Lady Monarchs Open CAA Tournament Run Posting 66-50 Victory Over George Mason
By ODU Athletics
March 9, 2006
FAIRFAX, Va. -- The Old Dominion women's basketball opened its run for its 15th straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title with a 66-50 victory over George Mason in the quarterfinals.
The Lady Monarchs, who were down by one at the half 27-28, outscored the Patriots, 39-22 in the second half. Junior Paula Muxiri (Luanda, Angola) helped provide the spark in the second half where she netted 12 of her game-high 18 points to lead all scorers.
The game began much like the first meeting this season with the Patriots, back on January 20th. That game saw George Mason enter the locker room at the half up, 35-34, but had Old Dominion rally in half-number two to earn the 71-55 win.
Sophomore Shahida Williams (Newark, N.J.) helped the Lady Monarchs establish as much as an eight point lead in the first half scoring, where she collected all 12 of her points on the night. A Williams bucket with 8:25 left in the half gave Old Dominion a 22-14 advantage, but the Patriots would soon close the gap.
A Keyhana Wakefield three sparked the Patriots late half run. Her three-pointer soon help Old Dominion's eight point lead turn into two. T.J. Jordan (Portsmouth, Va.) put the ball up and in at the basket with 4:33 left in the half, but that would be the final field goal of the game's first 20 minutes for the Lady Monarchs. Old Dominion's would go on to collect three more points all from the line. Lateisha Wade scored five points in less than a minute and the Patriots trailed only 24-22 with 4:19 left in the first half.
The Lady Monarchs were clinging to the lead as the clocked ticked down but George Mason managed to get its one-point halftime edge as Nikkia Slade was fouled on a three with one second left.
Jordan came right out of the locker room and quickly scored for the Lady Monarchs and for the rest of the night, Old Dominion would never relinquish the lead. The Patriot's Jessica Smith managed to knot the score at 32-32 all with 16:42 left in the game, however George Mason would get no closer to regaining the lead the rest of the night.
After Smith's bucket tied the score, Old Dominion proceeded to take a 14-2 run over the next seven minutes capped by four straight free throws by Lawona Davis (Port St. Lucie, Fla.).
A three-point by rookie reserve Jazzmin Walters (Norfolk, Va.) gave the Lady Monarchs its largest lead of the night, an 18-point 64-46 lead with 1:39 on the clcok
The victory improved Old Dominion to 39-0 all-time against the Patriots as they improved to 20-8 overall on the season. It is the 15th straight season and 26th overall that the Lady Monarchs have reached the 20-win mark.
Old Dominion returns to action tomorrow night in the CAA Tournament Quarterfinals. The top seeded Lady Monarchs take on fourth seeded Hofstra at 7:30 p.m. at the Patriots Center following the night's other semifinal match-up between second seeded James Madison and third seeded Delaware at 5:00 p.m.