CHARLOTTE, N.C. (ODUSports.com) – The Old Dominion women’s basketball team was stingy defensively and balanced offensively as it handed Charlotte its first Conference USA loss of the season, 54-45 on Saturday evening.
The Monarchs (15-4, 5-2 C-USA) held the 49ers (9-7, 5-1) to 45 points. Charlotte shot just 16-of-49 (.327) from the field and 1-of-12 (.083) from 3-point range. That represents season lows in made treys and in percentage behind the arc.
The first quarter was one of runs. Charlotte netted the first points of the game, but the Monarchs responded with a 9-0 run that spanned nearly six minutes. ODU went cold following that run, scoring just two more points in the final four minutes of the quarter as the 49ers closed out on a 6-0 run. ODU was aggressive on the boards in the opening 10 minutes, outrebounding Charlotte 14-5, including an 8-3 edge in offensive boards.
For the game, the Monarchs won the rebounding battle 42-29 and had 17 offensive rebounds. Brianna Jackson led all participants with 11 rebounds, and Amari Young grabbed 10 to go along with 10 points for her first double-double of the year.
ODU upped its play on both ends of the court in the second quarter, taking a 26-22 lead into the break. The Monarchs connected on 6 of their 15 attempts in the second and were 2-for-3 from behind the arc. Conversely, the 49ers missed eight of their 12 shot attempts and turned the ball over six times.
Jackson opened the quarter with a layup before Mariah Adams hit the first 3-pointer of the game to make the score 16-10. Unlike the first quarter, there would be no big runs from either side as the two teams traded scores for most of the quarter. Ajah Wayne and Young scored back-to-back to give ODU a 26-19 lead, its largest of the game thus far, with just under two minutes to play, but Jada McMillian made it a five-point game with a jumper at the 1:38 mark.
The two teams were evenly-matched through the first 20 minutes, but ODU held advantages in 3-pointers and free throws. The Monarchs were 2-for-6 from deep in the first half, while the 49ers shot 1-for-8. Old Dominion went 6-of-8 from the charity stripe in the half, taking six more free throws than Charlotte and making four more.
Wayne finished the first half with seven points, and Iggy Allen and Young had six apiece. Octavia Jett-Wilson, the Conference USA Co-Preseason Player of the Year, missed all four of her shot attempts in the half and had zero points.
The two teams played to a draw in the third quarter, giving the Monarchs a 40-35 lead going into the fourth. ODU scored nine of the first 10 points of the third to go up 10, 35-25, at the halfway point of the quarter. Charlotte trimmed the deficit to 37-33 with 1:57 to play, but an Allen 3-pointer made it 40-33. Once again, McMillian netted the last bucket of the quarter to pull the 49ers to within five.
A pair of treys from Aziah Hudson weighed heavily in the fourth quarter as the Monarchs pulled away late. Charlotte sank two foul shots to open the fourth to make it a 40-37 game. Hudson hit her first 3-pointer at the 7:36 mark to give ODU a six-point edge and answered a Mikayla Boykin layup on the Monarchs’ next possession. Jett-Wilson hit two free throws to get the 49ers to within five points, 46-41, but the 49ers would never draw closer. Adams and Wayne scored back-to-back to restore a nine-point ODU advantage. McMillian scored with 4:04 left on the clock, and the Monarchs held Charlotte scoreless for the next 3:49. In that span, ODU made four more from the foul line to ice the game away.
Hudson finished with six points on 2-of-3 shooting. She hit multiple 3-pointers in a game for the fourth time this season.
Wayne led the Monarchs with 13 points and was 3-of-4 from the foul line. She added four rebounds, three assists and one block and now has 1,200 career points. Adams filled the box score with seven points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Young passed Rhonda Rompola for 32nd place on the all-time scoring list at ODU. She now has 1,052 points.
Jackson added three blocks and one steal to her 11 rebounds. She has five games with three blocks this season.
The Monarchs limited Jett-Wilson to six points on 1-of-10 shooting. That is her second-lowest scoring output of the season.
ODU takes to the road once again for games at Marshall on Feb. 3 and WKU on Feb. 5.