the Owls shot 24 percent from the field in the final half. The Monarchs snatched 18 offensive rebounds which led to 22 second chance points.

It was just a five-point 31-26 Monarch lead at halftime, but ODU outscored FAU 31-16 in the first six and a half minutes of the second half to distance themselves, and move on to the quarterfinals.

LA Tech and Old Dominion will meet in the quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time tomorrow.

(7) Charlotte 79 (10) Rice 69

It was a game of runs, but Rice's lack of depth was exposed as the Owls ran out of gas down the stretch in a 79-69 loss to Charlotte.

Freshman Jon Davis scored a career high 27-points on 7-of-13 shooting, Braxton Ogbueze added 19 points, and Joesph Uchebo recorded a double-double with 12 points, and 18 rebounds in the win for Charlotte.

The 18 rebounds by Uchebo were an all-time tournament record for rebounds in a game.

Charlotte shot 46.4 percent from the field, while the Owls shot right at 50 percent, but Rice finished the game 0-of-7 from the field using a seven-man rotation in the game.

It looked like Charlotte was going to run the Owls out of the building after charging out to a 21-7 lead, but Rice was able to scrap together a pair of runs to cut the deficit down to three points after the slow start, but ended up trailing 39-25 at the half.

Rice cut the lead to 66-63 with 4:20 left in the game, but the 49ers outscored Rice's tired legs 11-6 in the final four minutes.

Marcus Evans scored 23 of his 27 points in the second half, single handedly bringing Rice back from a 15-point deficit in the first couple of minutes of the second half.

Charlotte shot 8-of-19 from the 3-point line, while Rice shot 2-of-18 from 3-point land which became a factor during Rice's comeback bid down the stretch.

The 49ers held off Rice at the free throw line in the final minute, and used 17-points off Rice turnovers to move into Thursday's quarterfinal.

Charlotte will face #2 seed Middle Tennessee at the same 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time slot tomorrow evening.

(#6) UTEP 85 (#11) FIU 77