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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

Fontana Uplifts Lady Monarchs Past Coastal Carolina in Valentine’s Day Contest

Courtesy of ODU Athletics
Brenda Fontana goes up for a layup in contest against Coastal.

With only two minutes left in the game, one of Old Dominion’s women’s basketball team’s star players got into foul trouble. The Monarchs were only leading by two points over Coastal Carolina, which made the situation even more precarious. However, the Lady Monarchs managed to secure a 65-58 Valentine’s Day victory, thanks to scoring runs from juniors Brenda Fontana and Simone Cunningham, who helped them pull away from the Chanticleers.

This win meant that ODU (18-6 overall, 9-4 Sun Belt) now has sole control of fourth place in the Sun Belt and could potentially make further strides up the rankings on Saturday when they have a home game against Marshall (17-6, 11-1), who are currently in first place. Earlier this season, when the two teams last met on Jan. 18 in Huntington, West Virginia, Marshall defeated the Monarchs 90-60. 

However, ODU has been on a hot streak recently, winning six of its last seven games. Marshall has also been performing well, winning eleven out of their last twelve games. 

In the game’s first minute, the Chanticleers scored the first mid-range jump shot. Shortly after that, graduate Kaye Clark contributed with a three-pointer, which gave the Lady Monarchs a 3-2 lead. Senior En’Dya Buford added the second three-pointer of the game for ODU, increasing their lead to four points. Later on, despite Coastal’s lead of 11-10, Fontana scored back-to-back three-pointers, which helped them regain the lead at 16-11. After the first quarter, the score was 17-15 in favor of the Old Dominion, and Fontana added another three-point shot to begin the second quarter.

The Lady Monarchs led for most of the game, but Coastal’s height advantage kept the game close. During the third quarter, ODU’s point guard Jordan McLaughlin received her fourth foul and sat out for the rest of the game, only scoring two points. However, Coastal was short four players, including a starter and a significant bench contributor, and they struggled to match ODU’s depth.

With 7:36 left to play and the score at 48-46 in favor of Coastal, ODU began to pull away. Cunningham made a jump shot in the lane, followed by a jump shot and a free throw from Buford, putting ODU ahead by seven with 6:42 remaining. Four minutes later, Fontana missed a three-point shot, but it was rebounded by junior Mimi McCollister, who passed it back to Fontana for a three-pointer, extending ODU’s lead to 10 points at 59-49. Coastal was unable to close the gap to within six points for the remainder of the game.

Fontana finished the night with 18 points, just one point shy of her career high, and managed to drain 4 of 6 three-point shots. Clark added 10 points, and Buford had nine points and five assists. Cunningham finished the night with 12 points and seven rebounds. 

Following the game, head coach Delisha Milton-Jones expressed appreciation for her team’s unwavering determination to secure a victory against a formidable opponent. She commended Fontana for her exceptional performance and recognized her unwavering dedication to the team’s success as a significant factor in the win over Coastal.

“Sometimes you just have to grind games out. I thought the game was rather choppy, but all in all, we were able to find a way to win,” head coach Delisha Milton-Jones stated. “We love it when Brenda is aggressive and looking for herself. She’s very unselfish. She is the glue to the team. She is the good soldier, the one who will always lay herself on the line for others. Tonight, she took it upon herself to find opportunities and was able to capitalize in a big way.”

Old Dominion is now gearing up for its upcoming annual Play4Kay contest, an event named in honor of former North Carolina State coach Kay Yow, who died of breast cancer in 2009. As part of the festivities, ODU will don their signature pink uniforms, and the game against The Herd is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday. This game will be followed by a doubleheader with the men’s basketball team, which will host Georgia State at 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Draper
Benjamin Draper, Sports Editor
Benjamin serves as the Sports Editor for Mace and Crown. He is a junior who majors in Communications, more specifically ‘Media Studies’ along with a minor in Sports Management. He is very excited for the opportunity of leading the sports staff at the Mace & Crown. Since he was 4 years old, Benjamin has wanted to pursue a career in sports media as a Broadcaster/Reporter. On the side, he does broadcasting/production for the ODU Esports program and is Sports Director for WODU Studios. After college, Benjamin hopes to land an opportunity in a sports media role at the professional level whether its a media outlet or sports franchise. You can reach him at

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