ODU Defeats Charlotte, 71-59, in C-USA Opener
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs hit the road for its first Conference USA contest of the season and came out with a 71-59 victory over the Charlotte 49ers on Sunday afternoon at Halton Arena. ODU improved to 5-8 overall and 1-0 in the league, while Charlotte fell to 7-5 and 0-1 in C-USA action.
Jennie Simms led the way with a game-high 18 points, while Destinee Young recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Annika Holopainen also reached double-figures, finishing with 16 points.
The Lady Monarchs exploded for a 10-2 run over the first 3:51, forcing Charlotte to take its first timeout of the contest. The 49ers responded to pull within two points with two minutes left in the first, but Makayla Timmons closed the period with a three pointer from downtown with two seconds left to give ODU the eight-point lead (24-16). The Lady Monarchs shot a staggering 60 percent from the floor (12-21) and were led by 10 points from Simms.
Charlotte outscored ODU 16-15 in the second period, but the Lady Monarchs got five straight points in the final two minutes from Carolina Bernardeco to hold a seven-point advantage (39-32) going into the locker room. ODU went 17-for-30 from the floor in the first half, a 56.7 shooting percentage, compared to Charlotte’s 37.1 percentage (13-for-35). The Lady Monarchs also hit the glass hard in the first 20 minutes and held a +5 rebounding margin over the Niners (20-15).
Both teams struggled offensively in the third period, combining for just 17 points in 10 minutes of action. ODU went 5-for-21 from the floor, while Charlotte made just three out of 13 attempts. Charlotte picked up its offensive attack at the start of the fourth quarter and pulled within six (50-44) after a quick 6-0 run. The Lady Monarchs then put together a 10-5 spurt, capped by a Simms jumper, to hold an 11-point lead with 3:55 left to play. Old Dominion scored seven of its final nine points from the foul line to secure the 12-point victory (71-59).
For the game, ODU shot 43.1 percent from the floor (28-65), while Charlotte was held to 35.3 percent (24-68). The Lady Monarchs also held a positive rebounding margin for the first time since playing Loyola (12.2), grabbing 46 boards compared to Charlotte’s 39.
Kira Gordon registered 16 points and nine rebounds for Charlotte, while Lefty Webster added 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Alexis Alexander also chipped in 10 points and seven boards.
UP NEXT FOR OLD DOMINION
The Lady Monarchs will be back in action on Jan. 7 at 7:00 p.m. against the LA Tech Lady Techsters at the Ted Constant Center. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Networks. It will also mark the annual ‘Barefootin Night’ where Coach Barefoot will be barefoot on the sidelines in support of Samaritans Feet.
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