NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion women's basketball team fell to Middle Tennessee, 80-63, on Thursday evening at the Ted Constant Center, snapping the Lady Monarchs' four-game winning streak.
"They got us in the fourth quarter," said head coach Karen Barefoot. "We knew it was going to be a tough battle. The fourth quarter has been good to us recently, but they pulled away in the fourth and made shots and we didn't."
In a rematch of last year's Conference USA Championship game, Old Dominion (12-11, 7-5 C-USA) recovered from an 11-point halftime deficit to grab a brief 42-41 lead early in the third quarter. However, Middle Tennessee (15-8, 10-2 C-USA), who led 63-55 heading into the fourth, outscored ODU, 17-8, in the final segment to seal the victory.
Jennie Simms led ODU with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Odegua Oigbokie scored a career-high 15 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting. Destinee Young added seven points and 14 rebounds, while Gianna Smith tallied nine points and five boards.
The Blue Raiders opened the game on an 8-1 run, forcing seven Lady Monarchs turnovers in the first quarter. The Lady Raiders led 21-12 at the end of one, behind 50.0 percent shooting from the field.
The Lady Monarchs were able to close the gap to five at 25-20 at the 6:36 mark of the second quarter, but MTSU went on to outscore ODU, 21-18, in the second to carry a 41-30 lead into halftime. Both teams shot over 45 percent from the field in the first half, but MTSU held a 20-16 advantage on the glass and forced nine ODU turnovers.
ODU then opened the second half with a 12-0 rally in the first four minutes of the third quarter to take its first and only lead of the game at 42-41. However, MTSU regained the lead, connecting on four three-pointers in the third, to carry a 63-55 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Raiders then forced eight Lady Monarch turnovers, while holding ODU to just eight point in the final quarter. Overall, ODU shot 41.0 percent and outrebounded MTSU, 41-33, but the Lady Raiders connected on 8-of-20 three-point attempts and held an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
"Little things got to us," said Barefoot. "We have to learn from this and we have to be tough. We have to move on quick, because we have a tough UAB coming in here Saturday."