Lady Monarch Win Battle For Number One
Feb. 2, 2003
NORFOLK, VA - The Lady Monarchs remained atop the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) standings as they handed second place Delaware a 73-62 loss at the Ted Constant Convocation in a battle for the top spot in the conference on Sunday afternoon.
Old Dominion improved to 11-7 overall and 8-0 in the CAA. The Lady Monarchs have won 35 straight CAA contests and 148 of their last 149 league games. Delaware falls to 12-6 overall and 7-2 in the conference. The Fightin' Blue Hens were handed just their fifth conference loss since joining the league last season. Three of those losses have come at the hands of Old Dominion.
The visitors led through most of the first half. Delaware took a six point lead, their largest of the game, 11-17, after sophomore forward Tiara Malcolm sunk four straight free throws with just under 12 minutes remaining. However, from there Old Dominion began to climb back into the game. A jumper by Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) at the 6:31 mark capped a 9-3 run for the Lady Monarchs, giving Old Dominion the lead for the first time since the early minutes of the half. The final minutes of the opening period endured six lead changes as the Blue Hens entered the half up by one, 32-31.
Following the intermission, the Lady Monarchs looked to take control of the game racing out of the locker room on an 8-2 run to open the second half. Old Dominion pushed its lead to eight with just over fourteen minutes remaining, 50-42, on a three-pointer by senior point guard Okeisha Howard (Va. Beach, VA), but Delaware managed to outscored the Lady Monarchs 15-7 over the next six minutes to tie the game. Blue Hen senior guard Allison Trapp tied the game at 55 apiece at 8:10 mark, but missed an opportunity from the line to give her team back the lead. The Lady Monarchs responded by rattling off seven straight points and holding Delaware scoreless to go ahead for good with 6:04 remaining. The Lady Monarchs increased their lead to as many as 13 down the stretch, making six of their final eight free throw attempts. Delaware missed six of their last 11 tries at the line and was held to just one field goal over the final eight minutes.
Senior guard Okeisha Howard (Va. Beach, VA) scored a team-best 17 points, just missing a double-double with a career-high nine assists. Senior forward Kim Giddens (Painter, VA) recorded her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 boards, becoming the fourth Lady Monarch record double digits in scoring and rebounding this year. Nhassengo and sophomore guard Shareese Grant (Va. Beach, VA) each dropped in 16 points with seven and five rebounds respectively.
Senior guard Allison Trapp led the Blue Hens' with 23 points. At the 13:37 mark of the first half, she recorded her 1,000th career point and concluded the game with 1,017 career points. Malcolm totaled 19 points, on 13-13 shooting from the line, and had a team-high seven boards.
Old Dominion starts a four game road trip this week when they travel to Virginia Commonwealth this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The Lady Monarchs defeated the Rams 73-56 on January 24th in Norfolk.