Lady Monarchs Return Home To Host #5 North Carolina
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 27, 2005
Game: Old Dominion at Florida International - Pharmed Arena - 2:00 p.m.
Livestats: Livestats are available at www.odusports.com.
Radio: ESPN Radio - 1310 AM - Join 13-time Sportscaster of the Year as Tony Mercurio calls all the action live. He will be joined by ODU Hall of Famer and former Lady Monarch Jan Trombly on color during all home games.
Internet: Live audio of the ESPN 1310 broadcast is available via the Monarch All-Access pass at www.odusports.com.
About Old Dominion: Old Dominion fell to 2-5 overall as the Lady Monarchs fell 76-80 to Florida International last Tuesday afternoon in Miami. The Golden Panthers shot a season-best 51.8 percent from the field and recorded its second-best percentages from long range (44.4 percent) and from the line (72.0 percent). The 80 points marked the highest offensive output for the Golden Panthers this season as the Lady Monarchs gave up 80 or more points for the third time this season. Old Dominion meanwhile shot 41.7 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from the three, but hit a season-low 40.9 percent from the free throw line. The Lady Monarchs came in shooting 72.7 percent from the line but made just 9-of-22 attempts on the afternoon. Sophomore T.J. ended the afternoon tying her season-high with 20 points. Fellow classmate Shahida Williams came off the bench for a career-high 18 points and team-high six rebounds. Senior Lawona Davis, playing in her home state for the first time as a Lady Monarch, and junior Tish Lyons rounded out the Lady Monarchs' double figure scorers with 10 points each.
About North Carolina: The fifth-ranked Tar Heels enter the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Thursday with an 11-0 record and join Tennessee, Duke, LSU, and Baylor as the remaining Top 25 teams remaining with an unblemished record. North Carolina returns eight letterwinners and four starters from last year's 30-4 team. The Tar Heels captured the ACC title and finished conference competition with a 12-2 mark. They danced their way on to the "Elite Eight" where they fell to eventual national champion, Baylor. Leading the way for the Tar Heels this season is Ivory Latta, a 5-6 junior guard, who is averaging 16.9 points per game. Erlana Larkins, a 6-1 sophomore forward, is the other Tar Heel in double figures with 10.1 points per contest. Larkins also leads North Carolina on the boards with 6.5 rebounds per game.
The All-Time Series vs. North Carolina: Old Dominion holds a 12-6 all-time series lead against the North Carolina Tar Heels and have met annually since 2000. The Tar Heels scored a 79-55 victory over the Lady Monarchs last season at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, but the year before that, Old Dominion pulled off a major upset. The Tar Heels fell, 73-68, in their last appearance at the Ted Constant Convocation Center when the unranked Lady Monarchs upset the 12th ranked team in the country at the time back on December 7th, 2003. North Carolina has won thee of the last four meetings.
Last Time Vs. North Carolina: Ivory Latta scored 19 of her 24 points during the second half, helping No. 7 North Carolina to a 79-55 victory over Old Dominion back on December 30, 2004. Erlana Larkins added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (11-1), who won their fourth in a row. With several members of the game day staff in Charlotte, N.C., for North Carolina's appearance in the Continental Tire Bowl, the game was moved to the Dean E. Smith Center. A sparse but enthusiastic crowd of 1,112 took advantage of free admission and free parking to watch the Tar Heels avenge a 73-68 loss to the Lady Monarchs the season before. Tiffany Green led the Monarchs with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but leading scorer Shareese Grant finished with only six, more than 12 off her average. She fouled out with about five minutes left. The Tar Heels led by only seven after a sloppy first half during which the teams combined for 29 turnovers. After making only 29 percent of their shots in the opening 20 minutes, the Lady Monarchs shot 30 percent and had another 12 turnovers. For the first time that season, Larkins failed to make at least half of her shots and finished 5-for-11. She came in shooting a nation-leading 71 percent from the field.
The Tough Test Ahead: Old Dominion, with the nation's toughest strength of schedule, returns to action against two Top Ten teams to close out the 2005-06 non-conference schedule. The Lady Monarchs host #5 North Carolina on Thursday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, the final non-conference match-up on the home hardwood. The game will also mark the first contest in 25 days at home for the Lady Monarchs, the first since a 77-82 loss to #19/20 Vanderbilt. The non-conference schedule comes to a close against top-ranked Tennessee on January 2nd, marking the fourth Top Ten team on the schedule for the Lady Monarchs.
Jordan Gets The Point: Sophomore T.J. Jordan made her third career start in ODU's last outing, but the game marked her first start at the point. She concluded the game tying her season-high with 20 points and shot 7-for-12 from beyond the arc. Her seven three's ties her career mark, which also occurred when she hit seven three-pointers at CAA rival Delaware last season, In that game, she netted a career-high 28 points and came just two treys short of tying the school record.
A Season Low: Old Dominion will not look to repeat last Wednesday's performance from the free throw line. The Lady Monarchs entered the game against Florida International shooting 72.7 percent from the charity stripe, but hit a season-low 40.9 percent against the Golden Panthers, hitting 9-of-22. Only four Lady Monarchs managed to reach the line, with junior Paula Muxiri and sophomore T.J. Jordan reaching the 50 percent mark. Muxiri missed the least amount of free throws going 2-for-4 from the line.
Welcome Back: Sophomore Shahida Williams has come back to the court strong after being activated prior to the Lady Monarchs' game at Charlotte. In her 2005-06 debut, the Newark, New Jersey native added in six points, a team-high seven rebounds, and a game-high three steals. She followed with a career-high 18 points and team-high six rebounds in last Thursday's game at Florida International. Through two games, Williams is averaging 12.0 points per game for third on the Lady Monarch squad, along with 6.5 rebounds per game, good enough for second on the stat sheet.