NORFOLK, Va. - A late second half run propelled the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs to a 61-52 victory over the Rice Owls women's basketball team in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Rice (8-21, 7-11) lost for the first time this season (5-1) when leading by 10 points or more after claiming a 30-20 lead with 3:51 left in the second quarter. The Owls were led in scoring by junior forward Jasmine Goodwine, who scored 13 points and pulled down a team-best 6 rebounds. Rice had six players scored 6 or more points and made 7-of-15 attempts (47 percent) from three-point territory.
Rice had a 21-15 advantage in points off turnovers and won the battle of the bench 14-10. Freshmen Gabrielle Stanton (8 points) and Lauren Grigsby (6 points) combined for 14 bench points and made 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
"Congratulations to Karen and her team on a hard-fought win today," Rice head coach Tina Langley said. "They executed better down the stretch and played with more toughness than we did."
"I think rebounding was the difference in today's game," Langley said. "It was a very physical game and I don't think we responded well to that. We talked prior to the game that rebounding would be the key to victory and I feel like it got us in the end."
Old Dominion (14-16, 10-8) received a game-high 24 points from junior forward Jennie Simms, who made 7-of-16 shots from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. The Lady Monarchs out-rebounded the Owls 35-22, 17 of which came on the offensive glass.
Rice took the opening quarter 18-15 behind 6 points from Wendy Knight and 5 points from Shani Rainey. Stanton broke a 15-15 tie with a three-pointer from the top of the key as the quarter buzzer sounded.
In the second quarter the Owls limited ODU to just 31 percent shooting (4-of-13) for the period and outscored the Lady Monarchs 13-11 to take a 31-26 at the half. Rice took the 30-20 lead with a 10-2 run capped by a Goodwine layup.
ODU's Simms got the Lady Monarchs back in the game with 11 third quarter points to pull within 46-45 going into the final quarter. The Lady Monarchs then used that momentum to outscore Rice 16-6 in the fourth quarter by limiting the Owls to just 3-of-13 shooting (23 percent).
The Owls will continue their season at next week's C-USA Championships in Birmingham, Ala. against the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters on Wednesday, March 9 at 5 p.m. (CT). The two teams split the season series with each respective team winning on their own home court. Wednesday's game will streamed at www.americansportsnet.com.
"I think we bring a lot of fight to the games and I'm really proud how our team has grown throughout the season," Langley said. "I like the way we're competing right now. We're going to have to shore up our execution going into the tournament because we're going to be playing some really talented teams. I think the conference season has prepared us for that."