WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Old Dominion used its deep bench and two big runs in the final period to pull away from UNCW, 74-50, in a Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball game Thursday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Monarchs won for the third time in four games to improve to 12-4 overall and 3-1 in the CAA. The win opened a two-game road trip that will take the Monarchs to Hempstead, N.Y., this Sunday to play Hofstra.
The Seahawks, playing at home for the fifth time in six outings, lost their second straight and stand 2-13 and 1-3.
Freshman guard LaQuanda Younger scored all 12 of her points in the first half to lead three ODU players in double figures. Senior guard Jackie Cook added 11 points and senior forward Mairi Buchan chipped in 10 for the Lady Monarchs, who shot 45.9 percent and benefitted from 38 points by reserves.
Senior forward Karneshia Garrett and junior guard Jessica Freeman scored 11 points apiece to pace UNCW. Senior guard Tawanna Lee added 10 points for the Seahawks.
UNCW cut into ODU's 42-28 halftime lead by scoring the first six points of the second period until sophomore forward Shae Kelley banged in a jumper in the paint at 16:30 to key an 11-2 run that pushed the lead back to 53-36. Cook banged in a running jumper near the free throw line to give the Monarchs a 17-point cushion at 11:02.
The Seahawks were still hanging around and only trailed, 53-41, when ODU went on its decisive spurt. The Monarchs reeled off a 12-2 rally, with junior guard Rebecca Allison making four consecutive free throws as the margin ballooned to 65-43 at 4:46.
ODU recorded its largest lead of the contest with just over a minute to play. Junior forward Shakeva Richards picked up a loose ball in front of the Monarch basket and dropped it in the net for a 74-48 bulge.
Old Dominion took advantage of a sluggish start by UNCW to score the first six points of the game and sophomore guard Ashley Betz-White made a layup at 17:43 for a quick 6-0 lead.
UNCW missed its first five field goal attempts before regrouping to score 10 of the next 13 points, capped by Lee's triple from the left wing that gave the Seahawks a 10-8 edge at 14:45.
The score remained close until Younger got hot in the last five minutes. After Brown sank a free throw at 5:55 to narrow ODU's lead to 26-22, Younger drained three straight trifectas, including a triple at 4:16 that extended the margin to 37-24.
ODU's largest lead of the half came with 1:10 remaining Betz-White connected on a three-point shot from the top of the key for a 40-26 cushion.
The Monarchs then took a 42-28 lead into the break when junior guard Michelle Brandao knifed through the Seahawk defense for a layup with one second left on the clock. ODU Head Coach Karen Barefoot used 12 players in the first half and the Monarch bench responded with 27 points in the opening period.
The Seahawks have a week off before returning to the floor on Thursday, Jan. 24, with a 7 p.m. tip-off at Delaware. The Monarchs travel to Hofstra on Sunday for a 2 p.m. clash with the Pride at the Mack Sports Complex.
GAME NOTES: ODU owns a lopsided 44-1 lead in the all-time series...The Monarchs have not lost in Wilmington in 20 tries...Freeman led all players with four assists...UNCW shot 33.3 percent on 18-of-54 field goals...The Seahawks committed 15 turnovers to 14 for the Lady Monarchs...Garrett missed her fifth double-double of the season by one rebound...ODU led, 44-32, on the glass...Freeman added three steals to her stat line...The Seahawks did not have a block in the contest...The two teams will play again on Feb. 3 in Norfolk.
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