Oct. 12, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women's basketball team has once again been ranked among the nation's elite by two basketball publications. The Women's Basketball Journal has OU ranked No. 3, while Basketball News have the Sooners No. 4 in its preseason poll. OU has been ranked among the top four in six preseason publications for women's basketball, including No. 1 by Lindy's. A number of Big 12 Conference teams, the toughest conference in women's basketball, join the Sooners on both polls.

Oklahoma returns 11 letterwinners and four starters, including Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield and Caton Hill, and welcomes four freshmen and one transfer to this year's roster. Head Coach Sherri Coale led last year's team to a school-best 28-6 overall record and a first-place 15-1 Big 12 mark. The Sooners repeated their Big 12 title and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance while closing out the year ranked seventh in the country.

Oklahoma tips off the 2001-02 season with a pair of exhibition games on Nov. 1 against Southern Nazarene and Nov. 6 versus Oklahoma Christian. Both games will be played at the OU Field House. The Sooners will open the season against Purdue, last year's national runner-up, as one of four teams participating in the prestigious State Farm's Tip-Off Classic in Durham, N.C., on Nov. 11.