James Onuska | Staff Writer
The Conference USA title will most likely come down to Saturday's game against the Rice Owls. The Lady Monarchs are 24-4 overall and 14-2 in conference play. The team plays their last regular season home game Thursday night versus the UAB Blazers.
This game should not be overlooked as the Blazers have played excellent basketball in conference play with a 10-6 record and 18-10 overall. UAB looks to play the role of spoiler and the Lady Monarchs must be prepared mentally and defensively.
The Lady Monarchs head coach coach Nikki McCray says "we haven't wrapped up anything yet." The team has a rating percentage index (RPI) of 27th, which is based upon a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. The team is 14-0 at home and looks to improve on that this Thursday for senior night at 6:30 PM.
After Thursday's final home game, ODU heads to Houston for a potential opportunity at winning the conference regular season title versus the Rice Owls. Both teams sit atop of C-USA, with 14-2 records. The Lady Monarchs won their first match in Norfolk with a thrilling overtime win 66-59.
The team's success is based around their stifling defense, which has allowed a conference best 54.3 points per game. Junior Victoria Morris has played an important role in scoring while also setting up her teammates on the offensive side of the court.
Contributions from sophomore Amari Young and senior Taylor Edwards will provide the explosiveness the Lady Monarchs will need to capture the C-USA regular season title and make their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2008.
Coach McCray has done a spectacular job turning the program around from its 8-23 record two seasons ago. This team plays with a tremendous amount of energy and emphasis on team ball.