Going For 16: Lady Monarchs Advance To CAA Tournament Championship Game With 76-59 Win Over Hofstra
By ODU Athletics
March 10, 2007
NEWARK, Del. -- The Old Dominion women's basketball team will have its shot for its 16th straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) women's basketball title after defeating fourth-seeded Hofstra in the semifinals, 76-59, Saturday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Lady Monarchs will take on second-seeded James Madison in the championship game on Sunday. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday's championship game will be aired by Comcast and will be available in the following markets: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (CSN-MA), Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia (CSN-P), Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) (tape delayed 3:00 PM), SportsNet New York (SNY), and CN8 (New England region only).
The Lady Monarchs were led by junior T.J. Jordan (Portsmouth, Va.) and senior Sherida Triggs (Norcross, Ga.) with 11 points each. Hofstra saw Cigi McCollin net a game-high 19 points in the loss, while Lizanne Murphy adding in 11.
Old Dominion opened the game outscoring Hofstra 12-4, but following a timeout, the Pride erased its deficit with three straight three's. McCollin hit two and Murphy hit another to give the Pride a 13-12 edge with 14:14 left in the first half. A 12-1 run followed for the Lady Monarchs as they would never relinquish the lead.
Ahead by nine, 30-21, with 4:33 on the clock, Old Dominion would close out the half outscoring Hofstra, 13-5, and take a 43-26 lead into the half.
The Lady Monarchs led by double digits the entire second half and Hofstra was not able to get any closer than 12 points. Another McCollin three closed the gap to 51-39 at the 13:45 mark but that would be as close as it would get.
CAA TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME NOTES:
The 15-time defending Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Old Dominion women's basketball team haven taken two steps closer in its quest for its 16th consecutive title with a 66-55 win over ninth-seeded Drexel in Friday's quarterfinals and a 76-59 win over fourth-seeded Hofstra in Saturday's semifinals.
Since joining the CAA in the 1991-92 season, Old Dominion has captured the league tournament title each season and owns a 46-0 record in CAA Tournament action. The Lady Monarchs moved to 15-0 in quarterfinal action with Friday's victory over Drexel and 16-0 in semifinals with the win over Hofstra on Saturday.
Junior guard T.J. Jordan's team-leading 17 points against Drexel moved her into 23rd on the ODU all-time scoring leaders list with 1,053 career points, surpassing Rhonda Rompola (1978-81). She needs 21 more points to move into 22nd place past WNBA fourth-round draftee Sharron Francis (1998-2002).
Jordan is also closing in on the three-point field goals made record at Old Dominion. The third year Lady Monarchs moved her career total to 96 with three treys in the CAA semifinals win over Hostra Aubrey Eblin still holds the record with 97 made shots from downtown during the 1997-98 season.
The Lady Monarchs, who entered tournament action shooting only 65.4 percent from the foul line, have gone 39-of-46 in tournament action to shoot 84.8 percent over the last two days. ODU shot 81.5 percent against the Pride (22-of-27) in the foul plagued game . Against the Dragons, the Lady Monarchs went 17-of-19 from the free throw line to hit 89.5 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, the second best performance in a game this season.
The Lady Monarchs will face the second-seeded James Madison Dukes in the title game. Old Dominion owns a 48-15 all-time record against James Madison with the teams spilting the season-series. The Lady Monarchs fell 50-79 to the 25th-ranked Dukes at the JMU Convocation Center in Harrisonburg in the first meeting back on Feb. 1st. In the rematch though it was the Lady Monarchs walking away the victors with a 62-57 win in Norfolk on Feb. 25th over the #22/25 Dukes.
It will be the eighth meeting between Old Dominion and James Madison in the CAA Tournament. Sunday's tournament final will mark the second consecutive season the two teams play each other for the automatic berth to the 64-team NCAA Tournament.
Sunday will be the fifth meeting with the Dukes in the championship game. The first ever meeting for the CAA Tournament title occured in 1994 with ODU picking up the upset over the top-seeded Dukes with a 63-44 win and followed with another meeting in 1995 with a 84-58 victory. The two teams also reached the finale in 2001 as ODU edged JMU 66-62. Last year, Old Dominion emerged with a 58-54 victory at the Patriot Center in Faifax, Va.
Seven of the 15 Lady Monarchs' appearances in the final have been decided by 10 points or less including the last four straight season (2003 vs. Delaware -W, 66-58; 2004 vs. George Mason - W, 85-81; 2005 vs. Delaware - 78-75 - OT; 2006 vs. James Madison - W, 58-54). Five of the Lady Monarchs' CAA Tournament championship game appearances have been decided by five points or less including the last three seasons.
Junior Tay Ransburg suffered a muscular knee injury during the second half of Saturday's semifinal against Hofstra. She is listed as questionable for Sunday's championship game.
Old Dominion is riding a 11-game win streak into the conference tournament final. It is the ninth highest current win streak in the nation. Lady Monarch non-conference opponent Middle Tennessee State owns the distinction of having the longest winning streak in the nation at 26 games. Old Dominion fell at Middle Tennessee, 71-86 in Murfreesboro back on Dec. 19th.