NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) - Nikki McCray-Penson earned her first career win as a head coach and the Old Dominion women's basketball team defeated Coppin State, 75-67, on the seventh annual Education Day game on Thursday at the Ted Constant Center.
With Old Dominion (1-6) trailing 52-47 in the fourth quarter, Kelly Loftus and Victoria Morris caught fire from beyond the arc, combining for 23 points and seven threes in the final quarter to guide the Monarchs to their first victory of the season. ODU finished the game with a school-record 13 three-pointers.
"They did not want to lose this basketball game," said McCray, about her team's furious late rally. "I saw it in their eyes. That right there is culture. And it's not just coming from the coaching staff. They are starting to see it and I'm really proud of that."
Behind a 20-2 run in the second quarter, the Monarchs led by as many as 18 in the first half and carried a 38-25 lead into halftime. However, Coppin State (1-6) answered with a strong third quarter and used a 10-0 run, beginning late in third and ending early in the fourth, to take a 52-47 lead with 8:23 remaining.
ODU then outscored the Eagles, 28-15, in the final eight minutes, behind the hot shooting of Loftus and Morris.
"We just refused to lose," said Loftus. "Every time we came to the huddle, we said we're not losing."
Morris finished with a team-high 20 points, a new career high, and Loftus added 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
As a team, the Monarchs assisted on 22 of 27 made field goals. MaKayla Timmons and Odegua Oigbokie led the team with five assists each, as six different players had two or more assists.
"Something kicked in at the right time and we found each other," said Loftus. "We had a lot of assists today and I think that helped us."
Overall, ODU shot 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from three. Loftus and the ODU bench also outscored Coppin State, 30-3.
"We challenge ourselves in practice, so we found a way to win," said McCray. "But, I didn't have to police it. They said we're not losing this game. That's what you want to hear."
For the seventh annual Education Day, ODU welcomed over 6,000 students from Norfolk Public Schools. The win was the Monarchs' sixth straight on Education Day.
Up next, Old Dominion hosts Cincinnati on Sunday at 2 p.m. It will be the Monarchs' fifth consecutive home game.