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CAA Action Continues As Lady Monarchs Host Hofstra, Travel To Drexel

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 11, 2006
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Jan. 11, 2006

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About Old Dominion: The Old Dominion women's basketball team closed out the 2005-06 non-conference portion of its schedule and began its quest in defending its CAA crown last week. The Lady Monarchs' non-conference schedule began just as it started, tackling the nation's top team. Old Dominion opened the 2005-06 season back on November 20th against #1 Duke and ended it on January 2nd at #1 Tennessee. Although the Lady Monarchs fell to the Lady Vols for the 10th straight time, the 83-67 final score was not indicative of how close the game really was. Old Dominion trailed by only six with 7:17 left in the game and gained the lead twice in the first half. Sophomore T.J. Jordan led the three Lady Monarch double figure scorers with 17 points with all but two points coming from three-point range along a team-high five rebounds. The non-conference schedule came to a close with the Lady Monarchs earning a 2-7 overall mark, however six of the seven losses came against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the nation polls including four in the Top Ten. The Lady Monarchs followed the loss by opening up CAA action against Virginia Commonwealth and William & Mary, collecting two straight victories for the first time this season and snapping a three-game losing streak. Last Friday night, the Lady Monarchs won their 15th CAA opener with an 82-62 victory at Virginia Commonwealth. Junior Tish Lyons , who was held to only four points against the Lady Vols the game before, ignited for a game-high 18 points. Additionally, Jordan added in 15, with all her points coming from long range. Freshman Jazzmin Walters went a perfect 6-of-6 from the line and also dished out five assists. On Sunday, Old Dominion got past William & Mary, 77-68, in their closest game since 1992. The Lady Monarchs held a 38-24 lead at the half, but the Tribe outscored them, 44-39, in half number two. Jordan and junior Sherida Triggs led Old Dominion with 13 points apiece, while sophomore Shahida Williams came off the bench for 11. Walters, meanwhile, went a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

About Hofstra: The Pride of Hofstra University enters the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Friday with an 8-4 overall record and are one of hree teams left in the CAA with an undefeated conference mark at 3-0. After a 49-86 loss at #8 Connecticut, the Pride has rattled off four consecutive wins, which include Harvard, Northeastern, Towson and Drexel. Hofstra finished non-conference action with a 5-4 record. On the stat sheet, the Pride is led by junior center Vanessa Gidden with 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. In her three CAA appearances, Gidden is averaging a double-double of 16.0 points and 11.3 rebounds. Junior Cigi McCollin is the other Pride member averaging double digits, pouring in an average of 13.0 points per game.

The Series With Hofstra: Old Dominion holds a 9-1 record in the all-time series with Hofstra, as the two teams have meet each year since the Pride joined the CAA back in the 2001-02 season. Hofstra's lone win in the series came on January 18th, 2004 as the Pride edged the Lady Monarchs, 72-74. Since that loss, the Lady Monarchs have collected four straight wins over the Pride including their last 100 point game with a 105-62 win at the Constant Center on February 12, 2004.

Last Time Vs. Hofstra: The Old Dominion women's basketball team took one step closer to its 14th straight CAA title as they defeated Hofstra, 87-68, in the quarterfinals of the 2005 CAA Women's Basketball Championship back on March 10, 2005. Old Dominion jumped out to an early lead but could not put the Pride away until well into the second half. ODU led 8-0 less than three minutes into the contest before sophomore swing player Lizanne Murphy got the Pride on the board with a pair of free throws. The Lady Monarchs extended their lead to 11 points at 18-7 on a Megan Pym bucket as seven different ODU players notched baskets in the opening 5:55 of play. Hofstra whittled away the ODU lead behind the play of Murphy and third team All-CAA center Vanessa Gidden. Murphy, a third team All-CAA selection as well, scored 10 of the Pride's first 20 points including a bucket at the 10:40 mark that cut the deficit to 20-14. Gidden followed with her fifth point of the half :15 later as the Pride got within four points. ODU stretched its lead back up to nine points on two occasions. ODU freshman forward Shahida Williams scored at the 6:30 mark to give the Lady Monarchs a 30-21 advantage. Gidden's 10th point of the half closed the deficit to 37-34 with :40 remaining in the first half and ODU went into the locker room with a 39-35 advantage. Hofstra scored the first four points of the second half to knot the score at 39-39 but the Lady Monarchs responded with six quick points forcing the Pride to call a timeout at the 18:10 mark while trailing, 45-39. Lawona Davis quieted the Hofstra contingent with three buckets in a 0:28 stretch to give ODU some temporary breathing room. A Tiffany Green layup extended the ODU lead to 47-39 but Hofstra answered with a pair of three-pointers from First Team All-CAA performer Cigi McCollin to cut the lead to 47-45 and force ODU to call a timeout of its own. A basket by Shareese Grant made it 49-45 before McCollin notched her third trey in a row to make it 49-48. Grant countered with a bucket at 15:29 and a three-point play at the 15:18 mark to give ODU a six-point lead. Hofstra cut the deficit to four points on three occasions before ODU shut down the Pride attack and put the game out of reach. A Murphy jumper reduced the lead to 59-55 at 13:18 but ODU clamped down on the tournament's #7-seed by holding them to just two field goals during a 23-4 run that pushed the advantage to 82-59, the #2 seed's biggest of the game. In recording its 14th consecutive 20-win season, ODU was paced by Davis' 18 points and seven rebounds. Grant added 17 and Green and sophomore forward Tish Lyons each notched 12 points. Sophomore forward Shahida Triggs recorded seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds. The Lady Monarchs outrebounded the Pride by a 53-34 margin and forced 22 Hofstra turnovers. McCollin put up 20 points for Hofstra while Murphy added 18 points and Gidden 12. Gidden and Murphy each recorded six rebounds for the Pride. The 87 points scored by the Lady Monarchs was the most in the women's tournament since ODU posted an 88-46 win over the Pride in the quarterfinals of the 2003 championship. ODU shot 50 percent for the game (38-76) while Hofstra managed just 39.3%.

About Drexel: The Dragons are 6-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play heading into this weekend. Drexel will host William & Mary on Friday before welcoming the Lady Monarchs to the Daskalakis Center on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons finished non-conference competition with a 5-4 mark and opened CAA play with a 51-58 home loss to Towson. Following the loss to the Tigers, Drexel picked up three straight victories with wins over LaSalle, UMBC, and Penn, and have since traded back and forth between the win loss columns. The Dragons fell to Howard, but then rebounded with a 71-43 at Northeastern for their first CAA win of the season, but followed with a 52-65 loss at Hofstra. Looking at the stat sheet, the Dragons are led by CAA Preseason Player of the Year Catherine Scanlon. Scanlon, a 5-11 senior, is averaging 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds entering this weekend's competition and is followed by 2005 CAA All-Rookie Team member Narissa Suber. Suber comes into the weekend averaging 13.3 points per game and shooting 38.4 percent from three-point range. Only a sophomore, Suber is already in second place on Drexel's all-time three-pointers made list with 106 treys in her career. Nicole Hester is also putting in double figures for the Dragons, scoring an average of 10.0 points to go along with 5.5 boards per game. Hester had a career-high five assists, seven steals, and two blocks in ODU's loss in Philadelphia last year.

The Series With Drexel: Old Dominion holds a 8-1 record against Drexel as these two teams became annual rivals when the Dragons enter the CAA conference for the 2001-02 season. The Dragons' lone victory came up the Daskalakis Center in the 2005 regular season finale with Drexel holding on to a 71-68 victory. However, in the rematch, Old Dominion edged out Drexel, 64-63, in the CAA Tournament semifinals en-route to the Lady Monarchs' 14th straight CAA title. The Lady Monarchs hold a 3-1 record at "The Dac," a place that has seen some close games between the two teams. Old Dominion thwarted a late second half comeback in 2003 with a 54-52 win.

Last Time Vs. Drexel: Old Dominion escaped with a narrow 64-63 win over fourth-seed Drexel in the semifinals of the 2005 CAA Tournament back on March 11, 2005 at the Patriot Center. It was the closest margin of victory in 40 tournament contests for ODU as the game came down to the final possession. George Mason took ODU to overtime in the 2002 semifinals but the Lady Monarchs prevailed 68-63. The game featured eight ties and 10 lead changes in the final 11 minutes of play. Three-time CAA Tournament Most Outstanding performer Shareese Grant drove the right side of the lane and was fouled by Candice Williams with 1:07 to go. Grant calmly stepped to the line and knocked down two foul shots in what proved to be the winning points of the contest. Lawona Davis attempted to collect a loose ball on the sideline with :17.2 remaining but she stepped out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Dragons. Katrina Martin drove the left side and had a shot blocked by freshman forward Tiffany Green, which resulted in another held ball and a Drexel possession with :5.8 on the clock. The Dragons called a timeout to set-up a play under their own basket and Old Dominion called a break of its own after the teams returned to the court. Nicole Hester attempted to inbound the ball to Martin who was momentarily open in the paint. The Lady Monarchs' Tish Lyons stepped in front and forced a tie-up. The possession arrow gave it back to ODU with :3.5 left. Anna Karlssom-Gonzalez fouled Grant before the ball was inbounded and sent the senior guard to the line for a one-and-one. Grant missed the front end but Green collected her game-high 11th rebound and was immediately fouled to earn a trip the line with :2.2 left. Green missed both attempts but Drexel was unable to gain possession as the horn sounded sending the Lady Monarchs to their 14th consecutive conference finals appearance. Sophomore forward Sherida Triggs had a team-high 11 points for ODU and Grant added 10 after going just 2-of-14 from the floor. Green and freshman guard TJ Jordan added nine apiece and Davis had eight to go along with a game-high five assists and three steals. The Lady Monarchs, who have dominated opponents on the glass this season, held a 46-26 advantage on the boards. Drexel was paced by Narissa Suber's game-high 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including four of nine from behind the arc. Catherine Scanlon had 13 points and seven rebounds and Martin had 11 points and seven rebounds. Jackie Falsom added 10 points for the Dragons.

Take A Kid To A Game Day: Friday night's game will be the annual "Take A Kid To A Game" night. Purchase a regular priced adult ticket and receive a free ticket for someone aged 17 or under to enjoy the Lady Monarchs taking on the Hofstra Pride.

Big Blue's B-Day: The Old Dominion Athletics Department would like to invite you and your family to Big Blue's Birthday Party! The party will take place prior to the Lady Monarchs game against Hofstra on Friday, January 13, 2006. The party starts at 6:15 p.m. in the kids' zone with the game beginning at 7:00 p.m. Complimentary cake and drinks will be provided for all the children. Many of Big Blue's other local mascot friends will be coming to celebrate his birthday, and will also join him at half-time for an entertaining game of basketball. Also, don't miss out on your opportunity to sign up for the Jr. Monarch Kids Club sponsored by Silver Diner and Radio Disney. Memberships are $15 for the first child and $10 for each additional sibling. Membership for children eighth grade and under includes a t-shirt, membership card, discounts to athletic events, member only events, and much more! If you have any other questions please call the Jr. Monarchs Kids Club hotline at 757.683.4357.

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