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Lady Monarchs Begin Non-Conference Slate

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: November 18, 2001
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Nov. 18, 2001

TODAY'S GAME Old Dominion Lady Monarchs vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Monday, November 19, 2001 Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

POSSIBLE STARTING LINE-UPS:

Old Dominion: Name: Pos: Cl: Ht: PPG: RPG: Okeisha Howard G Jr. 5-5 18.0 2.0 Sharron Francis G Sr. 5-8 8.0 2.0 Tiffany Thompson C Sr. 6-3 6.0 3.0 Lucienne Berthieu F Sr. 6-2 3.0 4.0 Hamchetou Maiga F Sr. 6-1 15.0 2.0

Virginia Tech: Name: Pos: Cl: Ht: PPG: RPG: Emily Lipton G Jr. 5-5 10.0 1.0 Mollie Owings G Sr. 5-4 4.0 1.0 Christina Strother C Jr. 5-8 6.0 4.0 Sarah Hicks F Sr. 6-0 21.0 8.0 Ieva Kublina F So. 6-0 1.0 7.0

ABOUT THE LADY MONARCHS: The 18th ranked Lady Monarchs will head to Blacksburg, Virginia for their first non-conference and road game of the 2000-01 season. Old Dominion is fresh off its home and conference opener, an 82-26 thrashing of CAA newcomer Towson. The Lady Monarchs are led by junior guard Okeisha Howard, who netted 18 points in Friday night's victory. Senior Hamchetou Maiga checks in with 15.0 ppg. Sophomore Monique Coker currently leads the Lady Monarchs in the rebounding department with 7.0 rpg.

NHASSENGO UPDATE: Junior college transfer Evelina "Max" Nhassengo will not suit up against the Hokies tonight. Nhassengo injured her left knee during practice on Thursday evening following a collision. She underwent a MRI on Friday afternoon which determined injury to her media cruciate ligament (MCL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Nhassengo's MRI will be further evaluated on Monday to determine the extent of her injury and timetable for return.

A BACKGROUND ON THE OPPONENT: The Virginia Tech women's basketball team opened the 2001-02 season with a 76-62 victory over former Old Dominion CAA foe, Richmond, Friday night in Cassell Coliseum. Redshirt senior Chrystal Starling led the team with he 21-point, 10-rebound performance. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson, enters her fifth year at the helm of the Hokie program, after guiding Virginia Tech to a 92-33 record, three trips to the NCAA Tournament and one appearance in the WNIT, four 20+ win seasons and a fourth-place finish in their inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference. Last season, the Hokies finished 22-9 overall and 11-5 in league play.

ODU VS. VIRGINIA TECH: The Lady Monarchs and Hokies renew their intra-state rivalry this afternoon, taking to the court in the 25th match-up. Old Dominion holds the all-time series advantage with a 21-3 record, but the Hokies have won the last two meetings. Virginia Tech broke a six-game winning streak with a 76-63 win back in the 1992-93 season and took a 69-52 victory last season. Both games were play at the Fieldhouse. On the road in Blacksburg, Old Dominion holds an 8-0 record. The last meeting on the Hokies' home court was in the 1991-92 season with Old Dominion taking a 71-55 victory.

ODU VS. BIG EAST: Virginia Tech begins just its second season playing basketball in the BIG EAST. Virginia Tech is one of four opponents from the BIG EAST that Old Dominion will play. The Lady Monarchs host Seton Hall on Dec. 14th and Connecticut right after Christmas on December 29th at the Fieldhouse and travel to New Jersey to face Rutgers on Feb. 1st. Against the BIG EAST, Old Dominion holds a 62-17

          Boston College: 1-0	                     St. John's:  5-0
          Connecticut:  1-3		             Seton Hall :  1-0
          Georgetown:  1-0		             Syracuse:  7-3
          Miami:  3-0		                     Villanova:  1-0
          Pittsburgh:  3-0		             VA Tech:  21-3
          Rutgers:  10- 7 		             West Virginia:  3-0

INTRA-STATE RIVALS: Old Dominion holds a 280-57 record against fellow Virginia schools. Head Coach Wendy Larry has compiled a 132-17 against intra-state rivals. Since becoming a varsity sport in 1969, Old Dominion has had 13 undefeated season against Virginia schools. Last season, the Lady Monarchs posted a 12-3 record against schools from the Commonwealth.

QUICK CONNECTION: Joe Mathews, head coach of Towson who the Lady Monarchs opened the 2001-02 season with, was a former Hokie assistant. Mathews patrolled the Virginia Tech sidelines from 1997-2001 helping the Hokies to three-20 win seasons.

THE NON-CONFERENCE SLATE: Today's game will mark one of nine non-conference contests for the Lady Monarchs. Never shying away from a tough slate, all but one opponent (Seton Hall) is either ranked or has received votes in the current AP and USA TODAY/ESPN Poll. Last season, Old Dominion registered a 4-7 record against non-CAA opponents.

ROAD TRIP: The Lady Monarchs take to the road for Blacksburg, Virginia in their first contest away from the friendly confines of the Old Dominion Fieldhouse. This season, Old Dominion will play in 13 away matches. Last year, the Lady Monarchs went 10-3 on the road and 0-2 at neutral sites.

OPENING THE SEASON: The Lady Monarchs have compiled a 25-8 record in season openers. Under Wendy Larry, the Lady Monarchs hold an 12-3 record in season opening games. The 82 points netted by Old Dominion was the largest opening point total by the team since they started the 1999-2000 season with a 91-64 victory over Hampton Roads rival, Hampton. The largest season opening total by the Lady Monarch was against Virginia Union with a 122-62 win.

CONFERENCE OPENER: The Lady Monarchs wasted no time in starting the conference season. The opening regular season game against Towson, also marked the first game in CAA play. It marked the first time in school history that Old Dominion has opened the season with a league game. Although the Lady Monarchs opened against Virginia Commonwealth in 1991 (W, 77-67) and 1992 (L, 67-72), the Rams did not join the CAA until the 1995-96 season.

CONFERENCE OPENERS: The Lady Monarchs are 11-0 in Colonial Athletic Association Conference openers.

1991:	William & Mary	        W, 70-51
1992:	at George Mason	        W, 81-48
1993:	at Richmond	        W, 87-66
1994:	James Madison	        W, 68-64
1995:	at Richmond	        W, 79-36
1996:	Richmond	        W, 89-53
1997:	at William and Mary	W, 94-53
1998:	at Richmond	        W, 104-97
1999:	at UNC-Wilmington 	W, 84-65
2000:	UNC-Wilmington	        W, 74-59
2001:	Towson	                W, 82-26

D-D-D-DEFENSE: The Lady Monarchs allowed Towson to net just 29 points in the season opening victory over the Tigers on Friday night. It was the lowest point total by an opponent since a 83-32 victory over UNC-Wilmington (2/15) and a 78-32 win over William and Mary (2/22) last year. The Tigers netted just 10 points in the first half establishing new Lady Monarch record for fewest points scored in a half by an opponent. The previous record was 11 at James Madison on December 13, 1972.

TIGER TUMBLE: Old Dominion held the Towson Tigers to just 29 points on Friday night. It marked the lowest output by a Tiger team in the school's history. The previous record was 34 , recorded in a 83-34 loss to Vermont last year.

MAIGA ON THE ASSIST: Old Dominion senior Hamchetou Maiga tied her career high with seven assists against Towson on Friday. Maiga also dished out the ball seven times during last year's NCAA run in the tournament's first round against Washington. It also marks the most assist my Maiga in CAA play.

REJECTED: Myriah Spense tied her career high blocking total with two rejections against Towson in the 2001-02 season opener against Towson. Spense also swatted away two opponent shots last season against George Mason on February 25th.

TEN FINGERS, TEN RINGS: Prior to Friday's tip-off, the Lady Monarchs received their CAA Championship rings. The Lady Monarch have won an NCAA record 10 straight championship titles since joining the CAA during the 1991-92 season.

FAREWELL TO THE FIELDHOUSE: Friday night's season opener for the Old Dominion women's team in the Fieldhouse. 12 more games (excluding CAA Tournament action) will be playing in the confines of the Fieldhouse before moving over to the new, state-of-the-art, Ted E. Constant Convocation Center. Throughout the year, Old Dominion will be celebrating the three decades of Lady Monarch history and tradition on the hardwood:

12/2	vs. UNC		70's night
1/20	vs. Drexel	80's night
2/17	vs. JMU		90's night
3/1	vs. WM		Farewell to the Fieldhouse

Log on to www.odusports.com to find out more information on the new home of the Lady Monarchs scheduled to open in the fall of 2002.

WHO ARE THESE GUYS: The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs have never faced any of the four new CAA teams on the hardwood before. Here's the dates for the first meetings in the schools history:

11/16	vs. Towson	W, 82-26
1/11	at Delaware
1/17	vs. Hofstra
1/20	vs. Drexel

FRESH FACES: Max Nhassengo and Shareese Grant each put in fine performances in their first exhibition showing against Remus Powerbasket. Nhassengo was 6-of-14 from the floor with 14 points in just 17 minutes of action. Grant poured in nine points in just 11 minutes on 4-of-7 shooting.

SCHEDULING THE TOP 25: Five opponents on this year's 2001-02 schedule are ranking in the top 25 of the USA Today/ESPN Poll. The Lady Monarch will face the two top teams in the poll, Connecticut and Tennessee, as well as #11 N.C. State, #19 Penn State, and #23 Rutgers. North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and James Madison are also on the Lady Monarchs slate this season. Each of those teams received votes in the poll.

ANOTHER NEW FACE: The Lady Monarchs added Kelly Hill, a walk-on from Louisiana to this year's roster. Hill, who averaged 15 points and seven rebounds at De La Salle High School, will be wearing number 15.

WE'RE PICKED NUMBER ONE: Old Dominion was the unanimous choice of the media to win the 2001-02 CAA women's basketball championship in a vote taken Wednesday at CAA basketball media day at the ESPNZone in Baltimore. ODU senior forward Lucienne Berthieu, who missed all of last season with a knee injury after earning CAA Player of the Year honors in 1999 and 2000, was selected as CAA Preseason Player of the Year for 2002. Joining her on the preseason All-CAA squad were teammates Hamchetou Maiga, the 2001 CAA Player of the Year and Okeisha Howard, James Madison junior forward Nadine Morgan and Virginia Commonwealth senior guard Rochelle Luckett.

CAA Women's Basketball Preseason Poll (as selected by the media)

1. Old Dominion (14 first-place votes) 2. James Madison 3. George Mason 4. Delaware 5. Drexel 6. Virginia Commonwealth 7. William and Mary 8. Hofstra 9. UNC Wilmington 10. Towson

Preseason All-CAA Women's Basketball Team

Lucienne Berthieu, Sr., F, Old Dominion Hamchetou Maiga, Sr., F, Old Dominion Okeisha Howard, Jr., G, Old Dominion Nadine Morgan, Jr., F, James Madison Rochelle Luckett, Sr., G, Virginia Commonwealth

Player of the Year: Lucienne Berthieu

TURNER TO MISS 2001-02 SEASON: Lady Monarch red-shirt freshman Corrina Turner will sit out the 2001-2002 basketball season after suffering a knee injury during a pick-up game. A MRI performed confirmed that Turner has torn her ACL on the same knee that caused her to sit out most of the 2000-2001 season.

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