Old Dominion-Boston College Preview
By ODU Athletics
March 20, 2003
GAME: No. 12 Old Dominion (21-10) vs. No. 5 Boston College (20-8).
REGIONAL: East, first round.
TIME: Saturday, 11:10 a.m. EST.
SITE: Constant Convocation Center; Norfolk, Va.
Boston College hopes to avoid a second straight first-round loss to a No. 12 seed when it faces Old Dominion in the East Regional.
The Eagles are in the NCAA women's tournament for the fourth time in five years, including second consecutive year as a No. 5 seed. Last season, they were upset by Mississippi State 65-59 in their opening game.
While Old Dominion probably isn't as strong as Mississippi State was, the Lady Monarchs have one advantage - Old Dominion was among the teams that benefited from the change in the women's tournament to predetermined sites for the first two rounds this year.
With Norfolk being one of those sites, the Lady Monarchs were awarded a home game they wouldn't have received under the old format.
If this game was played last year, it would have been at the site of the East's fourth-seeded team. Instead, the Lady Monarchs have a chance to improve their 15-3 home record. They were only 1-2 at neutral sites.
The Lady Monarchs have won 11 straight NCAA tournament games at Norfolk. They didn't have home-court advantage for any round last year, but still reached the regional finals before losing to eventual champion Connecticut.
Old Dominion qualified for the tournament by winning its NCAA-record 12th straight Colonial Athletic Association tournament title. The Lady Monarchs, who lost three times in conference play this season, beat Delaware 66-58 to win the tourney title.
"We had to battle for this one. We had to compete," Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry said. "We had people rise to the top and we had people take their roles."
Boston College went 12-4 in the Big East, its second-best record in conference play. The Eagles have three players averaging double figures and are a strong offensive team, ranking in the Big East's top three in scoring, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage.
The winner will face either Vanderbilt or Liberty in the second round on Monday.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Old Dominion - F Monique Coker, F Kim Giddens, C Corrina Turner, G Okeisha Howard, G Shareese Grant. Boston College - F Jessalyn Deveny, F Becky Gottstein, C Kim Mackie, G Brianne Stepherson, G Amber Jacobs.
TEAM LEADERS: Old Dominion - Howard, 14.8 ppg and 4.6 apg; Giddens, 6.7 rpg. Boston College - Deveny, 17.4 ppg; Gottstein, 8.4 rpg; Stepherson, 5.1 apg.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Old Dominion - Automatic bid, Colonial Athletic Association tournament champion. Boston College - At-large berth, Big East.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Old Dominion - 32-18, 19 years. Boston College - 2-3, 3 years.