Norfolk, Va. – At the Ted Constant Center Thursday night – it may have only been the opening round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament – but for Old Dominion and Navy – they played like it was for the National Championship.
In the opening nine minutes of the game, the two teams traded bucket for bucket – the Midshipmen were on target from beyond the arc, nailing six 3 pointers in the half – but it was senior Michelle Brandao who kept the Monarchs in the game with 8 first half points. And before you could take your first bite of your popcorn, ODU was ahead, 20 to 19. The ladies would shoot 53 percent in the first half, would lead at the intermission 39 to 30.
“We just couldn’t stop number 2 (Michelle Brandao) – she made four shots on us,” Navy Coach Stefanie Pemper stated in her post game interview.
The second half saw Navy battle right back, and they would take the lead – but when the Lady Monarchs are down, Shae Kelly is at her best – she would score 12 points in a row – including a bucket which gives her 1000 points in her Old Dominion career. Kelly would end the night with 22 points and 13 rebounds. The Monarchs take care of business with a 68 to 60 win.
“This was an emotional win for us,” Head Coach Karen Barefoot said after the game. “Our team kept fighting, we play great defense and got some key stops when we needed it the most.”
Up next, a trip to Auburn to face the Lady Tigers on Monday night.