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Women's Basketball Returns To Action Against Rutgers

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 28, 2006
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Dec. 28, 2006

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• TELEVISION: Saturday's game will be aired on Comcast SportsNet (Ch. 35 - Hampton Roads) with John Castleberry and Jody Patrick calling all the action.

• RADIO: For the 16th-straight season ESPN Radio (1310 am - Norfolk, Va.) will be broadcasting all the Lady Monarch contests. Thirteen-time sportscaster of the Year Tony Mercurio will call all the action. Former Lady Monarch and ODU Hall of Fame inductee, Adrienne Goodson and former assistant coach Susan Montgomery will join Mercurio and add color commentary at all home games at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. A monthly fee of $6.95 through the College Pass program, which also provides the audio and video broadcasts of over 100 colleges and universities, will allow fans to listen to the broadcast online at www.odusports.com.

• LIVESTATS: Log onto www.odusports.com for livestats of Saturday's game.

• ABOUT OLD DOMINION: Old Dominion is looking to snap a three-game losing streak as it hosts Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at the Constant Center. The Lady Monarchs fell in both its games last week as they took on teams from the Volunteer State. Old Dominion dropped a 71-86 decision to Middle Tennessee State, a team that is nearly cracking the Top 25 in both major polls and knocked off No. 8 Georgia in Athens earlier in the season. The game against Middle Tennessee, the first between the two schools, was a lot closer than the score indicated as the game endured 10 ties and 20 lead changes. The Lady Monarchs were led by starting point guard Jazzmin Walters with a career-high 13 points along with a career-high four steals and three assists. Both juniors Shahida Williams and T.J. Jordan added in 12. The Lady Monarchs had one of its best performance from the field and the line against the Blue Raiders. Old Dominion ended the evening hitting 48.1 percent from the floor and 72.2 from the charity stripe. Against the fifth-ranked Tennessee in the 40th meeting between the schools, the Lady Monarchs fell to the Lady Vols for the 11th consecutive time with a 75-59 loss. Senior forward Sherida Triggs led the Lady Monarchs with 13 points, and Jordan had 11, all in the first half. Old Dominion managed to tie the game at 33-33 with 1:31 left in the first half and Tennessee only led 38-33 at halftime. The Lady Vols gained momentum with 11-2 run to give the Lady Vols a 58-45 lead although the Lady Monarchs closed within 10 twice shortly thereafter. Before the game, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt took part in a ceremony to present Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry with the game ball from her 500th career victory, which came Dec. 9 against Chicago State.

• ABOUT RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights, who entered the preseason ranked 12th in the AP Poll and 11th in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, are currently receiving votes in both major polls and enter the Constant Center with a 5-4 record. Rutgers is in the midst of a three-game win streak that includes wins over Princeton, Ole Miss, and Iowa. The Scarlet Knights are 3-1 at home and 2-1 in neutral site contests, but are still looking for their first victory in true away environment. Rutgers has dropped decisions at Pepperdine and at DePaul, in their BIG EAST opener. Old Dominion and Rutgers have two common opponents in Penn State and Duke. The Scarlet Knights defeated Penn State, 57-44, at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas and fell 45-85 to Duke at the Jimmy V Classic. Five Scarlet Knights are averaging double figure scoring led by freshman forward Epiphanny Prince (17.8 ppg). Sophomore center Kia Vaughn (14.3 ppg) follows Prince on the stat sheet in the scoring column followed by rookie guard Brittany Ray (11.0 ppg), junior guard Essence Carson (10.3 ppg), junior guard Matee Ajavon (10.0 ppg). Vaughn leads the Knights is the rebounding department averaging 10.6 per game.

• LAST TIME VS. RUTGERS: The No. 6/7 Rutgers University women's basketball team (7-0) extended its home winning streak to 18 games, defeating the Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion, 77-41, on December 9th, 2006 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The Lady Monarchs were led in scoring by Tish Lyons and former Lady Monarch Lawona Davis with 10 points apiece. Sherida Triggs had a team-high 11 rebounds in the loss. Rutgers' guard Cappie Pondexter, who would go on to be selected second in the WNBA draft following the season, matched a season high with 26 points adding in eight assists and three steals. Kia Vaughn finished the game with a double-double with a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Scarlet Knights and the Lady Monarchs exchanged baskets for the first few minutes of the game. However, from the 13:33 mark until the 5:12 mark, RU went on a 22-4 run that was fueled by six ODU turnovers, resulting in 10 Scarlet Knight points. Rutgers stretched its first half lead to as many as 22 points and went into the break up 40-18. Rutgers held Old Dominion to two field goals in the final 14 minutes of the first half. Old Dominion was outscored 37-23 in the second half for the final margin. A Paula Muxiri lay-up with 17:49 left put the score at 42-26 and got Old Dominion as close as 16 points.

• COMPARE AND CONTRAST:
ODU - RU
64.9 - Scoring - 71.1
.397 - Field Goal Percentage - . 462
.285 - 3PT Field Goal Percentage - .355
.611 - Free Throw Percentage - .636
42.0 - Rebounds Per Game - 35.0
13.0. - Assists Per Game - 13.6
22.3 - Turnovers Per Game - 16.4
9.0 - Steals Per Game - 8.3
5.1 - Blocks Per Game - 6.3

• WELCOME BACK MARIANNE: A familiar face will be over on the Rutgers bench on Saturday afternoon. Scarlet Knight assistant coach Marianne Stanley was at the helm of the Lady Monarch program from 1977-1987 leading Old Dominion to three national titles (1979 - AIAW, 1980 - AIAW, 1985 - NCAA) and coaching legends Nancy Lieberman, Inge Nissen, Anne Donovan, and Tracy Claxton. Coming to ODU in 1977, Stanley became one of the youngest Division I head coach in the country at the age of 23. By the time she left, she built the Lady Monarchs into one of the nation's premiere programs posting a 269-59 (.820) record.

• JERSEY GIRLS: The Old Dominion roster boasts two girls from the Garden State. Head coach Wendy Larry originally hails from Bloomingdale while junior guard Shahida Williams grew up in Newark. Williams was also a high school teammate of Rutgers' Matee Ajavon at Malcolm X Shabazz High School. During their senior year they finished their scholastic career with a 32-1 record. Additionally together at Malcolm X Shabazz they won three Essex County Tournament and became the only girls team to win consecutive NJSIAA Tournament of Champions titles.

• A NORFOLK MEMORY: Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer should certainly have memories of Norfolk Virginia. It was in 1982 at Cheyney State that the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame brought the first of her three teams to the Final Four at nearby Scope in the first ever NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Stringer would go on to take Iowa (1993) and Rutgers (2000) to Final Fours becoming the first coach in men's or women's basketball to take three different schools to the Final Four.

• ATTENDANCE AT THE TED: 7,108 people came through the turnstiles at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the afternoon of December 22nd against Tennessee making the game the third highest attended women's basketball game since the arena opened in 2002.

TOP WBB ATTENDANCES AT THE CONSTANT CENTER
1. Tennessee 1/7/03 - 7,758
2. Virginia 11/22/02 - 7,316
3. Tennessee 12/22/06 - 7,108
4. Tennessee 1/2/05 - 7,063
5. George Washington (NCAA) 3/19/06 - 6,847
6. Rutgers 1/31/03 - 6,384

• THE STARTING FIVE: With the Lady Monarch roster as deep as it is in recent memory, its hard to pick just which Lady Monarch will get the starting nod. Through nine games, eight different starting combos have been used with Sherida Triggs being the only Lady Monarch to have started every single game.

• HOME SWEET HOME: Since the doors opened at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in 2002, the Lady Monarchs have enjoyed a 56-12 record.

Ranked Wins At The Constant Center:
11/25/03 - #7 Penn State - W, 75-68
12/7/03 - #12/13 UNC - W, 73-68
12/5/04 - #16/19 Rutgers - W, 69-61

Losses At The Constant Center:
11/22/02 - Virginia - L, 55-63
1/7/03 - #5 Tennessee - L, 63-91
1/31/03 - Rutgers - L, 59-67
3/22/03 - Boston College (NCAA) - L, 72-73
1/2/05 - #8 Tennessee - L, 58-68
1/9/05 - Delaware - L, 70-73
11/20/05 - #1/2 Duke - L, 56-93
12/4/05 - #19/20 Vanderbilt - L, 77-82
12/29/05 - #5 North Carolina - L, 80-88 (OT)
3/19/06 - George Washington (NCAA) - L, 72-87
11/18/06 - #21/24 Kentucky - L, 55-69
12/22/05 - #5 Tennessee - L, 59-75

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