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Battle For CAA Tournament Top Seed: Women's Basketball Takes On #22/25 James Madison Sunday

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 23, 2007
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Feb. 23, 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.

• TELEVISION: Sunday's game vs. James Madison will be televised on both CN8 and WSKY-8 in the Hampton Roads area. Leandra Reilly and Pam Roecker will be on hand to call all the action.

• LIVESTATS: Livestats of Thursday's game are available at www.odusports.com.

• HALFTIME: At halftime, Old Dominion will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 1997 national runner-up squad. Members of the team returning to Norfolk include: Assistant Coach Alisa Scott, Assistant Coach Allison Greene, Grad Assistant Coach Shonda DeBerry, Nyree Roberts, Amber Eller, Stacy Himes, LaToya Small, Natalie Diaz, Angie Liston, Nicole Bellinghausen, Kelly Bradley, Tarijuana Napoleon, Angela Carter

• POST-GAME: Following the match-up with the Dukes, the three members of the Lady Monarch senior class - Tish Lyons, Sherida Triggs, and Shantel Wilson - will be honored for senior day in their final regular season home appearance at the Constant Center.

• ABOUT OLD DOMINION: The Old Dominion women's basketball team has won six straight heading into Sunday's showdown with James Madison. The Lady Monarchs are coming off a 80-52 victory over George Mason that saw junior guard T.J. Jordan hit the 1,000th point mark to become the 25th Lady Monarch to reach the milestone. Sophomore Tiffany Green also poured in 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Jordan currently leads Old Dominion in scoring averaging 14.8 points per game, ranking eighth in the conference. Additionally she is third in the country in three-point field goals firing off an average of 3.2 per game. Green leads her squad on the boards hauling in an average of 6.5 per contest. She is 20th in the CAA in the category.

• LADY MONARCH MOMENTS:
•Old Dominion junior T.J. Jordan became the 25th Lady Monarch to reach 1,000 career points as the Lady Monarch women's basketball team defeated George Mason, 80-52, Thursday evening at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Jordan finished the night with 15 points and connected on a three-pointer, her third of final of the night, at the 4:39 mark to reach the 1,000 point mark.
• Junior Megan Pym came off the bench in Thursday night's win over George Mason to record a career-high five-steal and five assists in a season-high 21 minutes of action.
• The win against George Mason improved Old Dominion to 18-8 overall and 14-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). With James Madison's 77-67 loss to Delaware in Newark, the scene is set for Sunday's showdown as both the Dukes and Lady Monarchs are jockeying for position as the conference's top seed at the 2007 CAA Tournament in two weeks. James Madison will enter the game with a 24-3 overall mark and 15-1 conference record.
• Last Sunday's game against William & Mary proved to be a thriller as the Lady Monarchs escaped Kaplan Arena with a 56-52 win. The Tribe were looking for their first win over the Lady Monarchs since 1976, but sophomore Tiffany Green would not allow it. She iced two free throws with 11 seconds left in the game to give the Lady Monarchs not only it first lead, but the lead for good, with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Green entered the game shooting just 48.4 percent from the charity stripe, but made both attempts.

• ABOUT JAMES MADISON: The Dukes enter Sunday afternoon's contest with a 24-3 overall mark and 15-1 CAA record ranking 22nd in the Associated Press Poll and 25th in the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Poll. James Madison is coming off a 67-77 loss to Delaware at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, site of the 2007 CAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The loss was the first in conference for the Dukes who had won 15 straight CAA games and 16 consecutive overall before Thursday night's loss. James Madison has four members of its team in double figures. Senior Meredith Alexis, who scored a game-high 21 points against ODU in the first meeting, is averaging a league-leading 19.0 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per contest. Additionally she is 27th in the nation in scoring and sixth in rebounding. Junior Tamera Young is pouring in a team second best 17.1 points per game and 7.9 rebounds to rank fourth and eight in the categories respectively. Shirley McCall and Lesley Dickinson are both netting 10.9 points per game.

• SERIES WITH JAMES MADISON: The Lady Monarchs have faced no other opponent as many times as they have the Dukes. Sunday's game will represent the 63rd meeting between Old Dominion and James Madison with the Lady Monarchs owning a 47-15 advantage in the all-time series. Six of those 15 James Madison victories have occurred during CAA competition including a 79-50 win back on February 1st in the first meeting between the two teams. Probably the most memorable Duke win was the 49-48 victory which snapped ODU's 113 game CAA win-streak. James Madison handed Old Dominion its only loss last season in conference competition, 75-68, but in the rematch during the CAA Tournament, the Lady Monarchs walked away with a 58-54 win for their 15th straight conference crown.

• LAST TIME VS. JAMES MADISON: No. 25 James Madison defeated the Old Dominion women's basketball team, 79-50, to snap the Lady Monarchs' nine-game winning streak back on February 1st at the JMU Convocation Center.. James Madison opened the game on a 12-0 run and never looked back. The Dukes held a double digit advantage most of the first half, leading by as many as 14, however the Lady Monarchs managed to close the gap towards the end. With James Madison leading 31-20 with 4:07 remaining in the half, Old Dominion cut its deficit to six with five unanswered points. JMU's Jasmine Lawrence broke the Dukes' scoring drought with 12 seconds left for the final points of the half putting James Madison up, 33-25. The second half started out just like the first half did, however this time Old Dominion did not make a late half run. James Madison outscored Old Dominion 46-25 in the second half limiting the Lady Monarchs to just nine field goals and 20.5 percent shooting from the floor. Sophomore Jazzmin Walters connected on a jumper at the 18:45 mark bringing the score to 37-27, but the Lady Monarch deficit would rise from there. Following the Walters' bucket, James Madison took a 30-7 run with only senior Tish Lyons and freshman Jessica Canady hitting a field goal apiece with the Lady Monarchs' other three points coming from the line. The Dukes' Shirley McCall recorded a jumper with 7:19 left in the game to give James Madison its largest lead of the game, a 33-point 67-34 lead. Lyons and sophomore Tiffany Green led the Lady Monarchs with 10 points each. Green also hauled in a team-high eight rebounds. For James Madison, CAA leading scorer Meredith Alexis went 11-of-12 from the free throw line en-route to a game-high 21 points. Tamera Young notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. Shirley McCall also collected 15 points in the JMU victory.

• ABOUT OLD DOMINION:
ODU-JMU
69.6 - Scoring - 74.1
.419 - Field Goal Percentage - .441
.321 - 3PT Field Goal Percentage - .356
.655 - Free Throw Percentage - .696
42.3 - Rebounds Per Game - 43.9
15.2 - Assists Per Game - 15.8
19.4 - Turnovers Per Game - 16.2
10.7 - Steals Per Game - 7.6
4.6 - Blocks Per Game - 2.9

• TAMING THE TIGERS: Old Dominion had its largest victory of the season in an 82-42 win over Towson last Thursday night. It was the fifth time the Lady Monarchs reached the 80+ point mark this season. Old Dominion shot a blistering 60.4 percent (32-of-53) against the Tigers, not only a season-high, but the Lady Monarchs' best shooting percentage since hitting 61.1 percent (33-of-54) against Hofstra in the quarterfinals of the CAA Tournament back on March 13, 2003.

• CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: The stomach bug has managed to get a hold of two members of the Old Dominion women's basketball team. Sophomore Jazzmin Walters missed the February 8th game against Northeaster. With Walters' sickness, head coach Wendy Larry used a new line-up for the first time in 12 games. Larry used the line-up of Shahida Williams, Sherida Triggs, Tiffany Green, Tish Lyons, and T.J. Jordan which was last used in a Dec. 17th loss to Charlotte. The sickness then traveled to T.J. Jordan for the Sunday's showdown with Delaware the following game. Jordan started at the point and posted 11 points and two assists despite feeling under the weather. Junior Tamara Ransburg was the latest victim of the stomach sickness on Thursday. Despite her illness, Ransburg had six points, nine rebounds, and went 4-of-4 from the line against George Mason.

• DOWNING DELAWARE: Old Dominion defeated Delaware on February 11th to move into second place in the CAA standings. Delaware, who entered the game winners in 10 of their last 11, had a four-game win streak snapped.. The 47 points were the fewest the Blue Hens have scored all season and the fewest since netting only 41 in a 41-55 setback at UNC-Wilmington back on January 6th. Additionally it was Delaware's largest loss since a 27-point setback at James Madison, 57-84, back on February 1, 2004. The Fightin' Blue Hens shot a season-low 24.6 percent from the field (14-of-57), went just 2-for-13 from the three-point line. Additionally, Old Dominion outscored the Delaware bench, 21-4.

• BEYOND THE ARC: Junior guard T.J. Jordan netted a career-high 34 points, on Febuary8th at Northeastern. She surpassed her previous high of 28 captured at Delaware on February 11, 2005. It was the most points since Shareese Grant (2001-2005) exploded for 35 points in the 2005 CAA Tournament final, an overtime victory over Delaware. Jordan also set a new school and CAA record for three's made with 10 and set a new school mark for three's attempted with 22. The previous mark was held by Aubrey Eblin when she went 9-of-16 against UNC-Wilmington on Feb. 17, 1998. Her 10 three-pointers are also the most made by a Division I women's player this season.

• FROM DOWNTOWN: Junior guard T.J. Jordan is third in the country in three-point field goals made with 3.2 per game and is 61st in three-point field goal percentage at .359. She has 985 career points which puts on track to reach 1,000 points in about a game (or so). She has 80 three-point field goals this season and 220 for her career. Aubrey Eblin holds the school record in both categories with 97 treys made during the 1997-98 season and 250 made during her career.

• DISH IT TO ME: Sophomore Jazzmin Walters continues to grow in her role as the Lady Monarchs starting point guard. The second year Lady Monarch dished out eight assists, tying both her career and season-high while committing only one turnover against Virginia Commonwealth on January 25th. With four dishes against Hofstra on February 4th, Walters cracked the top 10 sophomore assists leaders list. She is currently in tied for ninth place with 87 assists in her second year in the ODU uniform. She needs three to move past current assistant coach Marie Christian for eighth place.

• HEAR ME ROAR: Senior Tish Lyons started the year's first eight games, but for the next 13 games came off the bench. As a starter she only averaged 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds a game but from coming off the bench beginning with the contest at Middle Tennessee State, Lyons averaged 9.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Against Rutgers and in the CAA opener at Virginia Commonwealth, she poured in a season-high 14 points and also dished out a career-high six assists against the Rams. Lyons returned to the starting five five games ago and has averaged 9.8 points and 4.0 boards. Lyons poured in a season-high 19 points in a 20-point victory over Towson back on February 15th.

• HOME SWEET HOME: Since the doors opened at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in 2002, the Lady Monarchs have enjoyed a 64-12 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

• RANK 'EM UP: Old Dominion has seen action against four Top 25 teams and six teams receiving votes in the polls so far. Old Dominion got its first win over one of those teams with a 72-55 win over Rutgers and followed with a 74-59 victory over CAA rival Hofstra. Other wins over teams in the "receiving votes" category include a 63-47 win Delaware on Feb. 11 that put ODU into second place in the CAA. Ranked teams on the schedule have included No. 5 Tennessee, No. Duke, No. 21 (AP)/24 (ESPN/USA Today) Kentucky, and No. 25 James Madison. ODU fell to the 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. ODU was also edged by #25 JMU, 79-50. Virginia, Penn State, and Middle Tennessee have also been seen in the "receiving votes" categories in both polls. ODU 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.

• COLONIAL DOMINANCE: Old Dominion has captured 15-straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles since joining the league from the Sun Belt Conference during the 1991-92 season. The Lady Monarchs are in the NCAA record books for capturing the most consecutive conference championships. In league play, Old Dominion holds a 285-16 overall record, which includes eights seasons of undefeated play. The Lady Monarchs hold a 151-2 record at home and a 134-14 road record. Only two CAA losses have occurred on Old Dominion's homecourt. The first was back at the ODU Fieldhouse, the former Lady Monarch homecourt from 1969-2002, against Richmond, now of the Atlantic-10, with a 70-74 defeat on February 19, 1992 and the second versus Delaware with a 70-73 setback on January 9, 2005. Five schools in the league have yet to beat the Lady Monarchs - Georgia State (3-0), George Mason (41-0), Northeastern (3-0), UNC-Wilmington (33-0), and Towson (10-0).

• UP NEXT: Old Dominion will hit the road for its final two games of the 2006-07 regular season. The Lady Monarchs travel to Georgia State on Thursday, March 1st and take on UNC-Wilmington on Saturday, March 3rd.

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