Lady Monarchs Roll Past George Mason, 70-60

February 23, 2003
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Feb. 23, 2003

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NORFOLK, VA -- The Old Dominion women's basketball defeated Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foe George Mason 70-60 in a Sunday afternoon matinee contest at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

The victory was ODU's third in a row as they improved their conference record to 11-3 and overall mark to 14-10. The loss drops the Patriots below .500 for the season at 10-11 overall and 7-7 in the CAA. ODU has never lost to George Mason, They are now 31-0 all-time against the Patriots and one of five CAA teams that have yet to defeat the Lady Monarchs.

Junior forward Monique Coker (Bronx, FL) recorded her sixth double-double of the year with 16 points and career-high 16 rebounds. Last time against the Patriot up at the Patriot Center back on January 12th, Coker poured in a career-high 24 points and a then career-high 14 boards.

Senior guard Okeisha Howard (Va. Beach, VA) lead all scorers with 19 points, six assists and only one turnover. Junior guard Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique) was the third Old Dominion player in double figures, coming off the Lady Monarch bench to score 10. Senior forward Kim Giddens (Painter, VA) hauled in 12 rebounds, her third performance this season in double digit rebounding.

The Patriots were led by a pair of junior guards. Vernessa Neamo led her squad with 18 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Jen Derevjanik also had 17 points.

The Lady Monarchs took a 36-27 lead into the locker room at halftime, going up by as many as 13 late in the half. George Mason pulled within two on a Derevjanik runner with 7:32 left in the half, but from there the Lady Monarchs went on a 13-2 run to increase their advantage to 36-23 sparked by a three-pointer and lay-up by junior Myriah Spence (Espanola, NM). Derevjanik then scored four straight points at the end of the half to decrease ODU's lead to nine at the break.

The Lady Monarchs continued to roll in the second half, going on an 11-2 run in the first 4:43 of play. Spence's lay-up with 15:52 on the clock gave the Lady Monarchs its largest lead of the game, an 18-point 47-29 edge. Old Dominion maintained a double figure lead until Derejanik sunk her only three-pointer of the afternoon with less than a minute remaining to pull the Patriots within nine, 66-57. Neamo cut the George Mason deficit to six, 66-60, in the closing moments, but key free throws by Howard and Coker sealed the victory for the Lady Monarchs.

Old Dominion shot 44 percent from the field, going 25-of-57, while George Mason shot 35 percent connecting on 24-of-68. The Lady Monarchs also outrebounded their opponent, 50-34.

ODU host Towson this Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at the "The Ted." The Lady Monarchs defeated the Tigers back on January 19th, 69-48.