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Lady Monarchs Defeat Florida International, 77-66

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 15, 2003
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Dec. 15, 2003

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NORFOLK, VA -- Monique Coker's (Bronx, NY) double-double of 17 points and a season-high 17 rebounds helped the Old Dominion women's basketball team defeat the Florida International Golden Panthers Monday night, 77-66, at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. ODU improves to 5-3 for the year and remains undefeated at home, with a 4-0 record. Florida International drops to 2-6. Prior to tonight's game, Florida International was the only opponent the Lady Monarchs had faced at least two times and not beaten.

Florida International jumped to a 9-2 lead early in the game but it would be the Golden Panthers largest lead of the half. The Lady Monarchs bounced back to take their first lead of the game, 18-17, by the 9:04 mark of the half. Florida International re-took the lead off two Milena Tomova free throws and held a five-point lead, 25-20, by the 5:21 mark. The Lady Monarchs answered, however, with a 6-0 run to once again take the lead, 26-25, with just over three minutes left in the half. ODU held a narrow 28-27 advantage with 1:31 left in the half before the Golden Panthers' Deniz Boz connected on a jumper to give Florida International a slight 29-28 lead going into the half.

ODU started the second half with a 5-0 run to take a 34-29 lead just over two minutes into the half. The Golden Panthers, however, came up with a 16-4 run of their own to take a 45-40 lead with 12:07 left in the game. Trailing 50-44 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second half, the Lady Monarchs came up with a 7-0 run to grab a 51-50 lead with nine minutes left in the game. A Mistoria Brown free throw for Florida International tied the game at 51, but the Golden Panthers were unable to get any closer than one point to ODU for the rest of the game. ODU held a 74-63 lead with 50 seconds remaining in the game for their largest lead of the night.

Shareese Grant (Virginia Beach, VA) led Monarch scorers with 19 points, followed by Monique Coker's double-double, her fifth of the season. Senior Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) also added in 16 points. Florida International's Milena Tomova led all scorers with 22 points. Ivelina Vrancheva, with 14 points, and Eva Makela, with 11 points, were also double-figure scorers for the Golden Panthers.

For the game, ODU shot 46.8% (29 of 62) from the field, compared to Florida International's 47.3% (26 of 55). The Lady Monarchs held a commanding 43-26 rebounding margin during the game and committed only 13 turnovers, while the Golden Panthers committed 15.

The Lady Monarchs are next in action Thursday, December 18, at 1:00 PM, taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Lady Monarch Note: Junior forward Paula Muxiri (Luanda, Angola) was declared academically eligible late Monday afternoon. The junior forward who had missed the Lady Monarchs' first seven games of the year played 15 minutes, scoring five points.

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