Basketball team

ODU women’s basketball team stage fourth quarter rally to defeat FAU, 61-48

Through Harry Minium

NORFOLK, Virginia – It was far too close for comfort. But desperate for a win, the Old Dominion women’s basketball team rallied from a fourth quarter deficit and beat Florida Atlantic, 61-48, on Monday night.

Ajah Wayne scored 12 of his 22 points in the final period, which was tight until the final minutes.

The win was needed as it came after a poor showing in a 53-48 loss to UTEP on Saturday night that ended ODU’s nine-game winning streak.

ODU (12-3, 2-1 C-USA) again played poorly for much of the match against FAU. The Owls took an 11-0 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 14-2. Monarchs looked scrappy, especially in defense, and often gave open jumpers to owls.

ODU’s defense then tightened after the head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones called a timeout to tell his players to pull themselves together. The Monarchs seemed to regain control of the game in the second quarter, beating the Owls 15-2 in the opening 7 ½ minutes to take a 30-21 lead.

But FAU’s Sofia Galeron drilled a three-pointer in the dying seconds to cut the lead to six at half-time.

Galeron jumped in early in the third quarter to level the score at 32-32, and Janeta Rozentale vaulted from the top key minutes later to give FAU a 39-38 lead which they took in the fourth. quarter.

Wayne then scored the first four points of a fourth quarter that she would go on to dominate.

After Alexa Zaph made a layup at the wheel to bring FAU back to one point, 46-45, midway through the fourth quarter, the Monarchs finally gave themselves some breathing room with a 7-0 run, the last basket a jump from Wayne with 3:01 left that gave ODU a 53-45 lead.

The Owls never came close again.

Amari Young entered the game one point shy of 1,000 career points. “I knew I needed a point,” the senior from North Augusta, South Carolina joked. She added 10 more points and six rebounds.

“Scoring 1,000 points is a significant achievement,” Milton-Jones said.

Wayne, a senior from Birmingham, Alabama, also broke the 1,000 point mark earlier this season. Although both are seniors, they have one year left of eligibility due to the pandemic.

“Weezy is the kind of player who can put our team on her toes and lead us to victory,” said Milton-Jones, using the nickname Wayne. “She was just a bull.”

Iggy Allen, the eldest from Pompano Beach, Fla., struggled to make shots but scored 13 against the Owls, for whom she played last season. Milton-Jones said Allen was nervous playing against her former teammates and was pushing her shots.

“I expected it to be like this because when you play against your old team you get all kinds of mixed emotions,” Milton-Jones said. “No matter how hard you try to focus and pretend it doesn’t matter, it does.”

The fact that the game was competitive was a major tribute to FAU, which was deprived of three of its top seven scorers and made a nightmarish and tiring journey from Boca Raton, Florida to Norfolk. The flight carrying the Owls to Norfolk attempted to land on Sunday evening and the pilots determined it was unsafe due to high winds.

The flight was diverted to Raleigh, where the owls slept in the clothes they were wearing on the flight – their luggage did not arrive in Raleigh.

They traveled to Norfolk by bus on Monday morning, which delayed game time from 1.30am to 6.30am.

FAU’s five starters, including two players who don’t usually start, have all played at least 34 minutes. The Owls (4-11, 0-4) got no points and only 20 minutes of playing time on their four-woman bench. It was the sixth consecutive loss for FAU.

FAU kept it close with a zone defense and dared the monarchs to beat them from the outside. ODU took 25 more shots than FAU, but only managed 23 of 71 (32.4%) and one of 19 from three points (5.3%).

“We’re going to see this area every game, and people are going to bet that we’re not going to take shots,” Milton-Jones said. “Iron has just been mean to us for some reason.

“But I want my players to stay confident. The three-point shot is something we’re not afraid to take.

“There’s going to come a time when we start knocking and people are really going to get in trouble.”

The game was the first at home for ODU in 36 days and during that time the team was often unable to practice due to COVID concerns.

“The quarantine we had to go into, which broke our momentum,” Milton-Jones said. “We were on an eight-game winning streak. And then we just had to stop it all.”

Young said finally playing a home game after a month “felt so good. It was so great to play in front of our home fans again”.

The Monarchs host Rice Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and North Texas Saturday at 1 p.m. in the annual alumni game that will mark a reunion of the 1996-97 team, the last ODU team to make it to a Final Four. former coach wendy larry and ODU Hall of Famers Ticha Penicheiro and Nyree Roberts will be among the players featured at halftime in the North Texas game.

Game Notes
Amari Young scored 11 points – nine in the first half – and became the 35th member of the 1,000-point club at Old Dominion. Young is now 1,010 points and 12 points behind Shae Kelley (2012-14) for 34th on ODU’s all-time scoring list. Young also grabbed six rebounds, tied a season high with three assists, and had three steals and a pair of blocks.

The Monarchs held an opponent eight under 50 points. ODU entered the day ranked first in Conference USA and sixth nationally in scoring defense (50.3). Additionally, the Owls became the fourth team to commit 30 or more turnovers in a game. Old Dominion leads the conference and ranks in the top 15 in the nation in forced turnovers.

ODU held considerable points advantages on turnovers (28-12), points in the paint (34-16), second chance points (17-5) and bench points (13-0 ).

Ajah Wayne scored a game-high 22 points—his third 20-point game of the season and 14th of his career. She shot 8 of 16 from the field and 6 of 6 from the foul line. She now has 1,155 points in her career.

Iggy Allen recorded his 16th career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Allen also had three interceptions, tying the game high.

Mariah Adams had five assists and three steals. It’s his seventh game this season with five or more assists and his seventh game with more than three steals. Adams is averaging 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game over the past five games.

The Monarchs are 5-1 at home and have won their last three home games.