Lady Monarchs Face #4/4 Tennessee On Fox SportSouth Wednesday
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 30th - 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs (2-7, 0-0 CAA) at
#4/4 University of Tennessee Lady Vols (10-1, 0-0 SEC)
TV: Fox SportSouth
Radio: Star 1310 AM
Online Audio: Monarch TV
Online Video: None
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Lady Monarchs women's hoops team will be featured on Fox SportSouth regional broadcasting Wednesday night as they face the #4 ranked Lady Vols of Tennessee (10-1). Old Dominion (2-7) will be on television for the first time this season as they travel to Knoxville for the non-conference finale.
Tennessee kicked off the season with a nine-game winning streak before splitting their final two games before the holiday with a loss to #2 Stanford and a win against South Florida. Junior Angie Bjorklund is leading the Lady Vols and is one of the nation's best sharpshooters from outside, shooting over 45% from deep.
ODU continues to be led by junior Shadasia Green (13.8 ppg/6.7 rpg) and sophomore Tia Lewis (13.9 ppg/8.6 rpg). Both scored over 20 points in the final game before the holiday break, against Saint Joseph's and each have double digits in all of the previous five games. Senior Jessica Canady has returned from rehabbing her knee injury and posted her best game this season with eight points and six rebounds.
All-Time Series - ODU and Tennessee are a pair of programs that kickstarted and have remained perennial powerhouses in women's college basketball. The two programs have faced eachother 42 times, with Tennessee owning a 33-9 all-time advantage, including 13 straight dating back to the 1997 regular season. ODU has never won at Thompson-Boling Arena, opened in the 1987-88 regular season. ODU head coach Wendy Larry has just one victory against against Tennessee, going 1-24 against the Lady Vols in her tenure at ODU.
About the Lady Vols - Tennessee is ranked number four in the country in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll after starting the season on a nine-game win streak. They suffered their first loss of the season to second-ranked Stanford before getting back in the win column against USF to start the season 10-1.
Head coach Pat Summitt has her team primed to be a national contender this season, as junior Angie Bjorklund is leading the team with 14.9 points per game as a 43% shooter from the field and nearly 46% shooter from long range. Shekinna Strickland and Glory Johnson are also in double figures through the first 11 games. Strickland is averaging 14.4 points while Johnson is posting 13.2 points per game and leading the team with 8.0 rebounds per game.
Tennessee has played a tough schedule, including games against Stanford, Rutgers, Louisville, Texas and Virginia. The Lady Vols are averaging 76.2 points per game this season and are shooting 44.7% from the field as a team. They are also averaging nearly 45 rebounds per game, with a rebounding margin of +8.6 on the season.
Not only are the Lady Monarchs just six wins shy of 100 in the Constant Center, but the Old Dominion women's basketball program is just eight wins away from 900. Old Dominion women's basketball boasts an all-time record of 892-305 (.745) in 40 years of play. There are only two programs in the history of women's basketball with 900 wins. Head Coach Wendy Larry is also approaching yet another milestone, just 29 wins shy of her 600th.
CAA Preseason Poll
The Lady Monarchs were picked to finish third in the CAA Preseason Rankings, as voted on by the head coaches. Defending champions Drexel were pegged as the top team heading into 2009-10 with James Madison also selected ahead of ODU.
2009-10 Preseason Predicted Order of Finish:
2. James Madison
3. Old Dominion
8. UNC Wilmington
9. William and Mary
11. Georgia State
12. George Mason
Magic Number 24
Three players have tallied new career highs early this season, all with 24 points scored. Jasmine Parker scored 24 against Maryland to set a new career-high, while Tia Lewis and Shadasia Green both scored 24 against Louisville to set their new mark.
Toughest Schedule in the Nation
Though it's early, the Lady Monarchs schedule has been ranked the toughest in the nation so far, by rpiratings.com. According to the same source, ODU has the 74th best RPI, even with just the 1-5 record. Through six games ODU has faced four teams receiving votes in the national rankings and the six teams combined have gone 39-8 so far this season.
Sophomore forward Tia Lewis tied her career-high with 17 rebounds against Ole Miss, taking over the top spot in the CAA with 9.2 rebounds per game. Lewis had 17 in a game against North Florida during her freshman year while playing for Central Florida and the 17 hauled in against Mississippi tied that mark for the first time as a Lady Monarch. She also posted her first double-double in the game, scoring 15 points for Old Dominion.
On the Road Again
The game against St. Joe's on December 22 kicked off a four-game road swing spanning over two weeks as ODU will face the Hawks and Tennessee to wrap up the non-conference slate and will kick off the CAA schedule at Delaware and Northeastern.
Jasmine Parker is leading the CAA in steals this season, averaging 2.8 per game with 22 thefts already this season. The ODU junior now has 118 career steals, averaging 1.6 per game in her career.