Vanderbilt, Boston College and Liberty Joining ODU For NCAA

March 16, 2003
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 16, 2003

The Old Dominion women's basketball program earned a 12th seed in the East Region of the 2003 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament to be held on March 22nd and 24th at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The Lady Monarchs will face the fifth seeded Boston College Eagles while the fourth seeded Vanderbilt Commodores will take on the 13th seeded Liberty Flames.

The fourth seeded Vanderbilt Commodores received an at-large bid to the tournament this year after a 78-69 loss at the hands of Southeastern Conference champs LSU in the semi-finals. The Commodores have compiled an overall mark of 21-9 with a league record of 9-5 this year. Senior center Chantelle Anderson has averaged a team-high 18.2 points with 5.1 rebounds per game while junior forward Jenni Benningfield is second on the team with 16.5 points per game along with a team-high 7.9 rebounds a game. Head Coach Melanie Balcomb is in her first year under the helm of Vanderbilt University after recording a 135-78 record with two A-10 Championships in seven seasons at Xavier University.

The Boston College Eagles earned an at-large bid as the fifth seed in this year's tournament after falling to Virginia Tech 74-70 in overtime of the quarterfinal round of the Big East Conference tournament. The Eagles are 20-8 for the year and went 12-4 in conference play. Sophomore guard Jessealyn Deveny is the team's leading scorer with 17.4 ppg. with 5.8 boards per contest while senior forward Becky Gottstein averages 15.3 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game. Cathy Inglese is the head coach for the Eagles and carries a 289-185 career record in 17 seasons with a 169-121 mark in her 10th campaign at BC. She has now led the Eagles to five 20 win seasons in the last six years.

Twelfth seeded Old Dominion comes in to the tournament fresh off a 66-58 victory over the University of Delaware on Saturday for their NCAA record 12th straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) finals. They are 21-10 overall for 2002-03 campaign and went 15-3 in conference play. Senior guard Okeisha Howard leads the team with 14.8 points per game and 4.61 assists per contest. Head Coach Wendy Larry, who is 428-155 in her career, now has 14 20+ wins seasons under her belt and will enter her 15th NCAA Tournament at Old Dominion.

The 13th seeded Liberty Flames won their seventh straight Big South Conference Championship and earned their first ever Top 25 ranking in the USAToday/ESPN/ WBCA Coaches Poll on March 11th. They are currently riding a 22 game winning streak and are 26-3 on the season after a perfect 14-0 record in their conference. Sophomore center Katie Feenstra was named the Big South's Player of the Year as she led her team in scoring (15.4), rebounds (9) and blocks (2.5). Head coach Carey Green was named the conference's Coach of the Year and tallied a record of 90-31 in four seasons at Liberty University.

Tickets for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament are still available by calling the Ted Constant Convocation Center box office at 757-683-4444.