NORFOLK, Va. -- Five players scored in double-figures for the Old Dominion women’s basketball team, as the Lady Monarchs defeated Florida Atlantic, 85-45, on Thursday night at the Ted Constant Center.ODU improved to 8-12 overall and 4-4 in Conference USA, while the Owls fell to 11-8 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Jennie Simms led the way for ODU with 20 points, five rebounds and eight assists on the night.With her two free-throws with 7:05 on the clock in the second quarter, Simms reached 1,000 and 1,001 career points, respectively. She became the 32nd Lady Monarch to reach that feat and is currently 17 points away from doing it in two years in an ODU uniform, marking just the sixth player in ODU women’s basketball history and the second under Karen Barefoot to do so.
Destinee Young (18), Annika Holopainen (14), Gianna Smith (12) and Ije Ajemba (10) joined Simms in double-digits, marking the first time since Dec. 29, 2010 against Charlotte that five Lady Monarchs reached double-digits in one game. Ajemba also finished with 13 rebounds, which gave her her second career double-double.
The Lady Monarchs opened the game with energy, as the team took a 12-3 lead over the Owls by the 6:03 mark. The ODU defense allowed FAU to score just eight more points the rest of the quarter, while Old Dominion put up 12 more to hold the 24-10 advantage. The Lady Monarchs held FAU to just 4-of-17 shooting from the field for a 23.5 percentage, while the Lady Monarchs shot 52.6 percent and 80.0 percent from beyond the arc. Smith showed confidence on the offensive end and led the team with five points in six minutes of action.
Old Dominion put on a defensive showing in the second quarter, holding the Owls to just five points and one made field goal. The Lady Monarchs’ defensive pressure held Florida Atlantic scoreless from the 2:40 mark in the first half all the way to 58 seconds left in the second. The 36-point halftime lead (51-15) marked the largest lead for ODU this season, smashing the previous mark of 16 against Loyola on Dec. 2. Old Dominion shot 75.0 percent from the floor on 9-of-12 shooting, while FAU was held to a dismal 7.7 percent after going 1-for-13 from the floor.
Despite committing more turnovers in the third quarter (8) than the entire first half (7) and being outscored 20-14, the Lady Monarchs held the 65-35 lead going into the final period. The Owls made adjustments in the locker room and improved their shooting percentage to 43.8 (7-16), while holding ODU to 46.2 percent on 6-for-13 shooting from the floor in the third.
ODU picked up its defense in the final period and continued to stifle the Florida Atlantic offense, holding the team to a field goal drought (0-10) for a span of 6:34. The 85-45 win marked the largest margin of victory for the Lady Monarchs this season and the first time the team has scored 80+ points since defeating Howard 83-64 on Dec. 15.
For the game, ODU shot 55.2 percent from the floor (32-58), breaking its previous season high of 55.1 that was set at Middle Tennessee. FAU was held to just 23.1 percent from the floor (15-65), which is the lowest shooting percentage by an ODU opponent this season.
Ali Gorrell and Kat Wright led Florida Atlantic with 11 points each, with Gorrell also corralling nine rebounds.
UP NEXT FOR ODU The Lady Monarchs are back in action on Saturday, as they take on FIU at 4:00 p.m. The contest also marks the annual ‘Alumni Day’ for Old Dominion.A host of familiar Lady Monarch alumni will return to the Ted and the program will celebrate surpassing 1,000 wins, becoming only the fourth women's basketball program in history to do so.
ODU surpassed 1,000 wins on Dec. 15 on the road with a win over Howard. The Jan. 30 celebration will include free 1,000-win T-shirts for the first 1,000 fans, and a star-studded welcome home for Lady Monarch alumni. Highlighting the cast of returnees is three-time national championship coach Marianne Stanley, Olympic gold medalist and Naismith and Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Anne Donovan, Wade Trophy winner and All American Ticha Penicheiro and her teammate and ODU Hall of Famer Nyree Roberts.
Fans can enjoy a meet and greet, post-game autograph reception with the alumni following the contest in the Big Blue Room, and are encouraged to bring ODU Lady Monarch basketball memorabilia to have signed (only one item per fan please). For tickets, go to www.YNOTTix.com.
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