Nov. 21, 2002
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Bertha Teague Classic Tidbits
Quickly: The nationally-ranked Oklahoma women's basketball team (0-1) continues its non-conference schedule as one of four state teams competing in the Bertha Teague Memorial Classic in Tulsa, Okla. this weekend. Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, OU and host Tulsa completes the field for the two day classic that will be played inside the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 22-23, 2002.
Opening this year's classic will be Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts. They tip off at 6 p.m., while the Sooners and Golden Hurricane take the court at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. Saturday's action features Oklahoma and ORU at 6 p.m. and OSU and TU at 8 p.m.
TV: Oklahoma's game against Oral Roberts Saturday will be televised by Cox Communications in the Tulsa (Ch. 9) and Oklahoma City (Ch. 3) markets. John Walls (play-by-play) and Rod Thompson (color analyst) will call the action.
Radio: Both of OU's games will be broadcast live on KOMA (1520-AM) and on the Internet at www.soonersports.com. Brian Brinkley will provide the play-by-play and Tara DeGiusti will be the color analyst for the women's basketball radio network. Ed Murray will replace Brinkley for Saturday's game.
Rankings: Oklahoma - No. 23 AP and No. 25 in USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls
Series Records: OU leads the all-time series with Tulsa (20-1) and ORU (18-14). For year-by-year results see pages 8 and 9 of this release.
Coaches: Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987) enters her seventh season at the helm of the OU women's basketball program. The Healdton, Okla., native directed the Sooners to their first Final Four and national championship game appearance a year ago. Coale also has three Big 12 regular season titles under her belt and owns an overall record of 113-74. (For more information on Coale see page 3).
Kathy McConnell-Miller (Virginia, 1989) is in her fourth season at Tulsa. McConnell-Miller has guided the Golden Hurricane to an overall record of 39-49 in three years. Prior to Tulsa, she spent four seasons as a member of the University of Illinois coaching staff.
Entering his seventh season as head coach at ORU is Jerry Finkbeiner (Southern Nazarene, 1980). Finkbeiner has produced an overall ORU record of 82-90 and an 11-year head coaching mark of 268-106.
Tickets: Tickets for the Bertha Teague Classic remains available and may be purchased by calling 918-631-4688 or at the ticket window at the Reynolds Center on game day.
Oklahoma's Bertha Teague Classic Success
Oklahoma is 13-1 in games played in the Bertha Teague Classic. The Sooners' only setback was a one-point loss to Southern Utah, 64-63, during the 1996-97 campaign. Last year, OU defeated Tulsa, 75-52, and Oral Roberts, 73-38.
Who's Bertha Teague?
Bertha Frank Teague is the most celebrated female figure in Oklahoma sports history. In her 43 years of coaching (1927-69) at Byng High School, she compiled a 90 percent winning average with a win-loss record of 1,157-115. Her record included eight state championships, and at one time, a 98-game winning streak. She is a member of the Naismith and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bertha Frank Teague Awards
Coach of the Year1967, 1969
Oklahoma Girls' Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame1972
Special Service Award given by the Men's Coaches' Association of Oklahoma 1975
National Federation of State High Schools Hall of Fame, first woman inducted 1983
Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame 1985
Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame 1985
Given special recognition at the Olympic Festival 1989
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame 1989
Received the Coaches Association Service Award at the Final Four 1990
Women's National Basketball Hall of Fame 1999
A look At Oklahoma
Oklahoma enters this weekend's Bertha Teague Classic with one regular season game complete. OU opened the season with a 94-68 loss to No. 2 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., as part of the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.
The Sooners were led by the double double performances of seniors Theresa Schuknecht and Caton Hill. Schuknecht posted a team-best 27 points and 12 rebounds in her first OU and ESPN outing, while Hill registered 11 points and a game-best 14 rebounds. Hill, a All-America candidate, increased her school record for most double doubles to 27.
Freshman Erin Higgins also had a solid game against the Lady Vols as she produced a career-best 18 points, hitting 4-of-5 threes, and all six attempted free throws. She also added two rebounds, two assists and a team-best three steals to her totals.
As a team, Oklahoma out rebounded UT, 44-41, but produced a 031.4 field goal percentage, hitting just 16-of-51 attempted shots from the floor.
A look At Tulsa
Tulsa returns nine letterwinners and three starters from a team that produced a 17-13 overall record and finished fifth in the Western Athletic Conference (11-6).
TU appeared in its first ever preseason WNIT this year. The Golden Hurricane defeated Southwest Missouri State, 81-80, in Springfield, Mo., before losing to No. 24 Mississippi State, 92-66, in Starkville, Miss.
Fourth year Head Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller enters this season with the services of senior Allison Curtin. Curtin, a University of Illinois transfer, missed last year due to NCAA transfer rules. In Curtin's first two games, she has averaged a team-best 25.5 points, 5.0 steals and 5.0 rebounds per game. She is also shooting 50 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. USA Today tabbed Curtin as an "impact newcomer" for this season. She is one of seven players named to the list. Others include sophomore Cappy Pondexter of Rutgers, LSU freshman Seimone Augustus, Connecticut's freshmen duo of Ann Strother and Nicole Wolff and Tennessee's freshmen tandem of Tyesha Fluker and Shanna Zolman.
Candice Brewer, a 5-8 junior guard, ranks second on the team with 15.5 points per outing, followed by Alyssa Shriver and TaTanisha Wagner's 8.5 and 8.0 ppg, respectively.
Last year's OU-Tulsa box score is located on page 8 of this release.
A look At Oral Roberts
Oral Roberts opens its season on Friday, Nov. 22 against Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. The Golden Eagles destroyed Arkansas Tech, 82-47, in their only exhibition game of the year. ORU was led by sophomore Stephanie Clark and junior Cori Williston with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Clark also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
As a team, ORU shot 55.4 percent from the field and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. They also out rebounded Arkansas Tech, 43-15.
ORU returns eight letterwinners and three starters plus welcomes nine newcomers to the program. The Golden Eagles went 13-16 last year and tied for fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference.
Last year's OU-Oral Roberts box score is located on page 8 of this release.
Outside of the Bertha Teague Tournament field (Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Oral Roberts) there are only two possible common opponents between OU, Tulsa and Oral Roberts. Tulsa will face SMU and Hawaii this season, while OU will play SMU in Norman on Dec. 21 and possibility face Hawaii in the Hawaiian Rainbow Wahine Classic next week.
With three games complete, two being exhibitions, Oklahoma displays a new look as the Sooners are currently getting 53.5 percent of their points from their frontcourt. In previous seasons, OU has had dominating guard play as 71.1 percent of the team's points came of its backcourt a year ago, compare to just 28.9 percent from its frontcourt.
The Sooner guards are contributing a solid 46.5 percent to the offense this year. Look for the two to balance out as OU has some outstanding offensive weapons on the wings that haven't warmed up yet. But for now enjoy watching seniors Theresa Schuknecht and Caton Hill dominate at the post. In three games, Schuknecht is averaging 21.7 points and 9.3 rebounds, followed by Hill's 12.7 and 8.0 boards per game.
Oklahoma sophomore Dionnah Jackson and Tulsa red-shirt freshman Emily Jaskowiak has an extended history as the two played high school and AAU basketball together before joining the collegiate ranks. The two produced a four-year record of 102-12 at Parkway West High School. They also guided PWHS to four-straight undefeated conference titles and a second-place finish in the state tournament their senior year. Jackson and Jaskowiak each earned first team All-State, all-district and all-conference honors following that season.
The duo concluded their prep careers as two of the best to ever play at Parkway West High as Jackson holds the school record for most career assists and steals and Jaskowiak is the school record holder for most points and rebounds.
Jackson also was recognized as the 2001 Missouri Player of the Year, West County Player of the Year and Missouri-Shawnee Gateway Classic Female MVP. In addition, she was also a two-time St. Louis American Fab Five first team honoree. Jackson averaged 16.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 steals per game her final prep season.
Newcomers shine in exhibition action
Oklahoma played two exhibition games this season. In those two games, OU's newcomers scored 120-of-192 points (62.5 percent) and accounted for 51-of-97 rebounds (52.6 percent).
Sooners set career best in bertha teague classic Four Oklahoma players have set or matched eight personal best when playing either Tulsa or Oral Roberts in the Bertha Teague Classic.
Senior Caton Hill pocketed a career-high nine steals against Tulsa when she was a freshman in 1999. Senior Stephanie Simon had a solid performance against ORU last year as she scored a personal-best eight points and grabbed five offensive rebounds. Simon also hit 4-of-6 shots from the field, both career highs. Then freshmen Dionnah Jackson and Lauren Shoush enjoyed their first performances in the Bertha Teague Classic. Jackson dished out a career-high eight assists against Tulsa while Shoush played a personal-best 19 minutes and attempted four field goals vs. ORU.
WNBA All-Star REturns to Sooner Program
Oklahom's a two-time All-American Stacey Dales returns to the court this season but in a different setting for Sooner women's basketball. Dales will team up with KFOR's and voice of OU women's basketball Brian Brinkley as part of the Sooner Sports Television Network. Dales will serve as the color analyst while Brinkley brings Sooner fans play-by-play action for five selected games.