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Lady Monarchs Drop Hokies 63-49

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 21, 2002
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Dec. 21, 2002

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Senior guard Okeisha Howard (Va. Beach, VA) had a game-high 17 points and tied a season-high with six assists as the Old Dominion women's basketball team defeated Virginia Tech 63-49 in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

ODU improves to 2-4 on the year with their first win in their new home. Va. Tech, who entered the game as one of the best records in the state, takes only its second loss and drops to 6-2.

The Lady Monarchs jumped out to 5-0 lead and would trail only once, 6-5, as the Hokies didn't hit their first basket until the 15:27 mark of the first half. Using a three-guard lineup, ODU forced 12 Tech first half turnovers, making 10 steals. They would go on a 12-1 run to close out the half and head into the locker room with a 33-18 halftime advantage.

The second half would be much of the same for the Lady Monarchs as they built a 15-point lead after a Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) lay-up to open the half. The Hokies would bring the deficit to eight, 39-31 after a Chrystal Starling free throw at 14:15. That was the closest the visitors would come as a 15-7 ODU run would give them a game-high 16 point advantage, 55-39, with just under four minutes left in the game.

"It was a great battle," said Old Dominion head coach Wendy Larry. "It was like a defensive chess match. I hope that the team would be rewarded with the win after practicing so hard against each other."

Despite not hitting another field goal the rest of the way, the Lady Monarchs went 10-14 from the line down the stretch to hold onto their double-digit lead.

Junior forward Monique Coker (Bronx, NY) pulled down 11 boards as ODU out-rebounded Va. Tech 43-36. The Lady Monarchs recorded a season-high 13 steals and 10 blocks. Senior captain Kim Giddens (Painter, VA) who entered the game averaging just 2.6 ppg netted a season-best eight points, swatting away three Hokie shots and registered three steals.

Nhassengo had 10 points with six rebounds and two steals while Shareese Grant (Va. Beach, VA) added 14 points with five boards and three assists.

Starling, who also led the Hokies with 22 points in their 68-62 victory over the Lady Monarchs last year in Blacksburg, led the way again, this time with 16 points while center Ieva Kublina recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards.

"We did not come in and match ODU's intensity," said Va. Tech head coach Bonnie Henrickson. "They had every loose ball and deflection. That was the story of the game."

ODU will be home again after the break on Monday, December 30 to host N.C State at 7:00 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

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