NORFOLK, Va. -- In front of 3,146 fans in pink for the 14th annual Hoops for the Cure game, the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs defeated the Charlotte 49ers, 94-85, on Saturday afternoon at the Ted Constant Center.
After scoring 90-plus points for the first time this season, the Lady Monarchs improved to 10-12 overall and 6-4 in Conference USA, while Charlotte fell to 12-9 overall and 5-5 in league play.
Jennie Simms led ODU with 35 points, tying her season-high, to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Ije Ajemba finished the game with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Destinee Young also finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Gianna Smith chipped in 10 points for her third-straight double-figure outing.
Both teams opened the game going basket-for-basket, as the game was tied four times in the opening 10 minutes of play. The 49ers closed the final 53 seconds with a 5-0 run to hold a 17-13 edge over the Lady Monarchs going into the second period.
The Lady Monarchs chipped away at the 49ers advantage and eventually took the lead back (32-30) by the 3:51 mark after a quick 4-0 spurt, forcing Charlotte to take its first timeout of the contest. Simms had a hand in both baskets by scoring the first and dishing the ball to Young for the second. Old Dominion continued to increase its lead and held Charlotte to just six points over the final 4:44 of the period, as the Lady Monarchs headed into the lock room with a 40-36 advantage.
Young led ODU with 12 points in 18 minutes of action, while Simms added nine points and three assists. ODU shot 55.1 percent from the floor (27-49) and held Charlotte to 48.9 percent (23-47).
Old Dominion and Charlotte traded baskets once again over the first two minutes of the third period, but the Lady Monarchs responded with a 7-2 run over a span on 1:13 to take an eight-point lead with 4:48 on the clock. ODU continued to pour in the points and held a 12-point edge over Charlotte with 1:39 left and entered the final period with a nine-point advantage.
Charlotte put together a 5-0 run over the first 1:39 in the fourth period, which prompted a Lady Monarch timeout. Following the break, Old Dominion scored eight unanswered points, capped by an Ajemba layup, to bring its lead back to 12 with 6:06 left on the clock. The 49ers cut the Lady Monarch lead to seven points, but Simms responded with back-to-back three pointers to bring the lead to 11 with 2:40 left in the game. Despite five late points from Charlotte down the stretch, ODU never gave up the lead and picked up its second win over Charlotte this season.
For the game, ODU shot 54.2 percent from the floor (32-59) compared to 47.0 percent (31-66) for Charlotte. The Lady Monarchs also held a 42-31 edge over the 49ers on the glass and dished out a season-high 22 assists, marking the second time this season ODU has recorded 20-plus assists in a game.
Grace Hunter led the 49ers with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Laia Raventós added 12 points and five assists. Kira Gordon and Lefty Webster finished the game with 14 points, while Alexis Alexander, who leads the team with 14.6 points per game, was held to just eight points.
UP NEXT FOR ODU The Lady Monarchs are back in action next week in Texas, as the team takes on North Texas on Thursday and Rice on Saturday. ODU leads the Mean Green 2-1 in the all-time series that started in 2014 and are 4-0 against the Owls since the first meeting on February 19, 2014.
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