Old Dominion Advances To CAA Championship With A 68-63 OT Win Over George Mason

March 08, 2002
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 8, 2002

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Regulation-time hero Okiesha Howard hit a 3-pointer with 1:01 remaining in overtime, and No. 15 Old Dominion beat George Mason 68-63 Friday night in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

The Lady Monarchs (24-5), who have never lost in 32 CAA tournament games, needed 4-for-4 free-throw shooting in the last 48 seconds of regulation to tie it at 56. Sharron Francis hit the first two, and Howard hit the tying two with 10 seconds to play.

George Mason (17-14) also erased a seven-point deficit in the overtime with a 7-0 run, but Howard's fourth 3-pointer of the game gave Old Dominion the lead for good.

Howard led the Lady Monarchs with 18 points, Lucienne Berthieu had 13 and 10 rebounds, Monique Coker scored 12 and Hamchetou Maiga had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Old Dominion will play for its 11th consecutive CAA title on Saturday against North Carolina-Wilmington, which beat Delaware 65-60 in the first semifinal.

The Patriots were led by Jen Derevjanik with 19 points, 14 coming in the second half and overtime, and Vernessa Neamo with 17. Neamo scored 14 in the first half.

The Patriots led 56-52 after Shelbylynn McBride's free throw with 2:10 remaining in regulation. But George Mason didn't score again, and Francis and Howard converted their free throws before a stunned crowd of 2,287 at the Old Dominion Fieldhouse.

The gymnasium, which will be replaced as Old Dominion's home court when a new arena opens next season, will host its final NCAA basketball game on Saturday unless the Lady Monarchs are award first- and second-round home games by the NCAA.