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Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

ODU Women’s Basketball Maintain Perfect Record with Back-to-Back Victories this Week

Graduate+guard+Kaye+Clark+goes+up+for+the+layup+on+the+fastbreak+against+Elon.
Courtesy of ODU Athletics
Graduate guard Kaye Clark goes up for the layup on the fastbreak against Elon.

Basketball action continued at the Chartway Arena in the closing parts of the fall semester the Lady Monarchs basketball squad were able to handle the visiting Elon with a decisive 60-29 victory on Tuesday November 28th and then make a road trip up to Williamsburg to down the William and Mary Tribe  72-66 on Thursday the 30th. 

To speak on the Elon victory, it avenged a 71-68 loss from last season where a ten point halftime lead was given up.  As both teams shot well under 40% from the floor, the Lady Monarchs were challenged to put work in on the defensive end. ODU lived up to this challenge as after securing a two point lead after the first quarter,  they were able to stunt the Phoenix offense. Delisha Milton-Jones’ crew  outscore Elon 37-9 in the following three quarters.

“I’m proud of our ballclub,” Milton-Jones commented. “We did not shoot as well as I would have liked but I’m still pleased with the effort.

“We take a lot of pride in what we do on the defensive end, and it has proven to be the remedy for poor shooting.”

For comparison, ODU shot 36.8% from the field, making 21 of a total 57 shots attempted. While this shooting percentage was not great, Elon shot 23.4% from the field, which made ODU’s  performance more than ample to secure a win. 

Due to both a large lead and shooting struggles, Milton-Jones played 13 in total, none  of whom saw more  than 25 minutes of playing time. Scorers were led by graduate student  Kaye Clark who tallied 15 points on the evening to go with four steals. Simone Cunningham also did some serious work on the boards tallying 12 rebounds and five offensive rebounds Overall, the team tallied 15 offensive rebounds and 18 second chance points making for a quality evening in the paint. 

Senior guard Jordan McLaughlin dribbles the ball in the matchup against William & Mary. (Courtesy of ODU Athletics )

The quick road trip up to William and Mary provided a challenge for the Lady Monarchs. The two teams stayed close in the first quarter at 18-15 in favor of the Tribe. The Tribe continued to lead and ended up clawing to a one point lead at halftime 33-32. In the second half, the Lady Monarchs came out to play in the third quarter sinking 8-13 from the field. Unfortunately, the Tribe was able to stay in the game due in large part to their success at the charity stripe going 7-10 from the free throw line in the third quarter alone. The tribe on the day shot 80.0% from the FT line making 24-30. 

The fouling by ODU helped to keep William and Mary in the game through the fourth quarter. Fortunately, ODU was able to pull away by outsourcing W&M 21-17 in the fourth quarter due largely in part to faulty shooting by the Tribe as they shot 0-8 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. 

This win could be attributed in large part to a quality performance by senior guard Jordan Mclaughlin. The shifty point tallied 22 points to go along with five assists and a steal on 8-15 shooting while giving way to no turnovers( please whoever edits this please do not take out the whole comment about turnovers that is a big deal that she scored and got others involved as efficiently as she did without turning the ball over). Other Lady Monarchs in double digits included En’Dya Buford who off-set Mclaughlin with 18 points and four boards three of which were offensive rebounds. ODU also found a quality contribution from Lanetta Williams who came off the bench for an efficient 11 points and three rebounds on 4-6 shooting. 

When asked about her point’s career night Head Coach Delisha Milton-Jones had immense praise stating, “She is a fierce competitor. The thing that I love about her is she came to me and said ‘I’ve got you Coach’. I knew then that she was going to turn it on in the best way and create plays for us. She saw the ball go through the basket, something that she felt she was personally struggling with for the first five games of the season, but she connected tonight. I love the fact that her leadership qualities showed up in a big way. She took command of the game. She’s a mini version of me. She understands what I’m thinking and what I’m looking for and she calls the play sometimes before I even call it.”

With this, the Lady Monarchs  are off to a hot start this season starting 6-0 for the first time since 1997-98. This unblemished record also puts them in a rare condition as they  are one of only 25 unbeaten DI teams in the nation. Prior to  the Elon game, the Lady Monarchs led the nation in scoring defense with opponents averaging 44.8 points per game. 

Conversely, the 66 points given up to William and Mary was the most given up by the Lady Monarchs all season and Milton-Jones commented accordingly, “Tonight I felt like we were a little too relaxed on the defensive end because we broke pattern….we had a kumbaya at halftime, and we came out and we were ready to just take whatever this game was going to give. Whether it was a high rate of free throws that was being shot by both teams or not, we were going to take whatever was given and find a way to win.” 

This win mentality will be put to the test as the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast come to town on Sunday. FGCU tallied a record of 33-4 last season and found their way into a NCAA tournament berth before a second round exit. The Eagles also finished 24th in the nation in an end of season coaches’ poll. On top of all this, FGCU bested the Lady Monarchs 81-62 in the 2022-23 season opener. 

ODU will square off against FGCU this coming Sunday Dec. 3rd  in the 757 at 1 p.m. This matchup will air on ODU Sports Network and through ESPN+. 

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About the Contributor
Art Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Art Neal serves as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Mace & Crown. He is in his second year at Old Dominion and is currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Art is excited for the opportunity to write sports journalism and further expand his sports fanaticism that he has had since a young age. After Old Dominion, Art hopes to head off to medical school where he is hopeful for the opportunity to incorporates his journalism experiences into his future career. You can reach him at [email protected].

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