Lady Monarchs Face James Madison in Sunday's CAA Championship Game
By ODU Athletics
March 13, 2010
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- After a thrilling comeback win in Saturday's semifinal, the top-seeded Lady Monarchs (18-12) return to the CAA Championship game to play #2 seed James Madison on their home court. Tip is set for 12:30 p.m. and fans are reminded that Daylight Savings Time begins tonight, and clocks should be set forward one hour.
ODU Athletics will host a Fan Party at 10:30 a.m. in the Courtyard Marriott lobby. All fans are welcome to join for a pre-game celebration in the team's hotel
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
Tickets to the 2010 CAA Tournament Championship game are still available. The first 200 students with valid I.D. will be admitted free and general admission tickets can be purchased for $10 at the JMU box office. For more information, call the James Madison Ticket Office at (540) 568-3853.
ABOUT NO. 1 OLD DOMINION (18-12):
The Lady Monarchs cruised past #8 seeded Northeastern in the Quarterfinals on Friday, 68-49. Then, in Saturday's semi-final, ODU played from behind almost the entire game before erasing a 12-point halftime deficit and dropping #5 seeded Delaware by one point, 50-49. Old Dominion advances to the CAA Championship game for the 18th time in 19 years in the league, led by a conglomerate of Lady Monarch players. ODU is the only team in the CAA with four active players averaging 9.9 points or better, as Shadasia Green, Tia Lewis, Jasmine Parker and Tia Lewis are behind the balanced attack. It has been Canady leading the way in the 2010 CAA Tournament, scoring 26 points and hauling in 12 rebounds in the first two games of her final trip to the postseason dance. Sophomore Mairi Buchan has played the role of clutch shooter in the two games, posting 18 points including a pair of go-ahead buckets in the waning minutes of the Delaware game. ODU is 17-0 in CAA Championship games heading into tomorrow's finale, looking to punch their ticket to a 26thNCAA Tournament appearance.
ABOUT NO. 2 JAMES MADISON (25-6):
The Dukes are currently riding a seven-game winning streak, tying a season-high. JMU opened the season 7-0 to jump into the national rankings early in the season. The Dukes, coached by Kenny Brooks, have been led by junior guard Dawn Evans. The sharpshooter was a First Team All-CAA guard and is a finalist for three of the most prominent national postseason honors, including the Naismith Award for the Best Player in the Nation. Evans is averaging 24.8 points per game, second in the CAA and fourth in the nation. She has knocked down a CAA record 106 3-pointers this season, leading the league. Dawns is complimented on the wings by rookie Tarik Hislop (10.2 ppg) and senior Sarah Williams (8.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg), while Lauren Jimenez and Jalissa Taylor are the usual starting front court.
Big Win in Harrisonburg
The Lady Monarchs earned their first win against JMU in Harrisonburg since 2005, snapping a four-game losing streak over that span. The win also snapped JMU's nine-game home winning streak and was just the ninth loss suffered on the home floor in the previous 75 home games for the Dukes. Old Dominion won 67-58, holding off a second half surge from the Dukes after taking a 15-point halftime lead. Junior Jasmine Parker nearly had a triple-double, hauling in a career-high nine rebounds and dishing a career-high tying six assists to go with her ten points. Senior Jessica Canady led the way with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting while leading scorer Shadasia Green added 13 on 4-of-6.
Storied Postseason Rivalry
The Lady Monarchs and Dukes have a long history of matching up in the postseason, as Old Dominion has ended eight James Madison quests for the crown. In 18 previous tournaments, Old Dominion has gone through the Dukes eight times, including five times matched up in the Championship Game. ODU has faced no other opponent more often in the CAA Tournament than the Dukes, as they will be facing eachother for the ninth time in postseason play.
Previous CAA Tournament Games vs. JMU
Mar. 11, 1995 -- CAA Championship W, 63-44
Mar. 9, 1996 -- CAA Championship W, 84-58
Feb. 28, 1997 -- CAA Semifinal W, 86-48
Mar. 4, 1999 -- CAA Quarterfinal W, 73-45
Mar. 10, 2001 -- CAA Championship W, 66-62
Mar. 14, 2003 -- CAA Semifinals W, 71-55
Mar. 6, 2006 -- CAA Championship W, 58-54
Mar. 11, 2007 -- CAA Championship W, 78-70
Mar. 14, 2010 -- CAA Championship ???
Today's game will be the 15th time in 25 years of league tournaments that the CAA Championship game features the top two seeds. The number one seed has been victorious in 11 of the 14 previous #1 vs. #2 Finals, including seven wins for Old Dominion. The last two times ODU faced James Madison in the CAA Tournament were in these such matchups, as top-seeded ODU defeated second-seeded JMU in both, as a part of the 2006 and 2007 CAA Championship Tournament.
Led by Dawn Evans, the Dukes are one of the league's top 3-point shooting teams. Evans led the CAA with 106 3-pointers made, averaging 3.7 per game. Against ODU, though, the Dukes shot an abysmal 17.1% from long range in two games this season. Evans, over 34% from deep, is hitting just 20% against the Lady Monarchs this sesaon.
Return of the King... (uh, Queen?)
With a 50-49 win over Delaware in the emifinals, the Lady Monarchs return to the CAA Championship game after a one-year hiatus in 2009. Last season, eventual CAA Champion Drexel finally unseated the Lady Monarchs from their NCAA record reign atop the league. ODU had won 17 straight CAA Tournaments before falling in the semifinals to the Dragons last season, 62-41.
The Championship game is familiar territory for ODU, as they have never lost a CAA Final since joining the league in 1992.
CAA Tournament Championship Appearances (17-0)
Mar. 14, 1992 -- (1) East Carolina W, 85-70
Mar. 13, 1993 -- (7) William & Mary W, 65-51
Mar. 12, 1994 -- (2) George Mason W, 78-61
Mar. 11, 1995 -- (1) James Madison W, 63-44
Mar. 9, 1996 -- (2) James Madison W, 84-58
Mar. 2, 1997 -- (6) East Carolina W, 83-46
Mar. 1, 1998 -- (2) American W, 82-49
Mar. 6, 1999 -- (6) East Carolina W, 73-67
Mar. 11, 2000 -- (3) UNC Wilmington W, 93-49
Mar. 10, 2001 -- (2) James Madison W, 66-62
Mar. 9, 2002 -- (6) UNC Wilmington W, 76-48
Mar. 15, 2003 -- (2) Delaware W, 66-58
Mar. 13, 2004 -- (2) George Mason W, 85-81
Mar. 12, 2005 -- vs. (1) Delaware W, 78-75 (OT)
Mar. 6, 2006 -- vs. (2) James Madison W, 58-54
Mar. 11, 2007 -- vs. (2) James Madison W, 78-70
Mar. 16, 2008 -- vs. (3) VCU W, 71-64
Mar. 14, 2010 -- vs. (2) James Madison ???