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Lady Monarchs Look To Rebound Against Virginia Commonwealth

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: November 23, 2001
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Nov. 23, 2001

TODAY'S GAME No. 16/17 Old Dominion Lady Monarchs(1-1. 1-0 CAA) vs. Virginia Commonwealth Rams(0-1, 0-0 CAA) Friday, November 23, 2001 Siegel Center, Richmond, VA


POSSIBLE STARTING LINE-UPS:

Old Dominion: Name: Pos: Cl: Ht: PPG: RPG: Okeisha Howard G Jr. 5-5 13.5 2.5 Sharron Francis G Sr. 5-8 10.5 2.0 Tiffany Thompson C Sr. 6-3 4.5 1.5 Lucienne Berthieu F Sr. 6-2 6.0 6.0 Hamchetou Maiga F Sr. 6-1 13.5 4.0

Virginia Commonwealth: Name: Pos: Cl: Ht: PPG: RPG: Meagan Evans G So. 5-9 0.0 1.0 ShaVohn McKinnon G Sr. 5-10 9.0 4.0 Candice Phelps C Jr. 6-1 2.0 3.0 Kristine Austgulen F Jr. 6-0 10.0 6.0 Rochelle Luckett G Sr. 5-7 7.0 3.0

ABOUT THE LADY MONARCHS: The Lady Monarchs (16th - USA Today/ESPN, 17th - AP) enter their second conference match-up of the year, traveling to Richmond to face CAA rival Virginia Commonwealth. Old Dominion, coming off a 62-68 loss to Virginia Tech on Monday night, will be looking to keep their 16-game unbeaten streak against the Rams alive.

ABOUT THE OPPONENT: The VCU Rams will be appearing in just their second game of the season following a 40-62 loss to UMBC in the season opener. At the half, the Rams were trailing by just five points (23-28), but went on to watch the Retrievers outscore them 34-17 in the second half to seal the victory. In the game, VCU was led by junior forward Kristine Austgulen who netted 10 points, the lone Ram in double figures. On the boards, senior ShaVohn McKinnon and rookie Lauren Hogan each grabbed four rebounds apiece.

NHASSENGO UPDATE: Junior college transfer Evelina "Max" Nhassengo will not suit up against the Rams tonight. Nhassengo injured her left knee during practice last Thursday evening following a collision. She underwent a MRI last Friday afternoon which determined injury to her media collateral ligament (MCL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). No timetable for Nhassengo's return has been set.

ODU VS. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH: The Lady Monarchs hold a commanding 40-6 all-time series record against Virginia Commonwealth. The rivalry began back in the Lady Monarchs first varsity season in 1969-70 where Old Dominion took both games play, a 49-36 win in Richmond and a 60-49 victory in Norfolk. The Lady Monarchs have won the last 16 consecutive meetings with the last loss to the Rams back in the 1992-93 season. That year the Rams used a 72-67 edge to break 15-game losing streak against the Lady Monarchs. Since VCU joined the CAA back in 1995, Old Dominion holds a 14-0 record in league play. These two teams have squared away two times in the conference tournament. Old Dominion was victorious in both outings taking a 86-61 win in 1998 and a 58-45 victory in 1999.

ODU VS. CAA: The Lady Monarchs hold a 158-21 record against teams currently in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Lady Monarchs have faced James Madison more times in school history than any other team in the league with 50 match ups. Virginia Commonwealth is a close second with tonight's game marking the 47th meeting between the Rams and Lady Monarchs. The Lady Monarchs currently post undefeated records against three teams in the league: George Mason (26-0), UNC-Wilmington (23-0), and Towson (1-0). Old Dominion has yet to face CAA newcomers Delaware, Drexel, and Hofstra.

Delaware: 0-0 	          UNC - Wilmington:  23-0
Drexel:  0-0 	          Towson:  1-0
George Mason: 26-0 	  Virginia Commonwealth:  40-6
Hofstra:  0-0 	          William and Mary:  30-3
James Madison:  38-12

FAMILY AFFAIR: Old Dominion's Sharron Francis and VCU's Rochelle Luckett have a lot in common. Both are seniors, guards, and among the leading scorers for their respective teams. What they also share is family. Francis and Luckett are cousins.

INTRA-STATE RIVALS: Old Dominion holds a 280-58 record against fellow Virginia schools. Head Coach Wendy Larry has compiled a 132-18 against intra-state rivals. Since becoming a varsity sport in 1969, Old Dominion has had 13 undefeated season against Virginia schools. Five schools from the state of Virginia grace this year's schedule (Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, James Madison, and William and Mary). To date, the Lady Monarch hold a 0-1 record, with the last game being a 62-68 loss to Virginia Tech. Last season, the Lady Monarchs posted a 12-3 record against schools from the Commonwealth.

THE NON-CONFERENCE SLATE: Monday's game marked the first 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.

MAIGA MOVES UP: Senior forward Hamchetou Maiga recently moved up the all-time scoring list. She currently stands in 16th place among all-time Lady Monarch scoring leaders with 1,113 points. She needs 162 more to surpass Kim McQuarter (1985-89) for the 15th slot.

ROAD TRIP: The Lady Monarchs are in the midst of a three-game road trip. Old Dominion heads to Richmond to face the Virginia Commonwealth Rams and follows with a trip to Raleigh, NC to face N.C. State. The Lady Monarchs return home on Sunday, December 2nd to host North Carolina.

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

TEN FINGERS, TEN RINGS: Prior to last 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: Four opponents on this year's 2001-02 schedule are ranking in the top 25 of the USA Today/ESPN or AP Poll. The Lady Monarch will face the two top teams in the poll, Connecticut and Tennessee, as well as #10 N.C. State and #23 Penn State. Rutgers, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and James Madison are also on the Lady Monarchs slate this season. Each of those teams received votes in one of the polls.

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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