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Courtesy: CAA/Rafael Suanes

Tia Lewis Leads Lady Monarchs to First Round Win Over Towson

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 03/08/2012
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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (March 8, 2012) - Eighth-seeded Old Dominion used a 12-0 second-half scoring run to race past No. 9 Towson, 72-58, in the opening game of the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Women's Basketball Championship on Thursday afternoon at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Senior forward Tia Lewis led the Lady Monarchs (11-20) with 22 points, while also adding a game-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Jackie Cook finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 field goal shooting and CAA Rookie of the Year guard Ashley Betz-White added 12 points and five assists on the afternoon. ODU moves on to Friday's CAA quarterfinals to face top-seeded Delaware at 12:00 p.m.

Towson (16-14) was led by senior guard Krystal Parnell with 14 points and seven assists. Sophomore guard Tanisha McTiller added 10 points for the Tigers.

After a back and forth first half, Old Dominion took a 29-25 halftime lead, in large part to 15 first-half points from Lewis. Towson climbed back in the second half to take a 47-46 lead on a McTiller jumper, but Betz-White responded with a score and Cook added a three-pointer to push the ODU lead back to 51-47 with 11:14 remaining. Towson was only able to manage three field goals the rest of the way, including a drought of over eight minutes without a bucket. During the cold shooting, Lewis and Cook combined to fuel a 16-4 run to finish the game. Redshirt junior guard JoNiquia Guilford also added eight points during the run.

Towson took an early 17-12 lead on a Nyree Williams jumper with 8:39 remaining in the opening half. Lewis responded with nine points in the next four and a half minutes, giving  the Lady Monarchs a 23-21 lead on a two-pointer with 4:00 minutes until intermission. Betz-White used back-to-back buckets just before half to give Old Dominion a 29-25 advantage at the break.

The Lady Monarchs shot a blistering 60.4% (29-48) from the floor, including 73.9% (17-23) in the second half. ODU went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. ODU outrebounded Towson, 26-21, and knocked down 11 of 14 free throws.

The Tigers shot 41% from the field, but hit just 2-9 from long range and only 6 of 12 from the free throw line.