Monarchs Women’s Basketball Topples Auburn in Anne Donovan Classic

By Noah Fort, Associate Sports Editor

On a delightful, chilly evening in remembrance of ODU Legend Anne Donovan, the Monarchs played the Auburn Tigers at the Chartway Arena. It was the eighth meeting between the two teams and Auburn led the series 4-3. The teams last played each other exactly two years ago in the Auburn arena. That game ended with the Monarchs taking home an 89-77 road win. This time the Tigers came to town in Monarch territory. They set out to get their first regular season win of the season, while the Monarchs set out for their second. It was a fairly even crowd, with 1,176 fans in attendance. Though the number may seem low, Monarch Nation’s roar was definitely still felt, as they were heavily engaged with the team on every possession.


The game opened up with Auburn winning the tip-off after a couple bounces off of Old Dominion and Auburn players. Both teams tried to score early, but couldn’t due to turnovers and missed shots. It was at the 8:44 mark in the first quarter that ODU junior guard Kaye Clark would score the first point of the game at the free throw line. From there the game went back and forth and was low scoring, as the referees called a foul on just about every possession. ODU senior Mariah Adams got into foul trouble early, as the refs weren’t letting anything go.

Though she is a valuable asset to the Monarchs, it was no problem having to sit her out, because Allen and Wayne were there to sub in for her. Coach Milton-Jones noted that this is better compared to last year, because the team had less players and would only be able to sub in freshmen. “What we have with this team is we have veterans that I can move around because they have versatile games,” said Milton-Jones. With Allen being able to play through the 1-4 spots and Wayne the 1-5 spots, the Monarchs’ game can still flow even when assets like Adams are forced to be subbed out for a period of time.


The game was pretty evenly matched as Auburn outscored ODU by only seven points (15-8) at the end of the first quarter. In addition, ODU outscored Auburn by just five points (15-10) at the end of the second quarter. It was a defensive game by the second half, as both teams had at least 15 rebounds with a combined total of 36. Both teams also scored heavily off of turnovers. ODU scored nine from Auburn’s nine turnovers, whereas Auburn scored 10 from ODU’s eight. At the end of the first half Auburn had led 25-23. They were fighting hard to keep the lead as they held it for a total of 16:14 while ODU led for a mere 1:06.


It would be the third quarter where the Monarchs really heated things up after coming out of the locker room energized. They held the Tigers down to three of ten, shooting from behind the field, and zero of three from behind the arc. On their own end of the floor, they shot a good seven for 15 behind the field and two for four behind the arc. Moreover, ODU was great at the free throw line going six for seven. On top of this, Allen and Wayne impressively combined for 19 of ODU’s 22 points in the third quarter. This led to ODU dominantly outscoring Auburn 22-8 , in which they also held the lead for an immense nine minutes out of ten in the quarter.


In the final quarter, both sides continued to battle back and forth. Similarly to the third quarter, ODU once again held the lead longer. This time it was for over nine minutes with them going on a seven to zero scoring run. Their biggest lead was 15 points. When the horn sounded to conclude the game, ODU prevailed 57-44. Interestingly enough, they beat Auburn by just one point more (13) than the last time the two matched up in Auburn. Just as Coach Milton-Jones told us it would be, this game was “the clash of two juggernauts who are hungry for their win.” The end result being in favor of ODU.


Putting on a beautiful display were Allen and Wayne who both finished the game with a double-double. Allen dropped 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Wayne dropped 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. They scored 40 of ODU’s total 57 points. Of their amazing style of play together, Coach Milton-Jones said “When you see the magic the two of them can make, like the match and the lighter fluid, they’re going to be fire, with the way that they play so competitively, the way they play things through.” Moreover, this isn’t the first time Wayne got a double-double against Auburn. When ODU last faced Auburn she had 35 points and 10 rebounds.

Of her second great performance against Auburn, Wayne was ecstatic. “It feels great. I think the first time, I don’t want to say it was a shocker, but it was a shocker. Now the second time around I feel this was a statement. We’re not a team that people can just look over.” For ODU, this win is seen as a statement by some. A statement that puts them, if not keeps them, on the radar. Coach Milton-Jones added, “It definitely was. Anytime you have someone you consider a mid-major, and I consider us a high mid-major, and you beat a Power 5 team, that’s newsworthy.”


Milton-Jones did note, “ Some may call it a statement win, I only say that because that’s what people think of it. But this was just another good win for us because we’re just that good. So that’s how I see it.” Monarch Nation is surely in agreement with her, as they know ODU Women’s Basketball is a phenomenal team and program. Oftentimes, it’s easy to overlook the underdog and wild card teams like ODU.


Tipping off at 6:30 p.m. the Monarchs (2-0) will take on the George Washington Colonials (1-2) this Thursday at the Chartway Arena. It will be their third regular season home game