Lady Monarchs To Tackle Nation's Top Team
By ODU Athletics
Jan. 1, 2006
Game: Old Dominion at #1 Tennessee - Thompson Boling Arena - 6:00 p.m.
Livestats: Livestats are available at utladyvols.collegesports.com or 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: The Lady Monarchs nearly pulled off one of their biggest upsets in recent memory on Thursday night against the fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Tar Heels walked out of the Ted Constant Convocation Center with the 88-80 win and keeping their undefeated mark intact, North Carolina needed overtime to defeat the pesky Lady Monarchs. The loss may have dropped Old Dominion to 2-6 on the season, but taking a look at the schedule you can see that five of those losses come to teams either ranked or relieving votes in one of the two national polls, including three in the nation's top 10.
In Their Last Game: ODU's Tish Lyons led the Lady Monarch with 20 points, tying her career-high. Fellow classmate Shantel Wilson earned her second double-double of her career tying her career-high of 10 points and hauling in a career-high 12 rebounds. ODU held the lead for the majority of the game, as the Tar Heels were only able to establish their first lead of the night with 4:25 left in regulation. ODU became the first Carolina opponent thus far this season to hold a lead at the half. The Lady Monarchs led 40-37 and had as much as a 13-point advantage. The game opened with ODU collecting a 21-8 edge by the 12:44 mark, fueled in part by 10 points from sophomore T.J. Jordan. With the Lady Monarchs leading 37-27 at the 5:48 mark, the Tar Heels made a 10-3 run for the 40-37 halftime score. North Carolina pulled to within one, 47-46, at the 16:42 mark of the second half prompting ODU head coach Wendy Larry to use a timeout. Following the break, the Lady Monarchs went on a 15-5 tear to once again lead by double digits. Wilson hit just the second three-pointer of her career to give ODU a 62-52 edge with 9:39 in regulation. The Tar Heels, however, used a 17-2 run to get back into the game during which Latta scored 10 of her career-high 33 points. North Carolina's Alex Miller drained a three to tie the game at 64 with 5:54 left in the half and Erlana Larkins gave the Tar Heels its first lead of the night with a lay-up with 4:25 on the clock. North Carolina led by five, 64-69, with 3:21 left in regulation as Latta completed the traditional three-point play, but the stingy ODU defense kept the Tar Heels away from their basket as they collected eight unanswered points. The Lady Monarchs held a 72-69 edge with one minute remaining in the second half. With time winding down in regulation, Larkins made her way to the basket to cut ODU's lead down to one. A Lady Monarch turnover gave the Tar Heels a chance to regain the lead as Wilson was called for an intentional four. North Carolina's Camille Little went to the line for two shots, making the first to tie the game at 72-72, but missed the second, forcing overtime. In overtime, North Carolina outscored Old Dominion, 16-8, for the win, which saw Latta score eight of those points.
About Tennessee: The Lady Vols, ranked first in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, are coming off a 62-51 victory over No. 11/12 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana on New Year's Eve. Tennessee enters the game still undefeated with a 12-0 record. After defeating Princeton right before the Holidays, 107-39, in their biggest victory to date, the Lady Vols have returned to action to play three games in the last six days. Tennessee took on #22/21 Temple in Philadelphia and emerged with a 75-50 win on December 28th, two days later took on the Fighting Irish, and now returns home to face Old Dominion. Senior guard Shana Zolman leads a trio of Tenneesee Lady Vols averaging double digits. Zolman is collecting on average 16.0 points per game followed by rookie sensation Candace Parker with 15.0 points. Parker is also leading the team in the rebounding department with 9.3 per contest. Rounding out the Lady Vols top scoring threats is sophomore guard Alexis Hornbuckle with10.2 points per game.
The Series With The Lady Vols: Old Dominion has only faced CAA rival James Madison more times than it has the Tennessee Lady Vols. Tonight's meeting will mark the 38th meeting between the two team with the Lady Vols holding a 29-9 advantage in the all-time series sharing an annual game each season since the 1976-77 season. Old Dominion it looking to its first win over Tennessee in its last nine attempts. The last Lady Monarch win over the Lady Vols came in 1997 with an 83-72 regular season victory at the ODU Fieldhouse. Later that season in the NCAA Championship game, the roles were reverse as Tennessee walked away with the title. Old Dominion has not won in Knoxville since 1982 when the Lady Monarchs used overtime for a 78-72 win.
Last Time Vs. Tennessee: Former Lady Vols Shyra Ely scored 15 of her 20 points in the first half, and Tennessee rebounded from a disheartening loss to Rutgers with a ragged 68-58 victory over Old Dominion back on January 2, 2005. Brittany Jackson added 16 points for Tennessee, which shot only 37 percent, lost two players to fouls and was outrebounded 51-42. Old Dominion shot only 30 percent but kept the game close most of the way by dominating the offensive boards. The Lady Monarchs got 24 of their rebounds on the offensive end. The Lady Vols lost 65-51 to No. 24 Rutgers in their previous outing, but they stretched their winning streak over Old Dominion to nine games. The victory ended Old Dominion's home winning streak at 21 games. Ely hit jumpers from the left and right wings and added a pair of free throws during a 10-4 run in the first half to put Tennessee ahead 22-13, but Old Dominion chipped away and took its only lead of the game, 27-26, on Tiffany Green's two free throws 4:28 before the break. Dominique Redding hit a pair of free throws 14 seconds later to put the Lady Vols back on top. Tennessee built the lead to 36-29, but a short jumper by Shareese Grant and a layup by Lawona Davis made it 36-33 at halftime. Old Dominion's Tish Lyons scored to open the second half, but Redding hit a 3-pointer to spark a 9-2 Tennessee run. Ely hit two jumpers in the run, which Alexis Hornbuckle capped with a driving layup to make it 45-37 with 16:28 left. The Lady Vols twice stretched the lead to 10. But Sidney Spencer fouled out at 13:18 and Tye'sha Fluker followed suit at 7:06, and Sherida Triggs hit a pair of free throws and a jumper to pull Old Dominion to 53-50 with 6:26 left. Jackson responded with a 3-pointer, and the Lady Vols gradually pulled away. Green led Old Dominion with 12 points and 11 rebounds, seven offensive. Davis added 11 points, and Grant had 10 for the Lady Monarchs.
The Tough Test Ahead: Old Dominion, with the nation's toughest strength of schedule, closes 2005 and opens 2006 with a pair of undefeated top 10 opponents to close out the 2005-06 non-conference portion of its schedule. The Lady Monarchs hosted #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 marked the first contest in 25 days at home for the Lady Monarchs, the first since a 77-82 loss to #19/20 Vanderbilt back on December 4th. 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.
O-T: For just the 14th time in school history, the Lady Monarchs went to overtime. Last Thursday night, Old Dominion and #5 North Caroline needed an extra five minutes to decide the outcome after ending regulation tied at 74. The Lady Monarchs were outscored 16-8, but did manage to put quite the scare into the undefeated Tar Heels. The Lady Monarchs now stand 10-4 in overtime contests.
Walking Away From The Loss: Old Dominion's last outing may have been a loss, but the Lady Monarchs have several reasons to keep their heads held high. The Lady Monarchs were the first North Caroline opponent to lead at the intermission. Old Dominion held a 40-37 advantage at the break. The Lady Monarchs outrebounded the Tar Heels, 50-41, another first for North Carolina. Additionally, the 80 points scored by Old Dominion is the largest point total scored by a Tar Heel opponent this season.
Tell It To Me Telly: Junior Shantel Wilson, or "Telly" as she is known to teammates, recorded her second career double-double, tied her career high in points, set a new career rebound mark, and hit her second three-pointer all in last Thursday night's game against #5 North Carolina. Wilson poured in 10 points and 12 rebounds as one of four Lady Monarch in double digits. The game also was Wilson's second start of the season and first since the season opener against #1/2 Duke.
We're Number One...In Strength of Schedule: The Old Dominion Lady Monarch women's basketball team fielded a #62 ranking and tops the nation in strength of schedule it was announced on Monday evening in Collegiate Basketball News' second women's RPI report. The Lady Monarchs' schedule contains four Top 10 teams (Tennessee, Duke, Rutgers, & North Carolina), seven NCAA squads from the 2004-05 season along with two WNIT participants (Charlotte, Delaware). As a whole, the CAA is ranked eighth in women's basketball as a conference through games of Dec. 26. Including Old Dominion, five women's teams are ranked among the top 100 in the RPI including James Madison at #52, Delaware at #94, VCU at #86 and Hofstra at #100. Taking a look at some of ODU's non-conference opponents, Tennessee is #3, North Carolina is #4, Duke is #6, Virginia Tech is #15, Rutgers is #44, Penn State is #91, and Charlotte is #106.
Welcome Back Greedy: 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 at Florida International. Through three games, Williams is averaging 12.3 points per game for third on the Lady Monarch squad, along with 7.3 rebounds per game, good enough for tops on the stat sheet.
Jordan Gets The Point: Sophomore T.J. Jordan got her first career start at the point against Florida International. She concluded the game tying her season-high with 20 points and shot 6-for-12 from beyond the arc. Her six three's ties where one short of her career mark, which 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
Hear Me Roar: Junior Tish Lyons tied her career mark with 20 points in the overtime loss against #5 North Carolina. Lyons, who also had the 20 points mark against Virginia Commonwealth last January, shot 7-of-14 from the flooor and 5-of-7 from the the free throw line. Additionally, she tied her career in steals with four and play a career-high 37 minutes. Lyons' previous high was 16, most recently recorded in ODU's last victory at Charlotte. She tied that mark as well as recorded several other season marks in the 79-69 victory over the 49ers. Lyons, who went a perfect 6-for-6 at the line collected new free throw made and attempt marks for the season and also tied her season high with six rebounds. Additionally, Lyons tied several career marks with four assists and four steals.
On The Tube: Beginning Monday, Jan. 9, through the National Championship game on April 4, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will count down the 25 most memorable moments from the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament's 25-year history. A 30-second vignette will air during 25 women's basketball telecasts in ranking order, starting with #25 on January 9 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Among top moments is the Old Dominion women's basketball team's thrilling come-from-behind overtime victory over Stanford in the national semifinals. Old Dominion defeated the Cardinal, 83-82, in overtime at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati , Ohio holding on as Stanford missed three shots in the final 10 seconds of the extra period to advance to the championship game against Tennessee. Old Dominion had beaten Stanford during the regular season, but came into the rematch as the underdog, falling behind 31-16 with 7:48 left in the first half. Up to that point in history no team had overcome a 15-point deficit in a Final Four semifinal.
Want To See Martina McBride?: All fans purchasing a tournament ticket book prior to January 12th will be entered to win one of six pairs of tickets to the Martina McBride concert at the Constant Center on Sunday, January 15th. The four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year will bring her "Timeless" tour to Norfolk that evening at 7:30 p.m. Martina McBride's powerhouse voice has earned her more than 15 million album sales, six number one hits, 20 Top 10 singles and a bevy of honors. Her fiery, passionate vocals have created such signature hits as "Independence Day", "Wild Angels", "A Broken Wing", "Blessed" and "This One's For The Girls".
Up Next: The non-conference schedule is over following Monday night's game at Tennessee. The Lady Monarchs return to action in conference beginning with roads games at Virginia Commonwealth and William & Mary.