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Old Dominion Versus Georgia AP Preview

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 13, 2002
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March 13, 2002

GAME: No. 10 Georgia (19-10) vs. No. 7 Old Dominion (25-5).
REGIONAL: Mideast, First Round.
TIME: Saturday, 11:05 a.m. EST.
SITE: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.

Georgia isn't as dominating as it has been in prior seasons, but this NCAA tournament berth is perhaps one of its more cherished.

The Lady Bulldogs, one of the younger teams in the field of 64, look to hold true to the tournament standards of their past squads as they take on Old Dominion.

It was a disappointing season by Georgia standards, going only 6-8 in the Southeastern Conference, but the squad still made the NCAA tournament for the 19th time in 21 seasons.

"This is the most excited reaction of any team we've had about getting in the tournament," coach Andy Landers said. "I don't know if they were scared we wouldn't get in or not.

"I felt like all year long that we were good enough, but when it goes to a committee you're never sure what they might do."

Georgia has a storied tournament history, at 35-17 all-time. The Lady Bulldogs lost to Old Dominion in the 1985 national championship game. The last time they failed to make the NCAA tournament was in 1994.

The Lady Bulldogs, who returned only one starter from last season, have a roster that includes seven freshman.

Senior forward Tawana McDonald is the only holdover from last year's team, which, as a No. 2 seed in the East, was upset at home in the second round by Missouri. McDonald averages 5.6 rebounds per game.

The Lady Bulldogs' featured player is Kara Braxton. The 6-foot-6 center is the SEC's freshman of the year, leading the team with 16.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.7 steals per game.

Old Dominion is in the tournament after defeating North Carolina-Wilmington 76-48 Saturday for its 11th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association title.

The Lady Monarchs are led by CAA player of the year Lucienne Berthieu, who tops the team with 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Berthieu, a three-time conference player of the year who missed all of last season with an ACL injury, shoots 58 percent from the field, which is 12th in the nation.

Old Dominion has won each of the two meetings between the teams.

The winner faces either Purdue or Austin Peay in the second round Monday.

PROBABLE STARTERS:

Old Dominion - F Monique Coker (9.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg), F Hamchetou Maiga (11.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg), C Lucienne Berthieu (13.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg), G Tiffany Thompson (5.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg), G Sharron Francis (7.5 ppg, 5.5 apg).

Georgia - F McDonald (7.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg), F Ebony Felder (8.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg), C Kara Braxton (16.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg), G Mary Beth Lycett (7.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg), G Camille Murphy (5.1 ppg, 3.9 apg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Old Dominion - Automatic bid, Colonial Athletic Association champion.

Georgia - At-large bid, Southeastern Conference.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD:

Old Dominion - 29-17, 19 years.

Georgia - 35-17, 18 years.

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