NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion guard Damon Bacote said the Monarchs did not talk about what needed to happen when one of their top players went down with an injury early in the second half on Thursday night against Texas-San Antonio.
"We already knew," Bacote said. "We talk about it all the time. Next man up."
This time, that "next man" was freshman guard Jordan Baker, who stepped in for starter Dimitri Batten and helped the Monarchs sprint past UTSA 69-61 at the Constant Center.
Baker scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half for the Monarchs, who overcame a shaky first half to quickly seize control after the break.
The Roadrunners led 25-24 at the half and increased their lead to three on a jumper by guard Keon Lewis with 19:27 left.
After Bacote answered with a 3-pointer, Batten left the game with an left shoulder injury. Old Dominion promptly scored the next 12 points to open a 39-27 advantage.
"I knew I had to pick (Batten) up," Baker said. "My intentions were to do just that, do whatever it took to win the game."
Batten, who did not return, came in averaging 12.0 points per game, second behind Bacote (16.8 ppg) on the team.
The Roadrunners went on to trail by as many as 16 points and got no closer than six the rest of the way.
"Our guys kept fighting, I will say that," UTSA coach Brooks Thompson said. "But Old Dominion definitely deserved to win this basketball game."
Bacote also enjoyed a huge second half, scoring all but three of his game-high 22 points after intermission to help Old Dominion (11-12, 5-3 Conference USA) snap a two-game losing streak.
"I passed up some shots in the first half, made some poor decisions," Batten said. "I just had to slow down and make the right play."
Guard Keenan Palmore added 16 points for Old Dominion.
Forward Edrico McGregor scored 12 points to lead three players in double figures for UTSA (7-14, 3-5), which lost for the fourth time in five games.
As has often been the case at home this season, Old Dominion started quickly and built a nine-point lead on a 3-pointer by guard Ambrose Mosley. UTSA controlled the rest of the half, though, outscoring the Monarchs 14-4 in the final 6:45.
A jumper by guard James Williams pulled the Roadrunners within a point with just over two minutes to play and two Williams free throws with 1:15 left gave UTSA its first lead at 25-24.
But instead of building on their late first-half momentum, the Roadrunners endured another flat start once play resumed.
"I did not expect that," Thompson said. "I felt like our guys would come out and guard, be excited. I knew Old Dominion would be. But we couldn't match their intensity. Definitely disappointing."
NOTES: UTSA prevailed 79-70 last season at the Constant Center in the only previous meeting between the teams, both newcomers to Conference USA. ... The Roadrunners came in with a 1-7 road record and had lost four straight away from home. ... Anton Larsen, Old Dominion's seldom-used senior center, scored his first points of the season on a jump hook midway through the first half. The 7-foot Larsen, a native of Denmark, had appeared in just three of the Monarchs' first 22 games for a total of 17 minutes.