Lady Monarchs Handle Georgia in NCAA First Round, 68-54

March 16, 2002
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 16, 2002

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Associated Press Writer

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Lucienne Berthieu was hacked or ran into a double team almost every time she had the ball in the low post. She felt much more comfortable at the foul line.

Berthieu scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds Saturday, leading Old Dominion past Georgia 68-54 for a spot in the second round of the women's Mideast Regional.

Berthieu scored 20 points in the first half and made 10 of 12 free throws. She slumped in the second half, scoring only one field goal on three attempts and going 2-for-7 from the line.

"I knew I was going to get to the line a lot, so I knew I would make my home there," said Berthieu, a three-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year. "I just wanted a chance to make them pay for my opportunity."

A year ago, Berthieu sat out the season with a torn knee ligament and watched in street clothes as Old Dominion was eliminated in the tournament's first round.

Monique Coker added 13 points for the Lady Monarchs (26-5), who rallied from a nine-point deficit midway through the first half.

A layup by Coker late in the second half started an 11-4 run that gave Old Dominion a 56-50 lead. The Lady Monarchs pushed the lead to nine before a 3-pointer by Mary Beth Lycett pulled Georgia to 60-54 with 3:05 remaining.

Coker answered with a 3-point play and a basket by Sharron Francis gave the Lady Monarchs their first double-digit lead.

"In the second half, we picked up our intensity and played more aggressively," Lady Monarchs coach Wendy Larry said. "Georgia was creating their own breaks in the first half."

Georgia coach Andy Landers said his team was too passive and too careless in the second half.

"We needed to do a better job of taking care of the ball," he said.

Georgia double-teamed Berthieu in the second half, creating more open looks for Coker and Hamchetou Maiga, who scored 10 points.

"The key in the second half was that we spread the floor more since they devoted so much attention to Lucienne in the first half," Larry said.

Both teams were sloppy in stretches. Georgia had 25 turnovers and Old Dominion had 22.

Georgia (19-11) made 12 of its first 20 shots but went only 9-for-28 the rest of the game. The Bulldogs lost the lead and went into halftime tied at 35.

Christi Thomas led the Bulldogs 14 points and Kara Braxton had 12 before fouling out with 4:59 left. Georgia was 7-for-16 from the foul line. Fouling Berthieu also caused two other players to foul out.

"This game was a microcosm of how we played all year," Landers said. "It was ridiculous to go seven of 16 at the free throw line, especially with the good shooters we have here."

Georgia led by four points early in the second but the Lady Monarchs pulled away.

Old Dominion and Georgia have played in 19 tournaments. The only schools with more appearances are Louisiana Tech and Tennessee with 21.

This was only the second meeting in the tournament between the teams. The Lady Monarchs defeated Georgia in the 1985 NCAA championship game.