Holopainen Steps up for Lady Monarchs
Harry Howard Jr.
Following their victory over Rice, the Lady Monarchs hosted North Texas Saturday at The Ted using a 27-point fourth quarter to propel them to a 62-47 victory.
“For us, we knew it was going to be a battle. I’m proud of our team and how we stayed with it. We had so many players step up for us,” ODU head coach Karen Barefoot said.
The Lady Monarchs had arguably their best defensive game of the season holding the Mean Green to just 15 made field goals and 26 percent shooting from the field. North Texas’ ( 6-14, 3-6 C-USA) 47 points tied for the fewest ODU has allowed this season.
Senior forward Annika Holopainen was one of four Lady Monarchs (10-10, 5-4 C-USA) to score in double figures and led them all with a season-high 17 points. Jennie Simms had a rare off-night in which she did not make a single shot during the first half. Even with her sloppy play through one half she still managed to contribute 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“North Texas always keys on Jennie a lot. They faceguard her and they’re really aggressive with her,” Holopainen said.
At the end of the third quarter, ODU led by just one point at 35-34. A change in defense and hot shooting allowed them to outscore North Texas by 14 points going into the fourth quarter. ODU shot 75 percent in the quarter while the Mean Green shot a measly 26 percent.
Terriell Bradley led North Texas in scoring with 16 points.
“The fourth quarter was a big deal for us. We changed up some defenses and really got them off balance and got some transition points, which was key for us,” Barefoot said.
The Lady Monarchs will hit the road for their next two games against FIU on Feb. 2 and Florida Atlantic Feb. 4.