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Late Second Half Surge Powers Lady Monarchs Over UNC-Wilmington, 67-55

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 29, 2004
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Jan. 29, 2004

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NORFOLK, VA -- The Old Dominion women's basketball team overcame an 11-point second half deficit to edge out the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks, 67-55, to remain undefeated on their home court Thursday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

The loss ends a four-game UNC-Wilmington win streak as the Seahawks fall to 9-8 overall and 4-4 in the CAA. Old Dominion wins its eighth straight home game and improves to 12-6 overall and 7-1 in league play.

Junior point guard Shareese Grant (Va. Beach, VA) led all scorers with 18 and dished out five assists, while senior Myriah Spence (Espanola, NM) overcame her 0-for-8 performance against George Mason to record 13 points. Senior Monique Coker (Bronx, NY) continued to rack up her double-doubles, notching her 10th of the year with 10 points and 11 boards. The 6-1 captain was held scoreless until the 9:41 mark of the second half and shot just 2-of-6 from the field, but connected on all six of her free throw attempts including the one that returned the lead back to the Lady Monarchs for good.

Senior guard Jennifer Kapper was the only Seahawk in double figure ending the game with 16 points. Kapper, who entered the game hitting a CAA best 83.1 percent from the line connected on 2-of-5 for the game. CAA Preseason Player of the Year senior guard Cherie Lea and the league's third leading scorer was held to nine points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

UNC-Wilmington led by four at the half, 32-28, in only the second game this season the Lady Monarchs have not held lead at intermission at home. Although Old Dominion opened the game with an 8-3 lead, the Seahawks controlled much of the lead throughout the half. A 9-0 run by UNC-Wilmington put the Seahawks ahead, 12-8, with 14:22 left in the first half, as the Lady Monarchs continued to chip away at the lead.

Several times Old Dominion cut their deficit to one, but once again the Seahawks would manage to bump up their lead to six following a Jennifer Kapper lay-up with 6:29 left until the half, 23-17. Two free throws by Paula Muxiri (Luanda, Angola) gave Old Dominion back the lead briefly, 26-25, with time running down, but UNC-Wilmington closed the final two minutes on a 7-2 run for the four-point half-time lead.

The Seahawks opened half number two on a 6-1 run to take its largest lead of the game, 40-29, within the first three minutes. After a Denise Lawrence three put UNC-Wilmington ahead, 40-29, with 15:58 left, Old Dominion held the Seahawks without a field goal over the next seven minutes and pulled within two points, 45-47.

The momentum again swung in UNC-Wilmington's favor as the Seahawks ran its lead back up leading, 51-45, with just under eight minutes remaining. However following a timeout and the crowd on its feet, Old Dominion returned to the court reenergized and allowed the Seahawks to score only four points on two lay-ups the rest of the way. Coker, who was held scoreless in the first half play, sunk both free throws in her two shot award to give the Lady Monarchs' it first lead since the first half, 54-53, with 4:09 remaining and Old Dominion never looked back.

Both teams shot the ball over forty percent from the field and Old Dominion won the war on the boards, 39-30.

The Lady Monarchs return to action on Super Bowl Sunday as they take on the Drexel Dragons at 2:00 p.m. The game will end a three-game home stand for Old Dominion.

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