Wendy Larry Captures 500th Win At Old Dominion In 74-51 CAA Semifinal Victory Over Towson
March 15, 2008
NEWARK, Del. -- The top-seeded Old Dominion Lady Monarchs are on their way to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship game after downing fifth-seeded Towson, 74-51, in the tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center. Old Dominion will face third-seeded Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. as they look to collect its 17th consecutive CAA crown. The game will be aired live on Comcast SportsNet with John Castleberry and Jody Lavin-Patrick on the call.
The victory gave Wendy Larry her 500th win as head coach at her alma mater. Larry in 21 seasons at the helm of the Old Dominion program has compiled a 500-164 mark and a 549-195 career mark with stints with the Lady Monarchs, Virginian Wesleyan, and Arizona.
The win upped Old Dominion's mark to 28-4 overall. The Lady Monarchs last won 28 games in the 2001-02 season ending that year with a 28-6 overall mark and an appearance in the "Elite Eight" of the NCAA Tournament. Towson meanwhile fell to 22-10 having competed in its first tournament semifinal game since 1997-98 when it was a member of America East.
Senior Shahida Williams (Newark, N.J.) paced the Lady Monarchs with 19 points. Classmates T.J. Jordan (Portsmouth, Va.) and Megan Pym (Newfield, N.Y.) added in 12 and 11 respectively. Jordan connected on two three-pointers to bring her CAA and ODU record to 317 career treys. Pym went 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line. Sophomore Jessica Canady (Williamsburg, Va.) netted 10 as the fourth Lady Monarch in double figures.
The Tigers were led by Shanae Baker-Brice with 14 points. Half of Baker-Brice's points came from the free throw line where she went 7-of-8. Jamell Beasley came off the Tiger bench for 13 points.
Old Dominion raced out to an 11-0 lead and held the Tigers without a field goal for the game's opening six and a half minutes. The Lady Monarchs would then deny Towson its second field goal of the game for another three and a half minutes. The Lady Monarchs led by as many as 20 in the opening half and entered the locker room with 14-point lead, up 36-22.
Towson closed the gap to eight by the 14:01 mark of the second half and managed to pull within nine on three occasions. Alis Freeman hit one of two free throws capping a 7-0 Tiger run with five of the points coming at the line with six minutes to go. The run managed to cut the Old Dominion advantage to 53-44, but it would be as close as Towson would come. Old Dominion punched back with an 8-0 run thanks to four points apiece from Jordan and Pym to put the game away. The Lady Monarchs went up by as many as 25 in the closing minute for their largest lead of the afternoon.
The win improves Old Dominion to 49-0 all-time in CAA Tournament games. Sunday's championship game will mark the third time Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth will square off and the first time meeting in the CAA Championship game.