How Sweet It Is: ODU Women's Basketball Captures 16th Straight CAA Title
By ODU Athletics
March 11, 2007
NEWARK, Del. -- The Old Dominion women's basketball team did it again...for the 16th time that is. The top-seeded Lady Monarchs captured its NCAA record 16th Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title with a 78-70 victory over second-seeded James Madison Sunday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center. The Lady Monarchs advance to their 24th NCAA Tournament in school history.
Junior T.J. Jordan (Portsmouth, Va.) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year as she poured in 17 points in Sunday's win over James Madison and averaged 15 points per game over the three CAA Tournament games.
The junior guard went 4-of-6 from downtown and with her second three-point shot of the afternoon broke the school record for three's made in a season. The previous record of 97 was held by Aubrey Eblin (1997-98) with Jordan now writing her name into the history books with 100 career three's to her name. Additionally her three-point shooting prowess nailed a 40-ft shoot as time expired to give Old Dominion a 33-30 lead at the half.
Joining Jordan on the All-Tournament team was senior Sherida Triggs (Norcross, Ga.). Triggs had eight points and six rebounds in the tournament finale.
James Madison's Meredith Alexis and Shirley McCall were also named to the team along with Hofstra's Cigi McCollin and Delaware's Tyresa Smith.
The game began with Old Dominion establishing a 18-7 lead by the 13:43 mark of the first half fuled by six points from Triggs. However, James Madison came back going on a 9-0 over the next four and a half minutes to pull within two of the Lady Monarch lead.
The Lady Monarchs immediately responded with a Tiffany Green (Chesapeake, Va.) jumper and three-pointer from Jazzmin Walters (Norfolk, Va.) to push their lead to seven, 23-16, with 8:16 left in the half. A 10-0 run by the Dukes followed giving James Madison a 26-23 edge with 4:45 left in the half.
Jordan tied the game on the following play and over the next four and half minutes the game would be tied three times with James Madison never regaining the lead. Just as it look as if the half would end at a 30-30 stalemale, senior Tish Lyons (Newport News, Va.) inbounded the ball from the baseline with .5 seconds left on the game clock to Jordan where she lofted a 40-footer to put Old Dominion ahead 33-30.
The Dukes never led in the second half but did manage to pull within one four times. Tamera Young hit two free throws in the opening minute and a half to close the gap to 35-34, but back-to-back buckets by Jordan along with senior Shantel Wilson (Washington, D.C.) gave the Lady Monarchs an eight point, 42-34 lead with 17:30 left.
James Madison's Andrea Benvenuto pulled her team to within one for the second time at the second half's midway mark. Senior Tay Ransburg (Kansas City, Mo.), who had suffered a game-ending musclar knee injury the previous day, put her first points in of the afternoon to bump the Old Dominion lead back to three.
Two more times the Dukes would pull to within one with the final coming at the 8:33 mark as Alexis put away two free throws.
With 3:19 left in the game, Young put away a jumper as James Madison trailed 63-61, but Old Dominion used an 8-0 run to re-establish a double-digit lead put the game away for good.
Green joined Jordan in double figures for the Lady Monarchs adding 16 points along with seven boards. Wilson poured in 10 points, dished out four assists, and notched three steals.
All five James Madison starter finished the afternoon with double figures. Alexis led her squad with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Lesley Dickinson also poured in 17. All-Tournament selection McCall had 14, while Young collected 10 points and 10 boards in the loss.
Old Dominion will enter tournament action holding a 24-8 overall record.