Old Dominion Faces Florida at Home Friday Night at 7:00 PM
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 10, 2009
Friday, December 11th - 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Ted Constant Convocation Center (8,600) - Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs (1-5, 0-0 CAA) vs.
University of Florida Gators (3-5, 0-0 SEC)
NORFOLK, Va. -- For the first time since the 1997 Elite Eight, the Lady Monarchs will face the University of Florida Gators in women's basketball action. ODU (1-5) will host the Gators (3-5) at 7:00 p.m. this Friday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
ODU is coming off its first win of the season, coming against another SEC opponent, Ole Miss. ODU won, 75-66, powered by a double-double from sophomore Tia Lewis, who hauled in a career high-tying 17 rebounds. Junior guard Shadasia Green led the way with 16 points and is now pacing the Lady Monarchs with 12.7 per game.
Florida has dropped three of the last four games and faced Rutgers on ESPN2 earlier this week, managing just 38 points in the national broadcast. They are averaging just 56.8 points per game in the lsat four. The Gators, though, are a terrific shooting team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Led by sophomore Jordan Jones, the Gators have stroked 65 3-pointers already this season in just eight games played. As a team, they are shooting nearly 32% from beyond the arc.
Head coach Amanda Butler was an assistant coach for Florida in the Elite Eight matchup over 12 years ago, the last time ODU faced the Gators. She comes into ODU in her third year at the head coaching position, guiding Florida to a pair of postseason appearances in her first two years.
All-Time Series -- ODU and Florida have faced eachother juts once before tonight's game, with that game coming int he 1997 Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. ODU won the game, 53-51, and advanced to play Stanford in the Final Four.
About the Gators -- Florida is off to a 3-5 start this season, led by sophomore guard Jordan Jones and a pair of seniors, Sharielle Smith and Steffi Sorensen. Jones is currently ranked in the Top 50 nationally in three-pointers per game and is leading the Gators in scoring with 13.3 points per game. Smith and Sorensen are ranked second and third in scoring with 10.1 and 7.8 per game respectively, while Smith is also the team leader in rebounding with 7.8 per game.
As a team, the Gators are shooting 38.8% and are averaging 63.4 points per game and are currently outrebounding opponents by a +1.9 margin. Despite averaging nearly nine steals per game, the Gators are also turning the ball over over 18 times per contest.
Nine different players have made it into the starting lineup for head coach Amanda Butler so far this seasonand all nine are averaging over 15 minutes per game.
Welcome to the Ted
Since the doors opened at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in 2002, the Lady Monarchs have enjoyed a 93-17 record. Last season, ODU suffered just its second CAA loss ever at the Ted, when JMU defeated the Lady Monarchs 72-67 on January 25, 2009. Of the 17 losses in the Constant Center, TEN have been to nationally ranked opponents.
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
12/22/06 #5 Tennessee L, 59-75
12/18/08 #11/13 Tennessee L, 76-81
12/21/08 #15/16 Maryland L, 65-74
1/25/09 James Madison L, 67-72
11/13/09 #2/2 Stanford L, 56-89
11/23/09 NC State L, 52-62
Not only are the Lady Monarchs just seven wins shy of 100 in the Constant Center, but the Old Dominion women's basketball program is just nine wins shy of 900 at the start of its 41st year. Old Dominion women's basketball boasts an all-time record of 891-305 (.745) in 40 years of play. Head Coach Wendy Larry is also approaching yet another milestone, just 30 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.