Simms scores 34 as ODU women cook Rice

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NORFOLK, Va. - Jennie Simms scored 34 points and Destinee Young added a double-double to lead the Old Dominion women's basketball team over Rice, 81-66, on Thursday evening at the Ted Constant Center.

ODU's Jennie Simms

ODU's Jennie Simms

"We really stepped up our press and put a lot of pressure on them," said head coach Karen Barefoot. "We had fun and we talked about that. Let's be us. Let's play for each other and let's trust each other and let's have a ton of passion, and that is what we did."

With her 34 points, Simms passed Lady Monarch legend Clarisse Machanguana for ninth on the all-time scoring list with 1,826 career points. The 30-point performance was also Simms' 12th of her career, tying her with Anne Donovan for the most 30+ scoring games in school history.

Simms added seven rebounds, five assists and a career-high six steals. Young tallied 14 points and 11 boards for her Conference USA-leading 11th double-double, while Annika Holopainen added a season-high eight points.

After Rice (11-8, 2-6 C-USA) led 20-18 at the end of the first quarter, the Old Dominion (9-10, 4-4 C-USA) defense bottled up the Rice attack in the second, holding the Owls to just four second-quarter points, including just one point in the final 8:34.

The Lady Monarchs ended the half on a 20-1 run and carried a 17-point advantage into halftime, as ODU outscored Rice, 23-4, in the second quarter. After Rice shot 70 percent in the first quarter, the Owls shot just 10 percent in the second. In the first half, ODU shot 51 percent as a team and scored 13 points off of 14 Rice turnovers.

Rice utilized an 8-0 run early in the third quarter to close the ODU lead to seven at 45-38 with 6:51 to play in the third, but Simms answered with back-to-back triples and the Lady Monarchs would lead by double digits for the remainder of the game.

ODU finished the game shooting 49.2 percent, including a season-best 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Lady Monarchs held a 36-23 advantage on the glass and scored 18 second-chance points to Rice's two.

MaKayla Timmons added seven points and three assists and Ashley Jackson contributed six points and five boards. Nicole Iademarco led four Owls in double figures with 14 points.

"I'm just really proud of everyone on this team," said Barefoot. "I thought today was just a great day and everybody really stuck together, especially through adversity."