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REGULAR SEASON CAA CHAMPS: ODU Clinches #1 Seed at CAA Tournament With Win at VCU

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 28, 2010
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Feb. 28, 2010

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RICHMOND, Va. - Less than 24 hours after the Monarchs celebrated their 2009-10 CAA Regular Season Title with a win over VCU on the men's side, it was the Lady Monarchs joining the party and winning the regular season women's title with a 67-65 win in Richmond against the Rams (18-11, 11-6 CAA). ODU improved to 16-11 overall this season with a 14-3 mark in the CAA action.

Needing just six points in the game to become the 27th Lady Monarch in history to score 1,000, senior Jessica Canady wasted no time in getting started. Canady scored five of ODU's first seven points helping the Lady Monarchs jump out to a 9-2 lead.

She would add a comma to her career point total with a patented Canady move to the basket with just over 7 minutes remaining in the first half. She got a pass from Shadasia Green on the low post, made a drop-step to the basket around her defender and knocked in the right-handed layup.

Her basket would trigger an 11-0 run that helped ODU get the first half lead up to a game-high 14 at 28-14 with 4:45 remaining. A pair of Kita Waller free throws, her only points of the first half, would stop the run with under five to play and VCU would then get nine straight points from Courtney Hurt to end the half and get back within six, at 33-27.

The Rams opened the second on 9-3 run to tie the game on a Waller three-pointer with 17 minutes remaining. The basket was a pre-cursor to her game, a tale of two halves as she ignited for 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the second half after finishing with just two free-throws in the first. Hurt would continue to lead VCU, knocking down the first two baskets of the second period and extending her personal scoring run to 13 over a five minute stretch at the end of the first half and start of the second.

Junior forward Alena Voronina knocked down a pair of tough layups and rookie Jackie Cook shifted the momentum back the ODU way with a pair of long three-pointers to give ODU another six-point lead. VCU would continue to counter, though, and tied it up again at 51 apiece, behind senior Kita Waller's strong effort. Waller scored eight of twelve VCU points over 5:38 in the middle of the second, including the game-tying three-pointer with just over eight minutes remaining.

Despite ODU sophomore Tia Lewis answering Waller's effort, scoring eight points in five minutes, VCU sophomore Jennifer Lane gave VCU its first lead since it was 2-0 with a jumper in the paint, putting VCU up 59-58 with 3:48 remaining.

After Kita Waller knocked down another bucket to go ahead three, junior guard Kquanise Byrd hit a huge three from the corner off an assist from Parker to tie it again at 61. The two teams would trade baskets over the next two minutes before ODU would take a four-point lead on a pretty cut from Cook as her defender turned her back out of a timeout. The pass came from Canady as ODU went up 67-63 with under a minute to play.

Senior and leading scorer D'Andra Moss would get the Rams back within two on the next trip down the floor with a tough leaner in the paint and ODU turned the ball over to give VCU a chance to tie or take the lead, down two with no shot clock. Moss would get a shot off, but the rebound would get hauled in by Canady for the win.

The senior forward finished with seven points, five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. She now has 1,001 points for her career, joining an exclusive list of just 27 Lady Monarchs in history. Shadasia Green led the way on 6-of-10 shooting, finishing with a team-high 13 points and seven rebounds. She also had four assists and two steals.

VCU got a pair of 18-point performances, as Waller finished with 18 on 6-of-14 points with five rebounds and three assists and Hurt had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

As a team, the Lady Monarchs peppered the rim, shooting over 54% for the game, including over 50% in both halves. The Rams shot just 37.9% from the field, but forced 19 ODU turnovers and scored 21 second-chance points. ODU shared and defended the ball well, dishing 19 assists and blocking a season-high nine in the game.

ODU has clinched the top seed in the forthcoming CAA Tournament in Harrisonburg, Va. on March 11-14. The Lady Monarchs will return to the floor for the regular season finale and Senior Day this Wednesday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. ODU will honor seniors Jessica Canady and Vicki Collier following the game and will also welcome back nine of the 11 Lady Monarchs honored by the CAA as a part of the 25th Anniversary Team. Fans are encouraged to join the Lady Monarchs at the Ted for a pair of special celebrations this Wednesday night.

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