Old Dominion Captures 10th Consecutive CAA Crown
By ODU Athletics
Tournament MVP Coker carries Lady Monarchs past Dukes
NORFOLK, VA (March 10, 2001) -- The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs won their 10th consecutive CAA crown this afternoon with a hard-fought 66-62 victory over the James Madison Dukes. Old Dominion moves on at 21-8 and will receive the automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. James Madison, 20-9, must now await a possible at-large bid for the tournament.
James Madison raced out to an early 14-4 lead in the opening minutes of the game, as the Lady Monarchs had a hard time containing JMU guard Allyson Keener (Lafayette, CA). Keener made two three point shots early, and the Lady Monarchs had a difficult time working inside against the Dukes' height. Old Dominion freshmen Monique Coker (Bronx, NY) and Myriah Spence (Espanola, NM) came off the bench to lift their team midway through the first. Coker put in six points and eight rebounds and Spence drained a three point basket to pull the Lady Monarchs to within one at 17-16, and Okeisha Howard (Va. Beach, VA) put in a basket at the 7:45 mark to put Old Dominion in the lead for good.
Old Dominion seemed to put the Dukes away in the second half, racing out to as much as a 14 point lead, but James Madison fought back, thanks in part to Shanna Price (Danville, VA) and Nadine Morgan (Stone Mt., GA). The two combined for 23 of JMU's second-half points as the Dukes' made one more run at the end. Morgan drained a three-pointer with .25 seconds left to cut the ODU lead to two, but Lady Monarch reserve Kim Giddens (Painter, VA) converted a layup and a free throw with under .20 seconds remaining to cement the lead. Okeisha Howard's free throw with seven seconds left iced the game for Old Dominion, and the Lady Monarchs celebrated the CAA Championship on their home court.
"They say that timing is everything, and we were fortunate to have the tournament at Old Dominion with all of the adversity we went through this year," said ODU head coach Wendy Larry.
The Lady Monarchs were led by Tournament MVP Monique Coker, who tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Okeisha Howard, who netted 13 points.
Nadine Morgan led the Dukes with 21 points and forward Shanna Price chipped in with 13.
"There should be three teams (ODU, JMU, GMU) from the CAA in post-season play. It will be a disgrace if these teams are not in the post-season," said Larry.
2001 CAA Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team
Jen Sobota, William & Mary
Jen Surlas, George Mason
Allyson Keener, James Madison
Nadine Morgan, James Madison
Tiffany Thompson, Old Dominion
MVP: Monique Coker, Old Dominion