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Women's Basketball Travels To #10 N.C. State

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: November 25, 2001
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Nov. 25, 2001

TODAY'S GAME
No. 16/17 Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (2-1. 2-0 CAA)
 vs.
No. 10 N.C. State Wolfpack (4-0, 0-0 ACC)
Monday, November 26, 2001
Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, NC

POSSIBLE STARTING LINE-UPS:

Old Dominion: Name: Pos: Cl: Ht: PPG: RPG: Okeisha Howard G Jr. 5-5 15.7 2.0 Sharron Francis G Sr. 5-8 7.7 2.7 Tiffany Thompson C Sr. 6-3 5.0 3.7 Lucienne Berthieu F Sr. 6-2 7.7 7.3 Hamchetou Maiga F Sr. 6-1 10.7 4.3

ABOUT THE LADY MONARCHS: The Lady Monarchs (16th - USA Today/ESPN, 17th - AP) are fresh off their 70-51 victory over CAA conference rival Virginia Commonwealth as they head into another tough non-conference match-up with 10th ranked North Carolina State. Old Dominion will be wrapping up a three game road stint with the Wolfpack and be returning to the Fieldhouse for a three game homestand. Okeisha Howard, who ignited the Lady Monarch offense with 10 points in 15 minutes from off the bench against VCU, checks in as Old Dominion's leading scorer with a 15.7 ppg average. Senior Hamchetou "Tanty" Maiga enters the game averaging 10.7 ppg to rank second on the stat sheet. Senior Lucienne Berthieu, who is steadily getting better and better with each game, leads the team in the rebounding department with 7.3 rpg.

ABOUT THE OPPONENT: The Wolfpack will be putting their unblemished 4-0 record on the line tonight. The pack opened the season winning the N.C. State Tournament with a 64-61 victory over Drake. N.C. State is coming off a 50-44 road victory at Indiana on Thursday night.

NHASSENGO UPDATE: Junior college transfer Evelina "Max" Nhassengo will not suit up against the Wolfpack tonight. Nhassengo injured her left knee during practice last Thursday evening following a collision. She underwent a MRI last Friday afternoon which determined injury to her media collateral ligament (MCL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). No timetable for Nhassengo's return has been set.

ODU VS. N.C. STATE: The Lady Monarchs and Wolfpack have a long standing rivalry dating back to the 1974-75 season. Tonight will mark the 31st meeting between these two teams with the Wolfpack holding the all-time series advantage 13-17. It has been two seasons since Old Dominion and N.C. State faced each other. The Lady Monarch had a 75-72 win during the 1998-99 season with broke a three-game Wolfpack win streak over Old Dominion. These two teams have faced each other three times in NCAA Tournament action (98, 85, 84). In fact, N.C. State was the Lady Monarchs Sweet 16 opponent in 1985, taking a 77-67 victory, en route to the NCAA Title.

ODU VS. ACC: The Lady Monarchs hold a 57-47 (.548) record against teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Old Dominion has faced N.C. State the most of any ACC opponent with 30 meetings. North Carolina will also be an Old Dominion adversary this season with the Lady Monarch and Tar Heels taking to the court for the 15th time in school history. The last time Old Dominion faced an ACC rival was last season. The Lady Monarchs took home a 91-77 win in Chapel Hill against UNC in the third game of the season.

Clemson:  2-1 	             North Carolina:  11-3
Duke:  4-4 	             N.C. State:  13-17
Florida State:  1-0	     Virginia:  16-10
Georgia Tech:  0-0	     Wake Forest:  2-2
Maryland:  8-10

TOP TEAMS SQUARE OFF: Tonight's game will be the first Top 25 opponent in either the ESPN/USA Today or Associate Press Polls for both the Lady Monarchs and Wolfpack. On the Old Dominion slate, but one opponent (Seton Hall) is either ranked or has received votes in the current AP and USA TODAY/ESPN Poll. Tonight's two teams have just one common opponent on the 2001-02 schedule. N.C. State will face Tennessee on Dec. 2 in the Honda Elite Classic. The Lady Monarchs travel to Knoxville to face the Lady Vols on Jan. 8.

INTRA-STATE RIVALS: Old Dominion holds a 281-58 record against fellow Virginia schools. Head Coach Wendy Larry has compiled a 133-18 against intra-state rivals. Since becoming a varsity sport in 1969, Old Dominion has had 13 undefeated season against Virginia schools. Five schools from the state of Virginia grace this year's schedule (Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, James Madison, and William and Mary). To date, the Lady Monarch hold a 1-1 record, with the last game being a 70-51 victory over Virginia Commonwealth. Last season, the Lady Monarchs posted a 12-3 record against schools from the Commonwealth.

ROAD TRIP: The Lady Monarchs are closing out a three-game road trip with tonight's game at N.C. State. Old Dominion returns home for a three-game homestand which will feature three non-conference match-ups with North Carolina, Penn State, and Seton Hall.

SU "SPENCE" FUL: Junior guard Alli Spence had a breakout game against Virginia Commonwealth on Friday night. Spence logged her first start of the season and came away with 13 points after being held scoreless in the team's first two outings of the year. She was 5-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-7 from downtown, to end the game as the Lady Monarch's second leading scorer. Additionally she tied her career high for field goals attempted (10) and three point field goals attempted (7).

LOOK OUT FOR LU: Pre-Season CAA Player of the Year Lucienne Berthieu has seen improvement with each of the Lady Monarch's three games this season after sitting out the 2000-01 season with a torn ACL. In the season opener against Towson, Berthieu attempted just one shot and recorded three points from the charity stripe. In the next game against Virginia Tech, Berthieu was 3-of-9 from the floor and added three points from the free throw line for nine total. She also added in eight boards. In the last game against VCU, she added in her first double-double performance of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Her shooting improved as well as she hit 3-of-4 from the field and 5-of-7 from the line.

ODU'S SPARKPLUG: Junior guard Okeisha Howard came off the Lady Monarch bench to light it up for 20n points in 15 minutes in Friday's victory over CAA rival Virginia Commonwealth (70-51). Howard sat out the first half due to a violation of team rules, but ignited the team with fresh legs and 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. Holding just a four point edge at halftime (29-25), Old Dominion outscored the Rams 41-26. Howard accounted for nearly 50 percent of the Lady Monarch offense in the second stanza.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Cousins Old Dominion senior guard Sharron Francis and Virginia Commonwealth senior guard Rochelle Luckett spent some quality time together on Friday night. Francis helped her Lady Monarch team to a 70-51 CAA conference win, while pre-season All-CAA team member Luckett added nine points, six rebounds, and six assists in the Rams defeat. The two relatives face each other at least on more time this season as VCU travels to Norfolk on Jan. 4.

MAIGA MOVES UP: Senior forward Hamchetou Maiga recently moved up the all-time scoring list. She currently stands in 16th place among all-time Lady Monarch scoring leaders with 1,118 points. She needs 157 more to tie Kim McQuarter (1985-89) for the 15th slot.

THIEVES: Seniors Hamchetou Maiga and Sharron Francis are cracking the all-time career steals list. Maiga currently stands 10th all-time with 208 steals. She needs three more to surpass Angela Cotman (76-80) for the ninth slot. Maiga better watch out though because teammate Francis is right on her heels. Francis boasts 202 steals for 11th all-time.

DISHING OUT HISTORY: Senior Sharron Francis and junior Alli Spence are nearing the top 10 all-time career assists list. Francis has handed the ball out 317 times so far in her career, just six assist shy of tying Kim McQuarter (85-89) for 10th place with 323. In just two plus years, Spence is looking to crack the list as well. The third-year guard has recorded 304 dishes to date.

OPENING THE SEASON: The Lady Monarchs have compiled a 25-8 record in season openers. Under Wendy Larry, the Lady Monarchs hold an 12-3 record in season opening games. The 82 points netted by Old Dominion was the largest opening point total by the team since they started the 1999-2000 season with a 91-64 victory over Hampton Roads rival, Hampton. The largest season opening total by the Lady Monarch was against Virginia Union with a 122-62 win.

CONFERENCE OPENER: The Lady Monarchs wasted no time in starting the conference season. The opening regular season game against Towson, also marked the first game in CAA play. It marked the first time in school history that Old Dominion has opened the season with a league game. Although the Lady Monarchs opened against Virginia Commonwealth in 1991 (W, 77-67) and 1992 (L, 67-72), the Rams did not join the CAA until the 1995-96 season.

CONFERENCE OPENERS: The Lady Monarchs are 11-0 in Colonial Athletic Association Conference openers.

1991:	William & Mary	        W, 70-51
1992:	at George Mason	        W, 81-48
1993:	at Richmond	        W, 87-66
1994:	James Madison	        W, 68-64
1995:	at Richmond	        W, 79-36
1996:	Richmond	        W, 89-53
1997:	at William and Mary	W, 94-53
1998:	at Richmond	        W, 104-97
1999:	at UNC-Wilmington 	W, 84-65
2000:	UNC-Wilmington        	W, 74-59
2001:	Towson	                W, 82-26

D-D-D-DEFENSE: The Lady Monarchs allowed Towson to net just 29 points in the season opening victory over the Tigers last Friday night. It was the lowest point total by an opponent since a 83-32 victory over UNC-Wilmington (2/15) and a 78-32 win over William and Mary (2/22) last year. The Tigers netted just 10 points in the first half establishing new Lady Monarch record for fewest points scored in a half by an opponent. The previous record was 11 at James Madison on December 13, 1972.

TIGER TUMBLE: Old Dominion held the Towson Tigers to just 29 points last Friday night. It marked the lowest output by a Tiger team in the school's history. The previous record was 34 , recorded in a 83-34 loss to Vermont last year.

MAIGA ON THE ASSIST: Old Dominion senior Hamchetou Maiga tied her career high with seven assists against Towson last Friday. Maiga also dished out the ball seven times during last year's NCAA run in the tournament's first round against Washington. It also marks the most assist my Maiga in CAA play.

REJECTED: Myriah Spence tied her career high blocking total with two rejections against Towson in the 2001-02 season opener against Towson. Spence also swatted away two opponent shots last season against George Mason on February 25th.

TEN FINGERS, TEN RINGS: Prior to last Friday's tip-off, the Lady Monarchs received their CAA Championship rings. The Lady Monarch have won an NCAA record 10 straight championship titles since joining the CAA during the 1991-92 season.

FAREWELL TO THE FIELDHOUSE: Friday night's season opener for the Old Dominion women's team in the Fieldhouse. 12 more games (excluding CAA Tournament action) will be playing in the confines of the Fieldhouse before moving over to the new, state-of-the-art, Ted E. Constant Convocation Center. Throughout the year, Old Dominion will be celebrating the three decades of Lady Monarch history and tradition on the hardwood:

12/2	vs. UNC		70's night
1/20	vs. Drexel	80's night
2/17	vs. JMU		90's night
3/1	vs. WM		Farewell to the Fieldhouse

Log on to www.odusports.com to find out more information on the new home of the Lady Monarchs scheduled to open in the fall of 2002.

WHO ARE THESE GUYS: The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs have never faced any of the four new CAA teams on the hardwood before. Here's the dates for the first meetings in the schools history:

11/16	vs. Towson	W, 82-26
1/11	at Delaware
1/17	vs. Hofstra
1/20	vs. Drexel

FRESH FACES: Max Nhassengo and Shareese Grant each put in fine performances in their first exhibition showing against Remus Powerbasket. Nhassengo was 6-of-14 from the floor with 14 points in just 17 minutes of action. Grant poured in nine points in just 11 minutes on 4-of-7 shooting.

SCHEDULING THE TOP 25: Four opponents on this year's 2001-02 schedule are ranking in the top 25 of the USA Today/ESPN or AP Poll. The Lady Monarch will face the two top teams in the poll, Connecticut and Tennessee, as well as #10 N.C. State and #23 Penn State. Rutgers, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and James Madison are also on the Lady Monarchs slate this season. Each of those teams received votes in one of the polls.

ANOTHER NEW FACE: The Lady Monarchs added Kelly Hill, a walk-on from Louisiana to this year's roster. Hill, who averaged 15 points and seven rebounds at De La Salle High School, will be wearing number 15.

WE'RE PICKED NUMBER ONE: Old Dominion was the unanimous choice of the media to win the 2001-02 CAA women's basketball championship in a vote taken Wednesday at CAA basketball media day at the ESPNZone in Baltimore. ODU senior forward Lucienne Berthieu, who missed all of last season with a knee injury after earning CAA Player of the Year honors in 1999 and 2000, was selected as CAA Preseason Player of the Year for 2002. Joining her on the preseason All-CAA squad were teammates Hamchetou Maiga, the 2001 CAA Player of the Year and Okeisha Howard, James Madison junior forward Nadine Morgan and Virginia Commonwealth senior guard Rochelle Luckett.


CAA Women's Basketball Preseason Poll (as selected by the media)

1. Old Dominion (14 first-place votes) 2. James Madison 3. George Mason 4. Delaware 5. Drexel 6. Virginia Commonwealth 7. William and Mary 8. Hofstra 9. UNC Wilmington 10. Towson

Preseason All-CAA Women's Basketball Team

Lucienne Berthieu, Sr., F, Old Dominion Hamchetou Maiga, Sr., F, Old Dominion Okeisha Howard, Jr., G, Old Dominion Nadine Morgan, Jr., F, James Madison Rochelle Luckett, Sr., G, Virginia Commonwealth

Player of the Year: Lucienne Berthieu

TURNER TO MISS 2001-02 SEASON: Lady Monarch red-shirt freshman Corrina Turner will sit out the 2001-2002 basketball season after suffering a knee injury during a pick-up game. A MRI performed confirmed that Turner has torn her ACL on the same knee that caused her to sit out most of the 2000-2001 season.

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