Lady Monarchs Survive Towson Scare, 68-64
By ODU Athletics
Feb. 5, 2004
TOWSON, MD-- Senior guard Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) converted three-out-of four free throw attempts during the final twenty-two seconds of the game to help Old Dominion (14-6, 9-1) pull away for its fifth straight win over Towson (8-11, 0-10) in a 68-64 Colonial Athletic Association victory on Thursday evening at the Towson Center. Senior forward Monique Coker (Bronx, NY) led the Lady Monarchs in scoring as she posted her 11th double-double of the season with a career-high 28 points, including 22 in the second half, and grabbed 17 rebounds. Nhassengo also had a solid performance for Old Dominion with 18 points, three assists and two steals.
During a game that had eight ties and 51 turnovers (26 Old Dominion, 25 Towson), the Tigers recorded their closest game ever with the Lady Monarchs since the series began back in the 2001 season. Entering the game, Old Dominion had been averaging 39.0 point victories in five meetings.
The first half of the game included five ties and saw the Tigers take a 29-27 halftime lead, which marked the first time in the five-game series that Towson had ever led at the half against the Lady Monarchs. Old Dominion jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the opening five minutes of action (14:51), but Towson fought back to tie the game at 16-16 as junior guard Brandi Harris hit a jumper at the 9:29 mark.
The Lady Monarchs continued to battle back and forth with the Tigers for the lead before Nhassengo hit one-of two attempts from the line to push the score to 27-27 with less than a minute in the half. However, Towson's forward Mia Spasowska then took advantage of an Old Dominion foul by forward Monique Coker and went two-for-three at the foul line to claim the two-point halftime advantage.
The Tigers held onto their lead for the first 6:21 of the second half before Coker scored off of a lay-up to tie the game at 40-40 and then took off on a fast break to give Old Dominion the lead for good. From there, Coker would go on to score 19 of the next 21 Lady Monarch points.
Although Towson stayed close to the Lady Monarchs for the remainder of the action, including a short 5-0 run which started with 3:14 left in the game and helped the Tigers pull from a 65-57 deficit to a 65-62 margin. Old Dominion capitalized on three Towson fouls in the final twenty-two seconds to pull away for the win.
Sophomore guard Kacy O'Brien recorded her third straight 20-point game for Towson with a 25-point performance on 12-for-17 shoting from the field while Spasowska posted a career-high 12 points. Junior forward Kelli Talbot added 10 points and made four steals for the Tigers.
The Lady Monarchs return to action on Sunday when they travel to Philadelphia to close out the season series with the Drexel Dragons.