Old Dominion moves closer to 17th straight Colonial title

NEWARK, Del. (AP) -- Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry paused for a moment when asked to reflect what it meant to win her 500th career game at one school.

"It means you're old," Larry joked.

Shahida Williams helped Old Dominion move a step closer to its 17th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association tournament title, scoring 19 points in the No. 14 Lady Monarchs' 74-51 semifinal victory over Towson on Saturday. Larry is 500-164 in 21 seasons with the Lady Monarchs and 549-195 overall in 24 seasons, including stops at Arizona State and Virginia Wesleyan.

"I was told a long time ago if you start keeping track, they don't come," Larry said.

Old Dominion (28-4) will play third-seeded Virginia Commonwealth (25-6) in the championship game Sunday. Old Dominion has won 22 of its past 23 games, and is 49-0 in conference tournament play since 1991-92.

"A lot of these young women were 2 years old when they did not win a tournament," Larry said. "They want to make history."

T.J. Jordan added 12 points, Megan Pym had 11 and Jessica Canady 10 for the Lady Monarchs, who have won all 12 career meetings with the Tigers. Williams, Jordan and Pym all have a chance to finish their college careers with four CAA championships.

"VCU is going to try to make history and so are we," Jordan said. "It's going to be a good game."

It's a game Williams is determined to win.

"As a senior on this team, I want to defend our crown," said Williams, who also had seven rebounds and five steals.

Shanae Baker-Brice led Towson (22-10) with 14 points. Jamell Beasley added 13 points, and Kandace Davis had 11 rebounds. Towson competed in its first tournament semifinal game since 1997-98 when it was a member of America East.

"I'm very proud of my basketball team," Towson coach Joe Matthews said. "I think they did everything they possibly could."

Old Dominion led 53-37, but Towson scored seven straight to cut it to 53-44 with 6:01 left. The Lady Monarchs came back with an 8-0 run, four by Jordan and four by Pym to make it 61-44.

"I think [Old Dominion] did what great teams do," Matthews said. "Even though you plan for it, executing against it is different."

Old Dominion was 26-for-61 from the field (43 percent) while the Tigers were 17-for-57 (30 percent), including 1-for-12 from 3-point territory. Old Dominion matched its win total from 2001-02 when it finished 28-6 and advanced to the final eight of the NCAA tournament.