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Lady Monarchs Sweet Sixteen Bound, Bounce Boilermakers In OT Monday

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 18, 2002
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March 18, 2002

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    By DAN GELSTON
    Associated Press Writer

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - So Old Dominion is better than a No. 7 seeding might indicate.

    Hamchetou Maiga's 17 points and 17 rebounds led the Lady Monarchs to a 74-70 overtime upset Monday night of Purdue, last year's runner-up in the NCAA tournament.

    "We felt like we were better than a 7 seed," Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry said. "It was a true battle of respect."

    No. 2-seeded Purdue lost in the second round one day after defending national champion Notre Dame did. The Boilermakers had won 26 straight games on their home court, the second-longest streak in the country, behind No. 1 Connecticut.

    Old Dominion (27-5) will play No. 3-seeded Kansas State in the Mideast Regional semifinals on Saturday in Milwaukee.

    "This was no upset," insisted Monique Coker, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Old Dominion.

    Maiga and Coker helped build a 54-34 rebounding edge and held Purdue to 32 percent shooting. Old Dominion's 21 offensive rebounds led to a 29-14 scoring edge in the paint.

    "Every game, Coach says to go to the boards," Maiga said. "If we can't do anything else, we can rebound."

    The Lady Monarchs made 12 of their first 22 shots and led by 10 points in the first half. But ODU's 4-for-22 skid from the field allowed Purdue to erase a five-point deficit in the last 3 minutes of regulation, which ended at 60-all.

    Old Dominion scored five of the first six points in overtime.

    "I never thought we were going to lose," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "I was disappointed with our intensity to start the overtime."

    Old Dominion led 70-66 after Sharron Francis stole the ball and made two free throws at the other end with 41 seconds left in OT.

    After Shereka Wright, who led Purdue with 22 points, made one of two free throws, Coker made two from the line to push the lead to 72-67.

    Kelly Komara's 3-pointer pulled Purdue to 72-70 with 13.8 seconds remaining, but Francis' two free throws with 9.5 seconds to go sealed the victory.

    Francis scored 14 points, and Lucienne Berthieu added 11 for the Lady Monarchs.

    Komara had 14 points, and Erika Valek 13 for Purdue (24-6).

    "It was thrilling to watch and thrilling to play, but right now it hurts," said Komara, a senior.

    Old Dominion led 57-52 with 3:02 remaining in regulation, but the Boilermakers went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 59-57 with 1:13 left. Francis' 3-pointer put Old Dominion up 60-59 with 49 seconds to go, and Komara went just 1-of-2 from the line for Purdue 24 seconds later.

    The Boilermakers had one last shot, but Wright's jumper was blocked by Coker and the game went into overtime. Coker finished with five blocks.

    "We wanted to challenge their shots," Larry said. "They're great shooters in the paint and we wanted to contain them from the rim. In the second half, we did a better job of containing them."

    The Boilermakers ended their season on their home court for the second time in three years. They lost to Oklahoma in 2000.

    Old Dominion lost in the first round a year ago. Before that, the Lady Monarchs reached the round of 16 five straight times, including a trip to the 1997 title game.

    The Lady Monarchs beat Purdue 69-65 in overtime in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 1997.

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