After trailing by 10 points entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Monarchs basketball team put together a valiant comeback, but fell by five points, 62-57, to the Richmond Spiders in the 2015-16 regular season opener.
“I thought the team fought hard and overcame a lot of adversity during the game,” said head coach Karen Barefoot. “They showed tremendous character today and other people stepped up when needed after not playing with Jennie for much of the game because of foul trouble. They outscored us in the third quarter, but we came back a fought valiantly in the fourth and I couldn’t be more proud of how they responded to the score. There are a lot of positives to take from this game and we have to move on and get ready for Sunday.”
Jennie Simms was held to just two points in three quarters, but sparked the ODU comeback after scoring 10 points in the fourth. Keyana Brown kept ODU’s comeback alive after she hit a three-pointer with just six seconds left to pull the Lady Monarchs within three points (60-57). ODU fouled to stop the clock with four seconds left, however, Janelle Hubbard hit two shots from the charity stripe to seal the game.
Fouls plagued the Lady Monarchs in the third quarter, with Simms suffering her fourth personal and team’s fifth with 3:30 still on the clock. ODU committed nine fouls in the third period and allowed the Spiders to go 14-of-14 from the line to hold a 46-36 advantage at the start of the fourth.
The Lady Monarchs started the contest 1-for-8, but closed the final 4:51 in the first period with a 14-0 spurt to hold a 17-10 lead over the Spiders. Ije Ajemba capped the run with a jumper in the paint at the buzzer.
The Spiders picked up their offensive attack in the second period, outscoring ODU 14-11, but the Lady Monarchs would not let up and forced four Spiders’ turnovers to hold the four-point advantage at the half (28-24). Ajemba led the Lady Monarchs with eight points and six rebounds in 13 minutes of play.
For the game, ODU shot 33.8 percent from the field and 81.8 percent from the foul line, while Richmond posted a 37.3 shooting percentage and shot 95.5 percent from the charity stripe. The Spiders went 21-of-22 from the foul line, including 20-for-20 in the final half.
The Lady Monarchs controlled the boards, holding a 41-35 advantage on the glass and corralled nine more offensive rebounds than the Spiders.
Brown led the Lady Monarchs with 15 points, smashing her previous career-high of five points she set last season. Simms finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds, while Ajemba set a career-high with 10 points and pulled in a team-leading eight boards.
Hubbard led all scorers with 20 points, while Micaela Parson added 13 points and Lauren Tolson recorded 12. Tuuli Menna and Salita Greene pulled in a team-high five rebounds.
NEXT UP FOR THE LADY MONARCHS
Old Dominion will be back on the hardwood Sunday, Nov. 15 in its home opener against Wagner to start a three-game home stand. Tipoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
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