Old Dominion Women Defeat #9 William & Mary 82-56 In Thursday's Quarterfinal
March 11, 2004
NORFOLK, Va. - Top-seeded Old Dominion outscored ninth-seeded William and Mary 48-25 in the second half to break open a game in which the Lady Monarchs led only 34-31 at the break, and defeated the Tribe 82-56 in the fourth quarterfinal game of the 2004 CAA Women's Basketball Championship Thursday night at the Constant Center in Norfolk.
Senior guard Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) scored all of her 16 points in the second half and fellow senior guard Myriah Spence (Espanola, N.M.) scored all of her 12 points in the second stanza to lead the Lady Monarchs into Friday's second semifinal game, where they will face fourth-seeded Delaware in a rematch of the 2003 CAA Championship Game at 7:30 p.m. With the win, Old Dominion improves to 23-6 on the year, while William and Mary drops to 11-18.
"One of the most difficult games you play is the first game in a tournament. It took us a whole half to warm up. Several of our players didn't play well in the first half. We were nervous and we played nervous. It is difficult to carry the idea that you are the number one seed, so it took us a while to settle in. We regrouped in the second half. We score by committee; there is always three or four that step up," said ODU head coach Wendy Larry.
Nhassengo, who went 0-for-3 from the floor in the first half, made 7-of-8 field goal attempts in the second half, while Spence connected on 2-of-3 three-point field goal attempts and converted 4-of-4 opportunities at foul line in the opening 10:09 of the second half as the Lady Monarchs opened up a 67-41 lead with 9:51 to play.
"Our defense played well down the stretch today, but we can't play only 20 minutes and get away with it anymore. I think we will be a lot better after we have relaxed and feel comfortable. We've got a lot more work to do," added Larry.
William and Mary freshman forward Kyra Kaylor (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the first half to keep the Tribe close at the break. Kaylor, who scored 41 points in the Tribe's two tournament games, was perfect from the foul line on the night hitting on 10-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe.
The Tribe held a 29-28 lead with 3:10 remaining in the opening period, after Kaylor drained her only three-point field goal of the night. William and Mary freshman Kyle DeHaven (Herndon, Va.) added seven points and six assists in the Tribe's strong first-half effort.
Old Dominion senior Monique Coker (Bronx, N.Y.) shared team-high honors with Nhassengo, scoring 16 points on 6-of-12 field goal shooting and junior Shareese Grant (Virginia Beach, Va.) chipped in with 13 points to give the Lady Monarchs four in double-figures. Coker added eight rebounds, three blocks and a pair of steals, while Grant matched a season-high with nine assists.
The Lady Monarchs shot 50.0% in the second half, hitting 17-of-34 field goal attempts, and held the Tribe to 30.4% shooting from the floor and only seven field goals in the final half. Old Dominion shot 45.9% (28-for-61) from the field overall and connected on 22-of-30 (73.3%) attempts from the foul line on the night. The Lady Monarchs also held a 42-24 advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Tribe 24-12 in the second half.
"I thought ODU played a great second half. They ran up and down the floor are really played well. We hung in there the whole first half, but when ODU starts running, that's when you know you're in trouble; at least that's when we knew we were in trouble. When you play a team like Old Dominion you grow and that's the way we look at it. We have had the privilege to play them three times and each time we grew," said Tribe head coach Debbie Taylor.