Finals Bound: ODU Reaches CAA Championship Game by Defeating JMU
March 14, 2003
Top-seeded Old Dominion University built a nine-point halftime advantage and went on to earn a 71-55 victory over fourth-seeded James Madison in the semifinals of the 2003 ALLTEL Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Old Dominion (20-10) clinched its 12th straight 20-win season. The Lady Monarchs avenged a 98-95 loss suffered at James Madison (17-12) during a three-game losing streak earlier in the season. Since that skid, ODU has won nine straight games.
Senior forward Kim Giddens (Painter, VA)grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, including nine offensive boards, in setting a new CAA tournament single-game record. Sophomore guard Shareese Grant (Va. Beach, VA) scored a game-high 19 points. Junior Monique Coker (Bronx, NY) had her eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Guards Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) and Okeisha Howard (Va. Beach, VA) each had 11 points and four assists. Freshman center Corrina Turner (Miami, FL) netted 10 points and pulled eight rebounds.
The first half began as a tight back-and-forth affair with the score knotted at 16-16 after 11:04 of play. ODU then began to build momentum with a 7-0 run over the next 3:18. The Dukes hit back-to-back shots on a Jody LeRose jumper and Denae Dobbins lay-up to cut it to three. Nhassengo then hit a free throw and stole a JMU inbounds pass and hit the easy lay-up to ignite an 8-2 Lady Monarch push to close the half. Monique Coker hit a lay-up and completed the three-point play with 0.7 seconds remaining to give Old Dominion a 31-22 halftime lead.
With ODU holding a 39-30 lead with 4:56 expired in the second half, the Lady Monarchs went on a 9-0 run over the next 1:55 to take a convincing 48-30 advantage. JMU responded with a 15-4 run to pull within 52-45 with 7:33 remaining, but Corrina Turner re-entered the game with four fouls and put in two lay-ups to end the JMU run as ODU went on to win by 16. JMU senior Nadine Morgan had her sixth double-double of the season and second of the tournament with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She hit 4-of-8 three-point attempts. Senior guard Shanna Price scored 12 points and pulled eight rebounds but committed seven turnovers.
The Lady Monarchs committed a season-low 13 turnovers while forcing 17 turnovers by JMU. Both teams struggled at times from the field as Old Dominion shot 40.0 percent and James Madison hit just 31.1 percent of its shots. ODU converted 23-of-27 free throw attempts including 16-of-19 in the second half.
The Lady Monarchs are now 34-0 all-time in CAA Postseason play and seek their 12th straight conference championship on Saturday afternoon. ODU will square off with second-seeded Delaware at 4:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet as well as Fox New York. The two teams split the regular season series with Old Dominion winning 73-62 at home and Delaware claiming a 58-50 victory in Newark.