Women's Basketball Advances With 87-68 Quarterfinal Win Over Hofstra

March 10, 2005
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 10, 2005

Box Score

FAIRFAX, Va. - The thirteen-time defending champion Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs defeated the Hofstra University Pride, 87-68 to advance to the semifinals of the 2005 CAA Women's Basketball Championship.

Old Dominion jumped out to an early lead but could not put the Pride away until well into the second half. ODU led 8-0 less than three minutes into the contest before sophomore swing player Lizanne Murphy got the Pride on the board with a pair of free throws. The Lady Monarchs extended their lead to 11 points at 18-7 on a Megan Pym bucket as seven different ODU players notched baskets in the opening 5:55 of play. Hofstra whittled away the ODU lead behind the play of Murphy and third team All-CAA sophomore center Vanessa Gidden. Murphy, a third team All-CAA selection as well, scored 10 of the Pride's first 20 points including a bucket at the 10:40 mark that cut the deficit to 20-14. Gidden followed with her fifth point of the half :15 later as the Pride got within four points.

ODU stretched its lead back up to nine points on two occasions. ODU freshman forward Shahida Williams scored at the 6:30 mark to give the Lady Monarchs a 30-21 advantage. Gidden's 10th point of the half closed the deficit to 37-34 with :40 remaining in the first half and ODU went into the locker room with a 39-35 advantage.

Hofstra scored the first four points of the second half to knot the score at 39-39 but the Lady Monarchs responded with six quick points forcing the Pride to call a timeout at the 18:10 mark while trailing, 45-39. Lawona Davis quieted the Hofstra contingent with three buckets in a 0:28 stretch to give ODU some temporary breathing room.

A Tiffany Green layup extended the ODU lead to 47-39 but Hofstra answered with a pair of three-pointers from First Team All-CAA performer Cigi McCollin to cut the lead to 47-45 and force ODU to call a timeout of its own. A basket by Shareese Grant made it 49-45 before McCollin notched her third trey in a row to make it 49-48. Grant countered with a bucket at 15:29 and a three-point play at the 15:18 mark to give ODU a six-point lead.

Hofstra cut the deficit to four points on three occasions before ODU shut down the Pride attack and put the game out of reach. A Murphy jumper reduced the lead to 59-55 at 13:18 but ODU clamped down on the tournament's #7-seed by holding them to just two field goals during a 23-4 run that pushed the advantage to 82-59, the #2 seed's biggest of the game.

In recording its 14th consecutive 20-win season, ODU was paced by Davis' 18 points and seven rebounds. Grant added 17 and Green and sophomore forward Tish Lyons each notched 12 points. Sophomore forward Shahida Triggs recorded seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds. The Lady Monarchs outrebounded the Pride by a 53-34 margin and forced 22 Hofstra turnovers.

McCollin put up 20 points for Hofstra while Murphy added 18 points and Gidden 12. Gidden and Murphy each recorded six rebounds for the Pride.

The 87 points scored by the Lady Monarchs was the most in the women's tournament since ODU posted an 88-46 win over the Pride in the quarterfinals of the 2003 championship. ODU shot 50 percent for the game (38-76) while Hofstra managed just 39.3%. With the victory, ODU improves to 20-8 overall and will take on the winner of the Drexel University - George Mason University contest at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals on Friday night. Hofstra finishes at 13-16.


Thoughts on the game-
"We talked about how we had to attack the paint today. We had to score against Hofsta in the paint. We probably scored as well as we have all season in the paint when you look at the points, 64-34."

"The game is a game of runs. Cigi (McCollin of Hofstra) is a great player and she made some great shots today. She's not somebody that stands without the ball, she moves so well without it. That's indicitive of a great player."

"We're very young, we have five sophomores, five freshmen and my two upperclassmen. Most of these players, with the exception of Lawona and Shareese, haven't had tournament experience."

About the quality of the Old Dominion bench -
"You look at the number of people that played double figures for Old Dominion and the number that played double figures for Hofstra, over the course of 40 minutes, it takes its toll."

OLD DOMINION'S Shareese Grant
On coming into the tournament after a loss to Drexel - "It's motivation for us to play harder. The thing is to come out here and be focused from the start. To come out and attack."

On the bench's production -
"We went to our bench a lot during the game and our bench production was great. Our bench is stronger and deeper than there's and we were able to use that."

Outlook on the future-
"These players have endured so much this year. I couldn't be more proud of them. We have tough players and we're teaching life lessons. Our team is going to play basketball games and we're certainly going to win some. But, more importantly than wins and losses is teaching character. We're excited about our future at Hofstra."

On the physical nature of the game-
"Old Dominion plays a lot of players and we just didn't have that type of depth today. So, ODU really didn't care about fouling because they know that they can replace each player and get the same kind of commitment and strength. But our players never backed down. We got physical and that reduced our numbers a little more. We can certainly adapt to the more physical game but today we just lacked numbers."

On the second half ODU run-
"The second half we came out and we were pretty even. At around the 17-minute mark, Old Dominion really turned things up and started throwing players at us. ODU got layups on us and that started to break our backs. ODU was just better than us today. We just couldn't get over the hump and out of hole they put us in. Our defense had to be a little more intense. Giving up 87 points to anybody is way too much. So, we definitely have to clamp down on defense with this young team next season."

On McCollin's stretch of 3-pointers in the second half-

"I was open and the opportunity presented itself and I took it. The ball went in. I just did what I had to do to get free. I just had to take those shots."

On the multiple ODU coverages and matchups-
"I think ODU was changing the lineups because of what they were trying to do. We still had a game plan no matter who was covering me. I just still had the same plan to keep going to the basket, keep blocking out on defense and to keep trying to rebound. I wasn't keeping track of who was covering me during the game."