Saturday, March 13, 2010

Delaware led forever, but ODU notches the win for trip to CAA final

Elena Delle Donne was nothing short of amazing in Saturday's CAA Tournament semifinal against Old Dominion. We're used to the CAA Player of the Year dominating, but scoring the final 19 points of the game all by herself? Wow! Here's another wow. Delaware lost 50-49.

So many times in the last 18 years, you think that Old Dominion must be lucky. But nobody's luck is this good, so once again we credit Wendy Larry, a wizard at winning in this league for a victory that for 38 minutes looked like a loss. But we of little faith; you don't get to be 53-1 in the CAA tournament by luck.

ODU trailed by 12 at the half after the kind of miserable scoring drought that has haunted the LM all season. ODU didn't exactly open the second half on a burst either, and for all the world, it looked as if Delaware would become the first fifth seed to reach the championship game.

But ODU picked away and Delaware's guards continued to give away the ball, but still, until the final three minutes, it looked as if ODU would not be able to get over the scoring hump.

Then freshman Jackie Cook brought ODU within 3 at 45-42, her lone trey of the game. After a Delle Donne miss, Eva Riddick grabbed what seemed to be the 100th rebound for the Hens only to have EDD misfire again. Shadasia Green nabbed it and went to the line after a blocking foul by EDD. She downed two, bringing ODU within one. After another Hen miss, Green had her second greatest assist as a Lady Monarch, dishing off to Mairi Buchan, who fooled EDD with a running jumper off her right hand at the 1:34 mark, which gave the Lady Monarchs an actual lead, at 46-45. The teams traded baskets, and with 45 seconds left, Delle Donne scored her 30th point of the game, her 10th from the line for 49-48.

Buchan's shot was too hard, but this time ODU snatched the offensive board and Lewis got the putback. A triple-teamed EDD had one more look but it didn't go down and ODU season MVP Jasmine Parker ran away with the rebound and flung it in the air at the buzzer.

You ask yourself how, how, how does ODU do it, but yet again they're in the final for the 18th time in the last 19 years. Simply put, Larry knows what she's doing in this tournament.

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