Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lots to like about ODU-Drexel

Spent the afternoon at the Old Dominion/Drexel game, and there was a lot to like if you are a Lady Monarchs diehard. ODU (4-9, 2-1) halted the Dragons' 15-game CAA win streak behind a 30-0f-36 effort from the free-throw line.

What we liked: For starters, the colorful jacket worn by ODU assistant Celeste Hill Brockett, who brightened an otherwise gloomy bench of attire by the Lady Monarch coaches. ... Alena Voronina frustrating CAA Player of the Year Gabriela Marginean ... Jasmine Parker's line of 22 points, five assists, two steals and one turnover. .... A jacked up crowd that made it sound like the Constant Center of old after Jackie Cook's 3 with 13:18 left ... By contrast, the chilling silence that overcame Lady Monarch fans when Ayana Lee went down the a high ankle sprain revealed the humanity of the ODU loyalists. ... the circle of bubbly pint-size basketball players who encircled birthday boy Big Blue during a timeout. ... A lob pass that actually worked from Parker to Jessica Canady at the 2:17 mark. ... ODU SID Carol Hudson sitting courtside again.

What we could do without: More injuries. It was tough seeing Lee go down for Drexel, which already had to play without starter Kamile Nacickaite (thumb). And ODU's Parker missed several second-half minutes after dinging her right shoulder...ODU allowing a 12-point lead to evaporate largely due to careless turnovers. ... The band overshadowing "Ask the Lady Monarchs." ... the unfriendly rims that denied Kquanise Byrd of any points. Since three of her shots, two of them from beyond the arc, should've dropped, we're going to credit her with eight points...The officials not noticing the puddle of sweat and tears left by Drexel's Lee after her second-half injury. It took a courtside photographer to spring the ball kid into action...

What we'd adjust: Big Blue's basketball skills. They're awful. During the halftime mascot game, he was stingy with the ball and tossed it over the backboard. Take a lesson. ...

What needs a lift: Mairi Buchan's confidence

What we'll remember: the typically poised Marginean succumbing to both pressure by ODU and a particularly hostile crowd that never stopped heckling the senior. ... Denise Dillon's T ... Cook scoring 12 of her 14 points and grabbing six rebounds in the second half. ...Lee's wailing as she lay crumpled on the floor with 2:57 left

What has us scratching our head: The Lady Monarchs going without a field goal for the final 10:10 - and beating the defending conference champs by 9...ODU starting post Tia Lewis subbing out at 6:07 in a two-point game and never returning. .... the CAA race.

What always makes us smile: "Ice cream and cake, cake, cake." ... ODU's former twin sister managers Erica and Eboni Davis, grinning as always, behind the Lady Monarch bench.

For more about Sunday's CAA games and a preview of Monday's Virginia-Maryland, NSU-Bethune-Cookman, Morgan State-Hampton and Winthrop-Radford contests, click here.

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