(Courtesy: Harry Minium/ODU Athletics)

NORFOLK – The Old Dominion women’s basketball team held the top-scoring player and top-scoring team in the Sun Belt Conference to season lows and blew to its ninth victory in the last 11 games Thursday night.
Guard Makayla Dickens poured in 14 points, and Brianna Jackson came off the bench to give the Monarchs a spark, as ODU rolled past Georgia Southern, 67-50, at Chartway Arena.

 ODU (17-9 overall, 9-4 Sun Belt) began the evening two games behind first-place Troy and in a five-way tie for second. The Monarchs ended the evening a game behind Troy and tied for second with James Madison and Texas State.
There are five games left in the regular season, including Saturday’s home game against Georgia State at 2 p.m. It is ODU’s annual Hoops for the Cure game, which honors survivors of breast cancer.
Georgia Southern (15-7, 7-6) had averaged 83.9 points heading into Thursday and had never scored less thab 58 points. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern guard Terren Ward, who led the Sun Belt with an 18.7-point average, made just 1 of 12 shots and finished with six points, tying her season low.
Georgia Southern shot horribly, making just 15 of 52 shots (28.8 percent).
“I think a lot of that was because of our defense,” ODU head coach Delisha Milton Jones said.
“We have a lot of respect for her,” Milton-Jones added when asked about Ward. “We know we can’t stop her from shooting, but we definitely tried to dictate when and where she got to shoot.
“She’s so deadly. We had to make sure that one person wasn’t responsible for stopping her. It had to be a communal effort.”
Kaye Clark, whom Milton-Jones is pushing as Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, had five steals and spent a good deal of time guarding Ward. 
 Amari Young, ODU’s best player, was saddled with three fouls early and played just 16 minutes. She was scoreless but led all rebounders with nine.
The game was competitive in the first half, but the Monarchs quickly broke the game open in the third quarter.
ODU trailed, 21-19, with 2:33 left in the second quarter when the Monarchs went on a 10-0 run to retake the lead for good. 
Jackson made two free throws,  Kaylen Nelson a fallaway three-pointer, Jones a fast-break layup and Dickens a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Monarchs a 29-21 halftime lead.
A two-minute outburst from Jackson helped ODU pull away in the third quarter. 
Jackson made a layup to build the lead to 37-29, took a charge, then swished a three-pointer and blocked a shot on four consecutive possessions to draw a standing ovation from the crowd of 2,161.
Georgia Southern then called a timeout. Jackson, the former Princess Anne High School star, smiled broadly as she was mobbed by her teammates.
Ja’yna Love-Hill made a basket to trim the lead back to nine, but the Monarchs responded with a 12-0 run, capped by a driving layup from Clark, that gave ODU a 21-point lead and control of the game. 
Milton-Jones said she loved seeing Jackson having fun on the court.
“Bri is such a smart player that sometimes she can become too cerebral, which has her flat footing and thinking more than being anticipatory,” Milton-Jones said. 
“But tonight, in that two-minute span, you saw Bri using her instincts and she was able to get that huge block and come down and hit the big three from the corner. You can’t ask for better than that.”
Jackson said just before she took the floor that Milton-Jones “looked at me and said, ‘I need the dog to come off the porch. I need some fire Bri.’
“I told her, ‘I’ve got you, I’ve got you.'”
And she did.