NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) – The Old Dominion women's basketball team rallied back from a double-digit deficit, to survive WKU, 55-53 Thursday night at the Chartway Arena.
Senior Victoria Morris and junior Ajah Wayne led the way for ODU, scoring 17 points each. Wayne notched her seventh double-double of the season, grabbing 12 boards.
"I am so happy that we won," ODU head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones expressed. "We finally won in a late game situation and we pulled things out. We remained solid even though we shot ourselves in the foot a few times with some of the decision-making that we were trying to make offensively, but we still were able to find a way to grit this thing out."
In another slow scoring start to play, ODU (9-10, 6-9 C-USA) led the Lady Toppers, 9-1 at the 4:45 mark. WKU made its first field goal just 16 seconds later and continued on a 12-4 scoring run to tie up the game, 13-13. With just one second left on the game clock, Wayne drilled a jump shot to give the Monarchs a 15-13 advantage after 10 minutes of action.
The Monarchs got started on the right foot in the second quarter with an Aziah Hudson bucket to go ahead, 17-13. However the Lady Toppers (7-14, 6-9 C-USA) responded with a 9-2 run to take their first lead of the contest, 22-19. ODU bounced back with two unanswered buckets, regaining a narrow lead, 23-22 with 5:04 on the clock. The Lady Toppers utilized a 6-2 scoring run the rest of the second quarter to take a 28-25 lead over the Monarchs heading into the locker room.
WKU came out of the gates in the third quarter building an eight-point lead, 38-30, at the 5:18 mark, its largest of the game to that point. ODU continued to fight back with a pair of Amari Young buckets and a Hudson free throw but the Lady Toppers led, 43-35 with 1:37 to go. An intentional WKU foul put Morris at the line, where she downed one and Wayne followed up with a layup, closing in on the Lady Topper lead, 43-38 after the third quarter.
ODU held the Lady Toppers to just two points in the opening 6:41 minutes of the fourth quarter, and used a 11-0 scoring run to take a 49-45 lead with 3:53 left in the fourth quarter. The Lady Toppers quickly responded with back-to-back layups, knotting the game, 49-49. Morris dished one off to Wayne on the next possession to regain a two-point lead over the Lady Toppers. WKU tossed up three shots in the final seven seconds of the fourth quarter but Mariah Adams came down with a defensive rebound to edge out the Lady Toppers, 55-53 for the come-from-behind victory.
For the game, ODU outrebounded the Lady Toppers, 46-42.
ODU will take on the Lady Toppers once more at Chartway Arena on Friday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. The contest will stream on CUSA.tv and will air on the ODU Sports Radio Network with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m.