Lady Monarch Basketball Wins 15th Straight Colonial Athletic Association Title
By ODU Athletics
March 11, 2006
FAIRFAX, Va. - The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs edged the James Madison Dukes 58-54 Saturday afternoon in a thrilling title game to capture their record 15th-consecutive Colonial Athletic Association championship. ODU has yet to lose a tournament game since joining the CAA back in 1991-92.
T.J. Jordan (Portsmouth, Va.) led the victors with 13 points in the game and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Performer. Paula Muxiri (Luanda, Angola) added 11 to join Jordan on the All-Tournament team, and Lawona Davis (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) scored all nine of her points in the second half to aid the Lady Monarchs.
Tamera Young and Meredith Alexis were also named to the All-Tournament team, with Young notching 10 points and Alexis recording a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Andrea Benvenuto added 10 points for the Dukes.
Hofstra's Vanessa Gidden rounded out the All-Tournament team nominees.
It was a back-and-forth battle in a first half that included six ties and 11 lead changes, with James Madison eventually claiming the advantage at the break 29-26. Neither team led in the period by more than five points.
The Dukes took advantage of 11 ODU turnovers and converted 13 of 15 free throws to build the three-point intermission lead. Young led JMU with 10 points at the half, while Alexis contributed eight and five rebounds.
Old Dominion held tight after receiving half of its points from the bench in the period, with Muxiri scoring six and Shahida Williams netting five. Jordan pitched in eight.
Old Dominion jumped out of the gates in the second half with six quick points to claim a 32-29 lead, and continued on an 20-9 run in the first ten minutes to make it 46-38. That was as large as the lead would get, however, as James Madison battled back to cut it to three, 52-49, on a fast break layup by Benvenuto with 3:20 to go.
The Dukes' defense then held strong on the next possession and forced an ODU shot clock violation to gain the ball back. Kisha Stokes gathered and offensive rebound and put it back in at 2:33. She was fouled on the play and converted the free throw to tie the score at 52.
Muxiri answered with a three-pointer a minute later to regain a three-point lead for ODU. On the next trip down the court, the Dukes' shot clock was down to one second when Andrea Benvenuto was fouled by Muxiri when attempting a three-pointer of her own. She only made two of the three fouls shots, however, and the score was 55-54 in ODU's favor with 58 seconds to play.
The Lady Monarchs' Shantel Wilson then committed a turnover with 35 seconds on the clock and JMU called a timeout. Jasmin Lawrence drove the lane in similar fashion to Friday's game-winning shot, but missed the layup and the ball deflected out of bounds to ODU.
JMU's Shirley McCall fouled Davis on the inbounds pass with 7.2 seconds remaining. Davis made the first free throw to make it 56-54, but missed the second. Sherida Triggs was there to gather the carom, and was immediately fouled and sent to the line. She hit both shots to ice the championship, 58-54.
Old Dominion will play at the Constant Center as Old Dominion is proud to be one of eight sites to host the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. The first and second rounds will be held Sunday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 21. Eight teams will be seeded in the tournament with four games (two sessions) at noon, 2:30 p.m., 7 and 9 p.m. and 7 and 9:30 p.m.(one session) on Tuesday, March 21.
Tournament books are $45 for adults for all games ($30 for youth) and $20 and $15 per session and are available by calling 683-4444.
Single session tickets go on sale Monday, March 13 at the Constant Center box office or by calling 1-888-411-4TED or logging online at www.constantcenter.com. Single session tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for youths 17 and under. Tournament books are still available that include all three sessions at $45 for adults and $30 for youth.
Groups of 10 or more should contact the Constant Center group sales office at 683-5000.