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Women's Basketball Opens CAA Slate At Virginia Commonwealth Thursday

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: January 03, 2007
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Jan. 3, 2007

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• RADIO: For the 16th-straight season ESPN Radio (1310 am - Norfolk, Va.) will be broadcasting all the Lady Monarch contests. Thirteen-time sportscaster of the Year Tony Mercurio will call all the action. Former Lady Monarch and ODU Hall of Fame inductee, Adrienne Goodson and former assistant coach Susan Montgomery will join Mercurio and add color commentary at all home games at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. A monthly fee of $6.95 through the College Pass program, which also provides the audio and video broadcasts of over 100 colleges and universities, will allow fans to listen to the broadcast online at www.odusports.com.

• LIVESTATS: Log onto vcurams.vcu.edu for livestats of Thursday's game.

• ABOUT OLD DOMINION: The Old Dominion women's basketball team returned to the win column last Saturday afternoon at the Ted Constant Convocation Center with a 72-55 victory over Rutgers, a team receiving votes in both national polls. The win snapped a three-game ODU losing streak as the Lady Monarchs improved to 4-7 closing out the non-conference portion of its schedule. It was the first game in seven tries that that Old Dominion walked away the winner against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today polls. The visiting Scarlet Knights held a 12-point, 25-13, lead with 5:41 left in the first before the Lady Monarch came storming back. Senior Sherida Triggs sparked a 16-2 run with the traditional three-point play to tie the game at 29-29 with with 2:18 remaining in the half. Rutgers did manage to close out the half on a 6-0 run and entered the locker room ahead, 35-29. Rutgers led by as many as eight in the second half, but after the Knights went ahead 45-37 advantage, Old Dominion took over the game. From that point, the Lady Monarchs would outscore the Scarlet Knights, 35-10. Old Dominion would go on to take a 17-2 run holding Rutgers without a field goal for over five minutes. The Scarlet Knights would only score six more points in the game over the final 9:50. Down the stretch Rutgers was held to only one field goal and shot just 4-of-10 from the free throw line. Triggs nearly collected a double-double as she poured in 14 points and hauled in a game and season-high nine rebounds. Overall four Lady Monarchs registered double figures. Senior Tish Lyons came off the bench to tie Triggs with a team-high 14. Junior T.J. Jordan and sophomore Tiffany Green each scored 10.

LADY MONARCH MOMENTS:
• The Lady Monarchs open up the CAA portion of its 2006-07 schedule by traveling to Virginia Commonwealth. Old Dominion is 15-0 in CAA openers since joining the league in the 1991-92 season.

• Old Dominion closed out the non-conference schedule with a 4-7 mark having taken on three ranked squads, two from the top five, and four teams receiving votes in either or both nationals polls.

• The Lady Monarchs are looking for their first road win of the season after suffering five straight losses on the road. On the other hand, Old Dominion is 4-2 in the friendly confines of the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

• Thursday's game at Virginia Commonwealth marks the beginning of ODU's journey towards its 16th straight CAA title. The Lady Monarchs have won 15 titles, one for every year they have been in the CAA since joining the league in the 1991-92 season.

• In NCAA stats, junior guard T.J. Jordan ranks fifth nationally in three-pointers made averaging 3.2 per game. Junior center Tay Ransburg is 90th in blocked shots swatting away an average of 1.5 per outing.

• Old Dominion is coming off a 72-55 win over Rutgers last Saturday in its non-conference finale. The Lady Monarchs over came a 12-point first half deficit and outscored the Scarlet Knights 43-20 in the second half. Senior forward Sherida Triggs nearly collected a double-double as she poured in 14 points and hauled in a season-high nine rebounds.

l• Old Dominion shot 47.9 percent against the Scarlet Knights including a blistering 52.2 percent in the second half. Rutgers was held to 22.2 percent shooting from floor in half number two after hitting 48.1 percent in the first half.

• ABOUT VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH: The Virginia Commonwealth Rams enter Thursday night's contest with a 7-4 overall mark and 0-1 CAA record and are coming off a 69-43 victory over Longwood last Saturday that snapped a four-game losing streak. Virginia Commonwealth already has one CAA contest under its belt, dropping a 63-73 match-up against James Madison in Harrisonburg back on December 3rd. The Rams have a duo averaging double figure scoring. Junior forward Krystal Vaughn leads her squad with 17.5 points per game and a team second best 7.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore center Quanitra Hollingsworth is pouring in an average of 12.4 points per game and hauling in a team-leading 8.9 boards per game. Hollingsworth is a Hampton Roads native from Chesapeake and is only 18 years old and in her third year at Virginia Commonwealth. She graduated Great Bridge High School at the age of 15 and redshirted her first year with the Rams.

• SERIES WITH VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH: The Lady Monarchs hold a 48-8 record in the all-time series with the Rams with Old Dominion winning the last six outings and 25 of the last 26. The ODU and VCU rivalry dates back to the 1969-70 season where the two teams squared off against each other each season until 1979. The rivalry renewed when VCU joined ODU in the Sun Belt Conference and continued when the Rams joined the CAA for the 1995-96 season. More recently, the Rams snapped a 35-game CAA win streak back on February 6th, 2003 at the Siegel Center. Old Dominion fell, 56-67, in their first CAA loss in nearly two years. Since then, the Lady Monarchs have rattled off six straight wins over Virginia Commonwealth, including a 94-66 victory in their last meeting back on February 24th of last season.

• LAST TIME VS. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH: Junior Tish Lyons (Newport News, VA) set a career-high with 22 points to lead the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs to a 93-65 win over rival Virginia Commonwealth on February 24th at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Sophomore Shahida Williams added her second career double-double with 14 points and ten boards. A traditional three-point play by Lyons with 10:11 to go gave the Lady Monarchs their largest lead of the first half at 21-10. After a Lyons trey gave ODU a 28-18 advantage, six points scored by Krystal Vaughn helped bring the Lady Rams within striking distance at 30-27 with 2:58 remaining in the half. The half would end on a three-pointer by sophomore T.J Jordan that took the score to 39-31 heading into the locker room. The second half would belong to Old Dominion, as the team shot a sizzling .767% from the field and scored 55 points. Sherida Triggs scored six points during a second half opening 18-7 run that lasted until the 13:59 mark. ODU would continue to build their lead as it seemed as though the team could not miss a bucker, grabbing a 29 point advantage (75-46) with 8:16 left in the game. A layup by Williams gave the Lady Monarchs their biggest lead of the night at 94-62 with a little over a minute left in the game. During ODU's second half explosion, every active Lady Monarch on the roster scored at least two points. The team also out rebounded VCU 28-12 during the half, and 49-35 for the game. Including Lyons, five Lady Monarchs scored in double figures on the night. Triggs scored 11 points and hauled in seven rebounds, Lawona Davis scored 10 points off 5-of-6 shooting, Jordan nailed three treys and scored 13 points, while Williams added her 14 and ten boards. Davis and Triggs both scored all of their point totals exclusively in the second half. Old Dominion's 94 points were their largest output of the season. Vaughan scored 25 points and added five rebounds to lead the Virginia Commonwealth effort. Freshman center and Chesapeake native Quanitra Hollingsworth notched a double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds, but fouled out for the second consecutive time matching up with ODU.

• COMPARE AND CONTRAST:
ODU - VCU
66.5 - Scoring - 64.4
.403 - Field Goal Percentage - . 399
.297 - 3PT Field Goal Percentage - .288
.619 - Free Throw Percentage - .668
41.5 - Rebounds Per Game - 41.0
13.4. - Assists Per Game - 13.4
22.0 - Turnovers Per Game - 19.4
8.9 - Steals Per Game - 7.2
5.0 - Blocks Per Game - 2.8

• RANK 'EM UP: Old Dominion got its first win in seven attempts over a team either ranked for receiving votes in the AP or USA Today Poll with a 72-55 win over Rutgers. Meanwhile, Tennessee marked the third ranked team, and second in the Top Five, the Lady Monarchs faced this season. The Lady Monarchs have already faced Kentucky, falling to a #21 (AP)/24 (ESPN/USA Today) Wildcat squad 55-69 in their home opener back on November 18th, fell 40-89 to #5 Duke on their home court on November 30th, and was defeated by #5 Tennessee 59-75, although the game was tied with just 1:31 left in the first half. Virginia, Penn State, and Middle Tennessee along CAA rivals Hofstra and Delaware have also been seen in the "receiving votes" categories in both polls. Old Dominion fell 72-92 at Virginia in the season opener, lost at Penn State, 77-80, despite overcoming a 20-point second half deficit, and was edged out 71-86 by Middle Tennessee.

• ENDING AND BEGINNING WITH RUTGERS:Last season, guard Jen Nuzzo's season ended right before ODU's match-up at Rutgers with a stress fracture in her leg. This season, Nuzzo had a coming out party of sorts against the Scarlet Knights. Nuzzo served as a spark plug off the bench as the Lady Monarchs were down by 12 points in the first half. She ended the game with five points, two assists, three rebounds, and a steal in 16 minutes of action in what has been perhaps her best effort to date.

• CAA OPENERS: Old Dominion is looking to become 16-0 in CAA openers when they take on Virginia Commonwealth Thursday night. Here's how the Lady Monarchs have done in their last 15 CAA openers, three of which have come against the Rams:
91-92 at William & Mary W, 70-51
92-93 at George Mason W, 81-48
93-94 VCU W, 80-49
94-95 at VCU W, 71-54
95-96 at Richmond W, 79-36
96-97 Richmond W, 89-53
97-98 at William & Mary W, 94-53
98-99 at UNC-W W, 104-60
99-00 at UNC-W W, 84-65
00-01 at UNC-W W, 74-59
01-02 Towson W, 82-26
02-03 UNC-W W, 71-58
03-04 at William & Mary W, 75-58
04-05 at James Madison W, 70-58
05-06 at VCU W, 82-62

• CAA HOME OPENERS: Old Dominion is 14-1 in CAA openers including a 3-1 mark at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Here's how the Lady Monarchs have done in their last 15 CAA home openers:
91-92 James Madison W, 64-62
92-93 Richmond W, 75-51
93-94 VCU W, 80-49
94-95 James Madison W, 68-64
95-96 American W, 94-39
96-97 Richmond W, 89-53
97-98 Richmond W, 80-58
98-99 VCU W, 80-48
99-00 Richmond W, 108-67
00-01 American W, 86-41
01-02 Towson W, 82-26
02-03 UNC-W W, 71-58
03-04 Towson W, 87-34
04-05 Delaware L, 70-73
05-06 Hofstra W, 71-57

• STARTING FIVE:With the Lady Monarch roster as deep as it is in recent memory, its hard to pick just which Lady Monarch will get the starting nod. Through eleven games, nine different starting combos have been used with Sherida Triggs being the only Lady Monarch to have started every single game. The line-up of Triggs, Tay Ransburg, Shahida Williams, T.J. Jordan, and Jazzmin Walters have started the last two games against Tennessee and Rutgers.

• CAA HOME OPENERS: Since the doors opened at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in 2002, the Lady Monarchs have enjoyed a 57-12 record.
Ranked Wins At The Constant Center:
11/25/03 - #7 Penn State - W, 75-68
12/7/03 - #12/13 UNC - W, 73-68
12/5/04 - #16/19 Rutgers - W, 69-61

Losses At The Constant Center:
11/22/02 - Virginia - L, 55-63
1/7/03 - #5 Tennessee - L, 63-91
1/31/03 - Rutgers - L, 59-67
3/22/03 - Boston College (NCAA) - L, 72-73
1/2/05 - #8 Tennessee - L, 58-68
1/9/05 - Delaware - L, 70-73
11/20/05 - #1/2 Duke - L, 56-93
12/4/05 - #19/20 Vanderbilt - L, 77-82
12/29/05 - #5 North Carolina - L, 80-88 (OT)
3/19/06 - George Washington (NCAA) - L, 72-87
11/18/06 - #21/24 Kentucky - L, 55-69
12/22/05 - #5 Tennessee - L, 59-75

• ATTENDANCE AT THE TED: 7,108 people came through the turnstiles at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the afternoon of December 22nd against Tennessee making the game the third highest attended women's basketball game since the arena opened in 2002.
TOP WBB ATTENDANCE AT THE CONSTANT CENTER
1. Tennessee 1/7/03 - 7,758
2. Virginia 11/22/02 - 7,316
3. Tennessee 12/22/06 - 7,108
4. Tennessee 1/2/05 - 7,063
5. George Washington (NCAA) 3/19/06 - 6,847
6. Rutgers 1/31/03 - 6,384

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