Lady Monarchs’ Reign Falls Short Against Charlotte 64-61

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Nicholas Clark

Amari Young #23 goes up for a jump shot.

Art Neal , Assistant Sports Editor

The Old Dominion women’s basketball team welcomed competition, the Charlotte Niners, to Chartway Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 26. ODU came into this game on a three game win streak that boasted their overall record to 14-3(4-1 C-USA). The Niners came into the evening at 8-6(4-0 C-USA). Old Dominion has been playing well lately and came into the matchup on a three-game winning streak. With a win, they would give the Niners their first conference loss of the season. 

Ajah Wayne #14 gets into the paint looking to get passed her defender and up for a layup. (Nicholas Clark )

The opening tip was won by senior Amari Young and the game had begun. Charlotte would start the evening with an early 3-pointer after the Monarchs could not sink a shot on their first possession. The Niners were hitting their shots from beyond the arc going 4-4(100 percent) that gave them an early 12-4 advantage over Old Dominion. ODU began to chip back at the lead as junior Brianna Jackson scored the first four points for the Monarchs. Junior Ajah Wayne also tallied four points in the first quarter that helped cut the Niners deficit to 16-9.  Allen would get her first bucket of the evening at the end of the quarter that brought the Lady Monarchs to a five-point game. The Niners would lead 16-11 going into the second quarter. 

To begin the second quarter, Allen got into the zone and hit a jump shot that brought the Monarchs three-points down. It was a tough battle on both ends of the court through the early portions of the second quarter before ODU went on a quick 5-0 scoring run that tied the game at 25 midway through the second. With two minutes to go in the quarter, there was a brief scare for ODU as their leading scorer exited the game with what appeared to be some knee issues. Luckily, she went off to the side and got treated for her injury and checked back into the game shortly after. With under a minute remaining, freshman Amhyia Moreland had a put back shot to cut the Charlotte lead to one 32-31. The Niners blew a chance to extend their lead moving into halftime with two missed free throws that kept the score 32-31 going into the break.  

 

Coming out of the half, the defense for the Lady Monarchs got things going after a steal from Allen that wound up being another two points for ODU. This gave the Monarchs their first advantage of the evening. Charlotte would then bounce back and open their second half scoring with another 3-pointer making it 35-34. Allen looked good after the injury scare and was dialed in the rest of the way. She racked up another steal and got down court for the fast-break score that gave ODU the 37-34 lead. With under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the ODU crowd erupted in response to a shooting foul charged to Jackson which resulted in Charlotte going one of two from the charity stripe and extending their lead to 48-41. Sadly for the Niners, their defense lacked as they sent Moreland to the line with 30 seconds remaining. She went one of two and brought the score to 48-42. Charlotte ended the quarter with another basket that left the Lady Monarchs down eight points, going into the final frame. 

In the final quarter, Old Dominion opened up with a tough jump shot from Young that cut the deficit down to six points. The Niners would retaliate with another shot beyond the arc and the score stood at 53-44 in favor of Charlotte. Midway through the fourth quarter, the ODU crowd erupted again in response to a blocking foul charged to ODU’s Allen, which resulted in an inbound pass that yielded Charlotte another two easy points and brought the score to 57-47. The game seemed to be out of reach for ODU as they were down 60-50 with just under two minutes to go in the matchup. The Lady Monarchs were poised to finish strong and find a way to fight back. Senior Mariah Adams was the one who started the comeback after going 2-2 at the free throw line that made it 61-52.  With just under 30 seconds in the contest, Jackson would tie the game at 61 after making the layup and the and-one free throw to bring Chartway Arena to its feet. Although ODU had finally tied the game after being down handily late in the game, they would not be able to seal the deal. The Miners would prevail in the final seconds after making three more free throws and would go onto winning the contest over Old Dominion 64-61.

The Lady Monarch’s celebrate after Brianna Jackson #12 makes the and-one free throw to tie the game at 61. (Nicholas Clark)

The Lady Monarchs had three starters in double figures. Allen finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two steals. Adams finished with 11 points, five assists and three rebounds. Jackson also finished the game with 11 points and had five rebounds and three steals. Wayne ended the evening with eight points and three rebounds. Young was one point short of a double-double after tallying nine points and coming up with 12 rebounds. 

In the post-game presser, Head Coach Delisha Milton-Jones shared her thoughts on her team’s performance and how they let the Miners find their groove. “Tonight we had a beautiful effort in the last two minutes,” Jones said. “We allowed Charlotte to come in and get nice and comfy. They set the tone from start to finish. We can’t allow that to happen on our home court. We didn’t rebound the ball as well as we usually do.”

Old Dominion moves to 14-2(4-2 C-USA) on the season and look to bounce back as they are back on the road for the next three games that begin in Charlotte on Jan. 29th with tip-off slated for 4pm. The Monarchs will also travel to the University of Marshall on Feb. 3 and Western Kentucky on Feb. 5. The next time the Lady Monarchs are back in action at home will be on Feb. 7 when they host Florida International.