Lady Monarchs Flow by Temple 77-65 in Anne Donovan Classic

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Elena Harris

Senior guard Kaye Clark looks on after throwing up the three-point shot.

Benjamin Draper, Sports Editor

A stellar scoring performance made the difference on Wednesday evening as the ODU women’s basketball team rolled by Temple 77-65 in the annual Anne Donovan Classic. This game is played once a year in honor of the late All-American Anne Donovan, who attended Old Dominion in the early 80s. She led the Monarchs to two Final Four appearances and won a national championship, as well as two gold medals. After starting the season on a rocky 3-3 start, the Lady Monarchs were able to improve their record to 4-3, earning back-to-back victories for the second time this season.

Senior Amari Young drives the ball into the offensive zone. (Elena Harris )

As both teams took the court for the tip-off, it was the Owls who struck first in the opening seconds of the contest. It did not take long for ODU to respond as senior guard Kaye Clark dished it to senior forward Amari Young to tie it up at 2. Young proceeded to score the first eight points for Old Dominion, establishing an 8-2 score that would last midway through the first before Temple ended their scoring drought. ODU started to amp up the pace as junior guard Jordan McLaughlin found junior center Jada Ducket in the paint for the east two to make it 10-4. Temple had a bit of a run toward the end of the quarter to cut into the deficit, but Old Dominion held the 14-13 advantage.

After a mixture of passes around the offensive zone, senior guard Taleah Washington sank a three-pointer to open the second quarter. On the next ODU possession, graduate Jatyjia Jones came off the screen and did a 180 to drain the mid-range shot, extending the lead to 19-13. The Owls then fought their way closer, scoring the next six points in the quarter to cut the lead to 19-18. Eventually, Temple took the lead for the first time 23-22 after they made a jump shot, but the Lady Monarchs went on a ten-point scoring run, gaining a comfortable margin. That scoring run was highlighted by two three-pointers from graduate guard Makayla Dickens. The Lady Monarchs ended the half on a high note as they led 36-29. 

Graduate Makayla Dickens has all the space needed to throw up the three-point shot. (Elena Harris )

To begin the second half, Young sank two free throws to extend their advantage. After an Owls’ turnover, Clark was able to drive into the zone and dished it to the corner where Dickens was open for another three-pointer, giving ODU a 41-29 advantage which led to a Temple timeout. The Owls were able to get the game within single digits, after outsourcing the Lady Monarchs 12-5, bringing the margin within five points. With a 46-41 lead, Dickens took it upon herself to extend it by draining another shot from beyond the arc to make it 49-41. After the three-pointer, Temple came back with a quick five-point scoring run to cut the game to 49-46. Old Dominion continued to lead 56-49 going into the final frame.

Old Dominion had a lead for most of the game, but the start of the fourth quarter was where their lead would increase substantially as they went on a ten-point run that gave them a 66-49 advantage. It wasn’t until the halfway point of the fourth when Temple was able to score their first points, which was ultimately too late. The Lady Monarchs continued to make their shots and maintain the pressure on both sides of the floor. Old Dominion secured the 77-65 victory over Temple after a strong second-half performance to pull away from the Owls. ODU shot 8-20 from beyond the arc and 21-22 at the free-throw line paving the way to their victory. 

After the game, head coach Delisha Milton-Jones shared her excitement about her team’s performance and recognized the work they put in throughout practice. Milton-Jones was a member of Anne Donovan’s 2008 U.S. Olympic team and earning a victory on her night was special for Jones as she expressed her gratitude for Anne and how her memory will never be forgotten. 

The Lady Monarchs come off the bench to celebrate after the ODU three-pointer went down. (Elena Harris )

We’ve been trying to find our chemistry, to find our identity on the court. I’ve been begging for this to come out of our players,” Milton-Jones stated. “The preparation we put in this week was apparent on the court tonight.” 

“I think a lot about Anne when I walk the halls here. It almost seems like I can feel the essence of her here,” Milton-Jones added. “I think it’s important for her family to know that she’s still remembered here, that we love her deeply and appreciate everything she did for this university, this community and the game of women’s basketball.”

Next up for the Lady Monarchs is a road matchup against USC Upstate on Saturday, Dec. 3 with tip-off slated for 3 p.m. After that, ODU will return home for a three-game homestand that begins on Tuesday, Dec. 6 when they host Lincoln (PA) for the team’s Education Day game, which will feature a full crowd of elementary kids from Norfolk public schools. The tip-off is slated for 11 a.m.