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Lady Monarch Basketball Favorites To Win The CAA

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: October 25, 2006
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Oct. 25, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Old Dominion, which has captured the past 15 Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball titles, was picked to repeat as conference champion in 2006-07 according to a vote of the league's coaches, sports information directors and media. The results of the poll were announced during Wednesday's CAA Basketball Media Day at the ESPN Zone in Washington, D.C.

The Lady Monarchs, who posted their 15th consecutive 20-win season last year, were followed in the voting by James Madison, Delaware, Hofstra and William & Mary. Picked sixth was UNC Wilmington, followed by VCU, George Mason, Drexel, Georgia State, Towson and Northeastern.

ODU returns four starters from last season's 22-9 squad. Headlining the list is junior guard T.J. Jordan, who was a second-team All-CAA selection after averaging 13.4 points and draining a league-high 93 three-pointers. The Lady Monarchs also return starting forwards Sherida Triggs (11.4 ppg) and Tish Lyons (9.6 ppg). ODU is also looking for big things from 6-4 junior center Tamara Ransburg, a transfer from Kansas, and sophomore forward Tiffany Green, a CAA All-Rookie selection in 2004-05, who both sat out last season due to injuries.

James Madison, which went 24-7 and earned a WNIT berth a year ago, welcomes back all five starters for the second straight season. Three of those returnees earned All-CAA honors last season with senior center Meredith Alexis (16.0 ppg/10.9 rpg) and junior guard Tamera Young (15.6 ppg/9.9 rpg) making the first team and senior guard Lesley Dickinson (13.3 ppg) named to the third team. Senior Andrea Benvenuto returns at the point after leading the conference with 5.7 assists per outing and senior forward Shirley McCall chipped in 12.1 ppg and 6.1 rpg.

Delaware is coming off its sixth 20-win campaign (22-8) in the past seven years. The Blue Hens, who have advanced to post-season play in five of the past six seasons, return four starters. Leading that group is senior guard Tyresa Smith, who was named to the All-CAA first team and was also the league's Defensive Player of the Year after contributing 15.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and a CAA-best 2.8 steals per game. Backcourt mates Melissa Czorniewy (13.8 ppg) and Alena Koshansky (8.3 ppg/4.3 apg) are also back along with senior forward Chrissy Fisher (9.4 ppg/6.1 rpg).

Hofstra returns 12 players from last year's 19-12 squad that earned the first post-season berth in school history in the WNIT. The Pride is led by senior center Vanessa Gidden, who garnered 1st team All-CAA accolades after ranking among the league's top five in scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounding (9.5 rpg) and blocked shots (50). She is joined in the frontcourt by senior forward Lizanne Murphy (10.4 ppg/7.8 rpg). In the backcourt, senior guard Cigi McCollin made the All-CAA second team after pouring in 14.0 points per game and knocking down 88 treys last season.

The CAA sent four teams to post-season play the first time in conference history and hopes are high for 2006-07 as the league returns an amazing 75% of its starters. Included in that group are 12 players who earned all-conference honors last year.

William & Mary's Kyra Kaylor, who was the CAA Player of the Year in 2005-06, was chosen as the CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year. She is joined on the pre-season All-CAA first team by JMU's Alexis and Young, Hofstra's Gidden and Delaware's Smith.

Voted to the pre-season All-CAA second team were Hofstra's McCollin, ODU's Jordan and Triggs, VCU sophomore center Quanitra Hollingsworth, who earned 3rd team All-CAA honors and was the league's Rookie of the Year after averaging 14.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, and Georgia State senior guard Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen, who made the All-CAA third team after tallying 14.0 points and 4.6 assists per contest.

Triggs, a 6-1 senior forward, averaged a team second best 11.4 points and a team leading 7.2 rebounds in last season with the Lady Monarchs. A Second Team All-CAA selection in 2006, she performed six double-doubles, more than any other teammate. Among her season highs were a 22-point career night at George Mason and a season-high 13 boards in the regular season home finale against William & Mary. She shot a team and league-best .573 percent from the field and also lead the Lady Monarchs with 36 blocks, and 43 steals. Triggs finished the year ranked 20th in scoring in the CAA, seventh in rebounding (7.4 rpg), and seventh in blocked shots (1.16).

Jordan, a Second Team All-CAA selection and CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, led her team with 13.4 points per game and dished out an average of 2.3 assists per game in 2006. Nationally, she ranked sixth in the country average 3.0 three-pointers made a game. She reset Aubrey Eblin's single season-three pointer attempt mark with 248 attempts and was just five three's shy of resetting Eblin's three-pointers made mark with 93 treys. Jordan ranked 13th in scoring among her CAA peers and finished the year 15th in field goal percentage (.408) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage, (.375). Jordan reached double figures in all but seven games and netted a season-high 23 points at George Mason in February. The Hampton Roads native has also reached 20 or more points three times and tied career-high with seven three pointers made at George Mason at the Patriot Center.

The Lady Monarchs open the exhibition season on Sunday, October 29th in the annual Blue-White scrimmage at the Constant Center

2006-07 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Old Dominion
2. James Madison
3. Delaware
4. Hofstra
5. William & Mary
6. UNC Wilmington
7. VCU
8. George Mason
9. Drexel
10. Georgia State
11. Towson
12. Northeastern

2006-07 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRE-SEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
First Team
Meredith Alexis, James Madison*
Vanessa Gidden, Hofstra*
Kyra Kaylor, William & Mary*
Tyresa Smith, Delaware*
Tamera Young, James Madison*

Second Team
Cigi McCollin, Hofstra# T.J. Jordan, Old Dominion#
Quanitra Hollingsworth, VCU^
Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen, Georgia State^
Sherida Triggs, Old Dominion#

* - All-CAA 1st team in 2005-06

# - All-CAA 2nd team in 2005-06

^ - All-CAA 3rd team in 2005-06

CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year: Kyra Kaylor, William & Mary

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