Cold Shooting Plagues ODU in 68-46 Loss at Rice
HOUSTON, Texas -- Cold shooting plagued the Old Dominion women’s basketball team, as the Lady Monarchs fell to Rice 68-46 on Saturday afternoon in Houston, Texas at Tudor Fieldhouse. ODU dropped to 11-13 overall and 7-5 in Conference USA, while the Owls improved their record to 5-18 overall and 4-8 in league action.
Ije Ajemba led Old Dominion with a career-high 16 points and nine rebounds, while Keyana Brown added 11 points and six rebounds. Jennie Simms was held to just seven points, but pulled in six rebounds and dished out four assists.
Both teams combined for just 11 points after the first five minutes of play, with the Rice Owls holding the 8-3 advantage over the Lady Monarchs. After the media timeout with 4:52 on the clock, the Owls scored five points in a span of 22 seconds (13-3), forcing ODU to call a 30-second timeout. Rice held the Lady Monarchs scoreless for 6:29 during the first quarter (0-for-12) and allowed ODU to score just five points, one point under its previous season low of six set against Miami & Maryland, as it held a 21-5 edge at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Monarchs switched to an extended 2-3 zone on the defensive end and held Rice to just six points in the opening five minutes of the second period, but were still cold on the offensive end. ODU went 2-for-6 from the field and were outrebounded 5-3 during that span. After a shooting drought, Brown nailed a three-pointer at the 3:14 mark, the first of the game for ODU, that sparked a 10-5 run over 1:40 to pull within 11 points with 1:34 left until halftime. Rice closed the final minute with four unanswered points to put its lead back to 15 (38-23) at the intermission.
Brown and Simms led ODU with six points apiece, while Ajemba added five points and five rebounds during the first half. The Lady Monarchs went 8-for-26 from the field for 30.8 percent from the floor and were outrebounded, 22-15. Rice found the holes in the ODU zone defense and scored 24 of its 38 points in the paint during the first half.
The Lady Monarchs continued their shooting woes during the opening 5:38 of the third quarter, going 3-for-9 from the floor. The Owls were not much better at 3-for-7 from the floor, but continued to hold onto its double-digit lead. Four-straight points from Ajemba in a span of 24 seconds sparked a Lady Monarchs run (8-2) to pull them within 12 points at the end of the third.
Both teams could not find the bottom of the net during the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but Jasmine Goodwine ended the drought for Rice with four points in a span of 25 seconds to bring the Rice lead back to 16 points with 7:20 left to play. After Ajemba scored at the 4:18 mark in the fourth, the Lady Monarchs were held scoreless until 1:32 left on the clock when Brown hit her third three of the game. Rice closed the 2:50 of the game with six points from the charity stripe to secure the 22-point victory to end a three-game losing streak.
For the game, ODU shot just 28.1 percent from the floor, connecting on 16-of-57 shots. The Owls made 26-of-59 attempts from the field for a 44.1 percentage from the floor. The Lady Monarchs were also outrebounded, 45-34, for the first time since losing at WKU on Jan. 21. Rice controlled the paint, scoring more than half of its points (36) inside the area, compared to ODU’s 16.
Goodwine led the Owls with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Wendy Knight added 13 points and seven boards. Shani Rainey also chipped in 11 points and six rebounds, while Maya Hawkins dished out a game-high eight assists on the day.
UP NEXT FOR ODU
The Lady Monarchs are back in action next week against Western Kentucky and Marshall at the Ted Constant Center. Old Dominion will first face the Lady Toppers on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before facing the Thundering Herd Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Earlier this season, the Lady Monarchs fell to these two teams on the road.
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