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Buzzer beater celebration
Buzzer beater celebration
Brent Beerends

Timmons' Buzzer Beater Lifts ODU Over Middle Tennessee, 61-58

January 16, 2016
By ODU Athletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- With less than a second on the clock, freshman Makayla Timmons drilled a 40-foot three-pointer in front of 30 of her fans from Columbia, Tenn. to lift the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs over Middle Tennessee, 61-58, on Saturday night in the Murphy Center.

The Lady Monarchs moved to 7-10 overall and 3-2 in Conference USA, while the Blue Raiders fell to 9-7 overall and 3-2 in league action. The loss marked just the sixth time MTSU head Coach Rick Insell has lost a conference game at home since joining MTSU 11 years ago.

Jennie Simms led ODU with 17 points and four assists, while Destinee Young added another double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Ije Ajemba recorded a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with her nine points.

After trailing for the first time since the first period, the Lady Monarchs chipped away at the six-point MTSU lead in the fourth quarter to come from behind and steal the win over the Blue Raiders. Young hit a shot from the top of the key with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter to put ODU up by one (58-57), but Alex Johnson drew a foul from Ajemba to go to the line with six seconds left with a chance to win the game. Johnson went 1-for-2 from the line, giving Timmons enough time to hit the game-winning shot.

Old Dominion adopted a fast style of play in the first quarter and jumped out to a 15-7 lead after connecting on 7-of-7 shots in the first 6:39 of the contest. The Lady Monarchs forced Middle Tennessee into four turnovers during that span and just 2-for-7 shooting. With two minutes left in the first quarter the Blue Raiders put together an 8-2 run, but the period ended with the Lady Monarchs holding the slight two-point advantage (17-15). 

Defense was the key in the second period for ODU, only allowing the Blue Raiders to score six total points to expand its lead to six points at halftime (27-21). The Lady Monarchs’ defensive pressure held MTSU scoreless for over three minute during the second quarter, allowing ODU to take its largest lead of the game with 1:49 on the clock (27-19). After a missed free-throw from Ajemba, MTSU got a layup from Rebecca Reuter to cut the Old Dominion lead to six at the intermission (27-21).

Ajemba and Simms led ODU with seven points in the first half, while Ajemba pulled in a game-high seven boards in 17 minutes of action. As a team, the Lady Monarchs shot an efficient 50.0 percent from the field and out-rebounded MTSU 21-10.

The Blue Raiders started to make a run in the third quarter and pulled within one point twice in the first seven minutes behind seven points from Alex Johnson, but the Lady Monarchs held off the run to hold a 39-35 lead with 3:15 left in the period. The Blue Raiders forced a turnover with 2:43 on the clock and put together a momentum changing 9-0 run to overtake the lead from ODU (44-39) for the first time since the 6:30 mark in the first period.

For the game, ODU shot 55.1 percent from the floor (27-49), while MTSU 22-for-54 for 40.7 percent on the night. The Lady Monarchs out-rebounded Middle Tennessee by 20, pulling in 40 boards compared to the Blue Raiders 20. Despite committing 24 turnovers, the most for ODU this season, the Lady Monarchs found a way to pick up its first win at MTSU.

Ty Petty led MTSU with 20 points, while Brea Edwards added 12 points. Johnson also added 16 points and was held to just one rebound despite averaging 6.9 per contest.

The Lady Monarchs are back on the road next week, as they travel to Western Kentucky and Marshall. ODU will face WKU on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 12:00 p.m. and Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 1:00 p.m.

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