RUSTON, La. -- The Old Dominion women's basketball team knocked off LA Tech, 69-64, on Saturday afternoon at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, Louisiana.
"It was definitely a hard-fought battle," said head coach Karen Barefoot. "It was one of those games where this is probably the game to get us back on track, because they are so physical, so aggressive and they play great at home."
Barefoot and Old Dominion (8-9, 3-3 C-USA) have now won two straight at the TAC, as ODU also defeated LA Tech, 72-71, in Ruston in 2014-15. The Lady Monarchs were 0-7 all-time prior to Barefoot's tenure.
Jennie Simms led ODU with 24 points, eight rebounds and a season-high seven assists. Destinee Young added 10 points and nine boards, while Ashley Jackson recorded nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
"Everybody who came in the game made a difference someway, somehow," said Barefoot. "And that's what we had to do here."
With Old Dominion leading 60-56 with under four to play, the Lady Monarch defense held LA Tech (7-9, 2-3 C-USA) without a field goal for a span of 3:44 to extend its lead to as many as 10 at 69-59 down the stretch. Overall, ODU held LA Tech to 3-of-12 shooting in the final quarter.
The Lady Monarchs led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter, as Annika Holopainen and Jackson each scored five points in the opening segment to give ODU the early advantage.
The teams continued to exchange baskets in the second quarter, as ODU carried a 33-31 lead into halftime. In the opening half, seven different Lady Monarchs scored three or more points and ODU assisted on 11 of the 12 field goals, while committing just eight turnovers.
In the second half, LA Tech's Jasmine LeBlanc scored nine third-quarter points to keep the Lady Techsters close, but a Gianna Smith three-pointer in the final minute of the third gave ODU a 51-48 lead heading into the fourth.
Ignited by the Smith triple, ODU opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to take a nine-point lead at 57-48 with 6:06 remaining. LA Tech was able to close the gap to 60-57, before the ODU defense bottled up the Lady Techsters in the final four minutes.
Overall, ODU assisted on 20 of its 24 field goals, while committing 17 turnovers. On the defensive end, the Lady Monarchs forced 21 LA Tech turnovers. As a team, ODU shot 45.3 percent from the field.
"We beat them on the 50-50 balls. We beat them on communication. Our bench was incredible," said Barefoot. "Everybody was on the same page."
UP NEXT The Lady Monarchs return to Norfolk next weekend for a matchup with Charlotte (12-4, 4-1 C-USA) on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m. at the Ted Constant Center. The game will be streamed on CUSA.tv and can be heard on ESPN 94.1.