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Monarchs' Season Ends in WNIT Second Round

Kevin L. Dorsey

GREENSBORO, N.C. – It was a low-scoring, defensive battle between Old Dominion women's basketball and North Carolina A&T in the second round of the WNIT, but a last second three-pointer by the Aggies ended the Monarchs' season as the team came up short, 48-45 on Sunday night at Corbett Sports Center.
ODU trailed by seven, 31-24, midway through the third quarter, but Kaye Clark went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line and added a three-pointer and a layup to get the Monarchs (22-10) back to within a point. The Aggies (22-11) scored the next six points before Brenda Fontana scored a layup as ODU went into the final 10 minutes down 36-32.
Mimi McCollister opened the fourth quarter with a deep ball and Fontana found Simone Cunningham for a basket down low as the Monarchs pulled ahead, 37-36. After N.C. A&T's D'Mya Tucker made a pair of free throws to put the Aggies up 38-37, Fontana answered with a 2-for-2 effort at the line and Jordan McLaughlin hit a jumper to make it 41-38. Down the stretch, a couple of Maleia Bracone layups gave N.C. A&T control at 45-43, but Clark evened the score with just over three minutes to play.
Neither offense could convert from then on as the rest of the game featured multiple turnovers, steals and missed shots. ODU had a couple of opportunities in the paint as McLaughlin and McCollister both missed their shots, and N.C. A&T advanced the ball with 19 seconds left. With time winding down, Tucker swung the ball to Bracone on the left wing of the arc and the senior sank a three ball with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. ODU then advanced the ball and was able to get McLaughlin open for a three-point attempt, but her shot was off the mark.
Clark tied her season high of 16 points to lead the Monarchs and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. She added five assists and two steals to her totals while shooting 6-for-12 from the field, 3-for-7 from distance and 1-for-2 at the line. McCollister was next with eight points while McLaughlin, Fontana and Cunningham finished with six points each.
As a team, the Monarchs shot 17-for-53 (.321) from the floor, 5-for-19 (.263) from the perimeter, and 6-for-12 (.500) at the charity stripe. ODU got beat on the glass 42-35 and allowed 18 points off of 22 turnovers. The game featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes.
The Monarchs led 6-2 midway through the first quarter, but suddenly could not make a shot as the Aggies scored seven unanswered for a 9-6 advantage heading into the second. A couple of McCollister free throws put ODU back in front, 15-14, and a jumper by Clark knotted the score at 17-17 with less than three minutes to play before halftime. However, a 6-1 swing in favor of the Aggies saw them take a 23-18 lead into the locker room.