DENTON, Texas -- The Old Dominion women’s basketball team trailed for just 52 seconds the entire contest, as the Lady Monarchs cruised to a 65-48 victory over the North Texas Mean Green in Conference USA action on Thursday night.With the win, ODU improved to 11-12 overall and 7-4 in league play, while North Texas fell to 8-13 overall and 3-8 in C-USA.
Gianna Smith led ODU with 15 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Jennie Simms was just shy of a triple-double, as she finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Destinee Young was also close to a double-double with 11 points and seven boards.
North Texas netted the first bucket of the game on its second possession, but that’s the only time the Mean Green would lead in the first half and eventually the entire game. Old Dominion then put together a 7-0 run and forced North Texas scoreless for over four minutes to hold a 7-2 advantage at the media timeout. The Lady Monarchs used the momentum coming out of the break and went on another 7-0 spurt, forcing the Mean Green to take a 30-second timeout to regroup. North Texas closed the quarter with six a 6-2 run to bring the ODU leads to 11 points (19-8) heading into the second period.
The Lady Monarchs started to pull away at the start of the second period and went on a 9-2 run and held the Mean Green to just 1-for-10 shooting for just over five minutes to hold a 28-12 advantage with 4:37 on the clock. Old Dominion kept its foot on the gas pedal on both ends of the floor and entered the intermission with a 24-point advantage. The Lady Monarchs got seven points from Smith to close the period and held the Mean Green to just two points in the final four minutes.
ODU held North Texas to just 13 points in the first half, the lowest an opponent has scored since ODU held Loyola to 14 points on Dec. 2 at the Ted Constant Center. The Lady Monarchs forced North Texas to shoot a dismal 18 percent from the floor and 0-for-4 from behind the arc. Smith led the way for ODU with 12 points on 3-for-5 shooting, while Simms added nine points, five rebounds and five assists in just 15 minutes of action.
North Texas hit back-to-back three-pointers at the start of the third quarter and took the momentum away from the Lady Monarchs, but just until the media timeout. ODU once again came out of the break on fire and went on a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the game (50-21) by the 2:30 mark. The Mean Green would outscore ODU 7-3 in the final 1:30 of the quarter, but the Lady Monarchs entered the final period with a 25-point advantage (53-28).
The Mean Green held ODU scoreless for almost the first four minutes of the fourth period and put up eight points to pull within 17 points by the 6:29 mark. Annika Holopainen ended the drought with an old fashioned three-point play that was facilitated by Simms. North Texas continued to attack and pulled within 15 points for the first time since the 6:53 mark in the third period with three minutes left to play. Head coach Karen Barefoot kept stressing to her team to attack from the sidelines, and the Lady Monarchs responded over the final minutes to claim the 17-point victory.
For the game, ODU shot 37.3 percent from the floor on 22-for-59, while North Texas was held to 30.2 percent after going 16-for-53. The Lady Monarchs also held a substantial 48-31 edge on the glass, including a 16-8 advantage on the offensive end.
Kelsey Criner led North Texas with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Teadra Jones, Candice Adams and Terra Ellison chipped in eight points.
UP NEXT FOR ODU The Lady Monarchs are back in action on Saturday in Houston, Texas against the Rice Owls at 3:00 p.m. (ET). The game will be streamed live through riceowls.com and the C-USA Digital Network. The radio broadcast will once again be on STAR 1310 AM, with the show beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET). Live stats will also be available once the game starts.
SOCIAL MEDIA Be sure to follow ODU Women’s Basketball on Twitter (@ODUWBB) and Instagram (@oduwbasketball) and ‘Like’ the ODU Lady Monarch Basketball on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news and coverage.