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Lady Monarchs Fall to Florida Gators, 81-67

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 11, 2009
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Dec. 11, 2009

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NORFOLK, Va. -- For the second straight game, the Lady Monarchs tried to come back from a double-digit deficit to win at home. After coming back from 12 down against Ole Miss last Sunday, Old Dominion (1-6) fought all the way back from 15 behind to lead the University of Florida (4-5) in the second half tonight, but a flurry of three-pointers from the Gators held off ODU in the final minutes as Florida won, 81-67.

Despite a season-high four Lady Monarchs in double figures, the team drops to 1-6 on the season overall. It is just the 18th loss on the hardwood of the Ted Constant Convocation Center as the all-time home record in the Constant Center drops to 93-17. Tia Lewis posted her second consecutive double-double, hauling in a game-high 10 boards with a team-leading 16 points, while juniors Shadasia Green (13), Jasmine Parker (11) and Vicki Collier (10) were also in double-digits.

At the outset, the Lady Monarchs struggled to take care of the ball, turning the ball over 15 times in the first half and five times in the first five minutes. A fastbreak layup from Susan Yenser gave Florida a 15-point lead with 5:41 remaining in the first half, the largest of the game. ODU would close out the half on a 14-4 run to get back within five headed into intermission.

Junior guard Jasmine Parker led the way in the first with seven points going 3-for-4 from the line. Parker was the only bright spot at the charity stripe, though, as ODU combined to shoot just 10-of-21 from the free-throw line in the first half. Sophomore forward Tia Lewis had six points and five rebounds en route to her double-double.

In the second half, the Lady Monarchs immediately jumped on the Gators, getting a mid-range jumper from Green, followed by a steal from Lewis and an easy fast-break layup for Collier. The first two possessions pulled Old Dominion within one at 36-35. Shadasia Green gave ODU the lead with 14:30 remaining on another jumper from the left side.

Florida would answer though, as Yenser hit a 3-pointer, followed by a pair on back-to-back possessions from Steffi Sorensen. The Lady Monarchs would tie it twice more, on a pair of free-throw's from Green with 9:12 remaining and on a jumper from Jasmine Parker with 8:40 remaining, but Sorensen would nail two more three's on the next two possessions to shift the momentum.

ODU would continue to struggle from the free-throw line down the stretch, finishing just 24-of-43 from the line (55.8%). The Lady Monarchs protected the basketball better in the second half, with just six turnovers in the frame, but Sorensen's hot second half was too much for ODU. Sorensen finished the second with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting including 5-of-7 from deep.

Lewis led the way for ODU, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Green's 13 points were added to her four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Parker also had three steals and three assists to go with her 11 points while Collier's six rebounds are a new career-high for the junior.

Jessica Canady saw 15 minutes of action in her first game back after aggravating a knee injury in the first game of the season. The senior scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in the limited role.

Old Dominion is off for exams this week and will return to the hardwood next Sunday, December 20. ODU will face cross-water foe Hampton University at the Constant Center at 2:00 p.m.

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