Lady Monarchs Lose To La. Tech, 86-74, In Midwest Semifinal
Old Dominion guard Sharron Francis drives through the defense during the first half of their NCAA Midwest Regional semi-final
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Louisiana Tech (31-2) also held its own in the rebounding battle against the taller Lady Monarchs (29-5) and moved into the regional final against the winner of the late game between Penn State and Iowa State.
Tech went ahead to stay late in the first half, then kicked it in after Old Dominion pulled to 52-46 on Lucienne Berthieu's layup with 14:43 left.
Catrina Frierson scored on a follow shot and Lennox on a 3-pointer for a 57-46 lead. After two straight Old Dominion baskets, Tech's Christie Sides made a 3 from the left wing and Lennox, who had left the game briefly because of leg cramps, returned to make another 3.
Tamicha Jackson's 3-pointer made it 66-50 and Lennox answered Sharron Francis' 3-pointer with one of her own, putting Tech ahead 69-53 with 10:14 to go.
Louisiana Tech guard Tamicha Jackson takes control of a loose ball
leaving behind Old Dominion guard
(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
The lead was never below 10 after that as Tech answered almost every time fourth-seeded Old Dominion scored.
Lennox finished 10-for-32 from the field, including four 3-pointers. Frierson added 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting, Jackson scored 17 and Takeisha Lewis had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Berthieu led Old Dominion with 19 points, Hamchetou Maiga scored 16, Natalie Diaz 15 and Francis 14.
After some poor shooting early, both teams cranked up their offense and treated fans to an entertaining, fast-paced game.
Old Dominion missed eight of its first nine shots in falling behind 9-2, then came back with a 12-2 run to take the lead and twice led by four points.
When Diaz scored on a follow shot - Old Dominion's fifth offensive rebound in that sequence - the Lady Monarchs led 23-19 and the angry Barmore called a timeout.
His team responded with a 16-6 run to go up 35-29, and Lennox hit back-to-back jumpers to make it 39-30.
Old Dominion drew to 39-35 on Maiga's steal and layup before Tech's Brooke Lassiter drew a charge to stop a 3-on-1 fast break and sank both free throws for a 41-35 halftime lead.
Tech opened a 52-42 lead in the first four minutes of the second half, then began its 3-point barrage when Old Dominion cut it to six.