Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ODU rolls over Georgia State in CAA home opener

Old Dominion 68, Georgia State 59

This is how it's supposed to work for Old Dominion, right? A defense-feastin', Tia Lewis-beastin' machine making thing happen at both ends, right?

Well, Karen Barefoot's grand design was in full flower Wednesday as the Lady Monarchs got the 2012 portion of their schedule off to a rousing start in a triumphant CAA home opener at the Constant Center.

Lewis, a transplanted Georgia girl herself (Poulan, Ga.), went for a career-high 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting. She scored 18 of her points in the first half, when the Lady Monarchs (4-10, 1-1 CAA) took command with aggressive, disruptive defense and an attack mentality on offense.

So flummoxed were the Panthers (6-7, 1-1) that coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener had subbed out her entire starting lineup before the game was five minutes old. The Lady Monarchs continued to pick Georgia State apart en route to a 13-point halftime lead, at which point Baldwin-Tener was so fed up she went with reserves for virtually the entire second half.

But not before airing her team out during the break.

"We came out flat at the start and I was not pleased with the effort, and (I) certainly tried to let the team know that at halftime," the Georgia State coach said.

The spirited Lady Monarchs surely had a lot to do with the Panthers' lethargy. For the game they forced 22 turnovers and turned those mistakes into 25 points. And their aggressiveness on offense was rewarded by 26 trips to the free throw line, where they were successful 21 times.

Lewis, who also had 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double, obviously gets the gold star for this one. But ODU also got 12 points and 6 rebounds from Jo Guilford, 7 assists (with just 2 turnovers) and 4 steals from three-time CAA Rookie of the Week Ashley Betz-White, 8 points from Mairi Buchan and 7 points, 6 rebounds out of Jackie Cook to complete the well-rounded effort.

The victory was ODU's third in their last four home games, and more than any of the others it showcased the kind of passion and energy Barefoot has been advertising as the staple of her teams since the day she arrived from Elon. Another dose of this Sunday at Northeastern and the Lady Monarchs will have a great opportunity to take a running start at the rest of their conference schedule.

No comments:

Post a Comment