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ODU Nails Down First Win of Season Against Ole Miss, 75-66

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 06, 2009
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Dec. 6, 2009

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NORFOLK, Va. -- Behind a dominant effort from sophomore forward Tia Lewis (Poulan, Ga.), posting her first career double-double at Old Dominion and tying her career-high in rebounds with 17, the Lady Monarchs (1-5) defeated the Ole Miss Rebels (6-2) by a final of 75-66. ODU handed the Rebels just their second loss of the season with balanced play, getting eight points or more from six different players.

The game started off with an ODU offensive foul within the first 15 seconds and Ole Miss jumped to a 12-point lead early, but the Lady Monarchs would battle back. ODU went ona 11-0 run to pull back within one with 7:34 remaining. By the end of the frame, the Lady Monarchs had come from behind to lead the Rebels 34-33 going into halftime. Tia Lewis had 10 rebounds in the first half while Vicki Collier had already established a new career-high of 10 points.

The Rebels were led by Bianca Lewis, ranked ninth in the nation in scoring, who had 18 points in the first half. In the second half, though, the Lady Monarch defense held Lewis to just seven.

A strong defensive effort by the Monarchs in the second half allowed only 12.5% shooting from the Rebels at the 3-point line against their 33% in the first. Beyond the arc was where the Lady Monarchs saw the momentum swing as a pair of clutch long balls from sophomore Kquanise Byrd (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the first half and another from rookie Carolann Cloutier (Montreal, Quebec) in the second kicked the ODU offense into gear.

The game was tied at 60 with 4:21 remaining before the Lady Monarchs key run. On the next possession, Lewis hauled in an offensive board and nailed the stick back and Shadasia Green stole the ball in transition, hitting a open court layup and forcing a Missippi timeout with 3:24 remaining. ODU closed out the game on a 15-6 run, sealing the first victory of the season.

Lewis scored 13 points in the second half, leading the way for Old Dominion going 5-for-9 with her career-high tying 17 total rebounds. She finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds, adding a pair of assists, blocks and one steal. Junior guard Shadasia Green aided the Monarchs in victory with a team-high 16 points, adding five rebounds a block and a steal. After a rough start, seeing Green go 2-for-10 from the field in the first half, she closed on a 4-for-4 run and added a pair of free throws that gave ODU a 5-point lead with less than a minute to play.

Collier added a pair in the second half to set a new career-high with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Though junior guard Jasmine Parker was empty from the field, she knocked down four clutch free-throws in the final 32 seconds to secure the victory.

Thomas led the way for Mississippi, scoring 25 points in the game, knocking down five three-pointers. Shantell Black was also in double figures for Ole Miss, going 7-for-10 with 17 points before fouling out in the second half. Katorra Lewis led the way on the boards with 11 total for Mississippi.

It was the first time this season ODU outrebounded their opponent, hauling in 45 rebounds compared to Mississippi's 37. The Lady Monarchs also took care of the ball, turning the ball over a season-low 16 times. As a team, ODU shot 42.4% from teh field on 25-59 shooting while Ole Miss managed 40.6% from the field on 26-64 shooting.

The Lady Monarchs return to the court Friday to take on the Gators from the University of Florida in non-conference action. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.

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