March to the Arch Winds Down
Oklahoma makes its second Final Four appearance in history when it meets 3rd-seeded Louisville Sunday night at the Scottrade Center. The Sooners advanced to the Final Four after winning the Oklahoma City Regional and games against 4-seed Pittsburgh and sixth-seeded Purdue. Courtney Paris was named Most Outstanding Player and Danielle Robinson and Whitney Hand were named to the all-region team. 

 Game Specifics
 Date and Time  Sunday, April 5 at 6 p.m. Central | Game Notes | Live Blog
 Location  Scottrade Center (22,000) | St. Louis, Mo.
 Tickets  Ticketmaster.com
 TV  ESPN
 Radio
 Sooner Sports Radio Network | Live Audio
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 Webcast  ESPN360.com
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com CBS GameTracker

GAME PREVIEW
No. 1-seed Oklahoma advanced to the program's second Final Four with its Oklahoma City Regional Championship. OU meets 3-seed and seventh-ranked Louisville Sunday, April 5, at 6 p.m. Central. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. The winner advances to the national championship game to play Connecticut or Stanford.

• The Sooners earned their second 1 seed in program history. OU's 2002 national runner-up team was the other to have a No. 1 seed for the tournament.
• OU is 21-11 all-time in the NCAA Championship; 2-0 in regional final; 1-0 in national semifinal.
• Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale is 286-131 (.685) in her 13th season.
• OU and Louisville have never met. OU is 0-7 versus Connecticut and 2-4 against Stanford.

 Louisville Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Year
 Stats / Notes
G
50
 Deseree' Byrd
5-9
So.
 7.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.0 apg
G
15
 Tiera Stephen
5-7
Fr.
 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 1.5 apg
F
35
 Angel McCoughtry
6-1
Sr.
 23.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.9 apg
F
13
 Candyce Bingham
6-1
Sr.
 12.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.7 apg
C
4
 Gwen Rucker
6-1
Fr.
 2.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.1 apg
 
 Oklahoma Projected Starters
Pos.
No.
 Name
Ht.
Year
 Stats / Notes
C
3
 Courtney Paris
6-4
Sr.
 15.9 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 1.6 apg
F
5
 Ashley Paris
6-3
Sr.
 12.5 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.7 apg
G
13
 Danielle Robinson
5-9
So.
 13.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.8 apg
G
25
 Whitney Hand
6-1
Fr.
 9.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 apg
F
1
 Nyeshia Stevenson
5-9
Jr.
 9.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.2 apg

Scouting OU's National Semifinal Opponent
No. 3 seed Louisville will be Oklahoma's matchup in the national semifinal game Sunday night. The two teams have never met.

The Cardinals advanced to the Final Four after defeating Liberty, 62-42, and LSU, 62-52, in the first and second rounds in Baton Rouge, La., and Baylor, 56-39, and top-seeded Maryland, 77-60, in the Raleigh Regional.

It is the first Final Four appearance for Louisville.

First-team All-American Angel McCoughtry leads Louisville, averaging 23.2 points and 9.3 rebounds. McCoughtry is the national leader in steals.

Senior forward Candyce Bingham is the only other Cardinal who averages double-digit scoring, with 12.5 points per game.

McCoughtry's double-double, 21 points and 13 rebounds, helped Louisville upset Maryland in the regional final. Point guard Deseree Byrd provided 17 points and nine assists.

Louisville and Oklahoma share common opponents Middle Tennessee, Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Baylor. OU and Louisville won each of their games against common opponents except those against undefeated UConn.

Louisville head coach Jeff Walz, a former Maryland assistant, is 59-14 (.808) in his second year.

 
 Player to Watch

 #3 Courtney Paris | Sr. | Center
 
The first-four time AP All-American in women's basketball history has delivered the Sooners a Final Four berth. Named Most Oustanding Player of the Oklahoma City Regional, Paris averaged 14.5 points 11 rebounds and totaled eight blocks in wins versus Pittsburgh and Purdue.

   

Robinson a Gamebreaker in NCAAs
OU's Danielle Robinson is proving herself as one of the nation's elite point guards with her play in this year's NCAAs.

Robinson was perfect against Georgia Tech in OU's second round victory, going 5-for-5 from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line to lead all scorers with 17 points.

Robinson's first-round performance was one of her best, totaling 15 points, a career-high seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in just 28 minutes. She added 10 points, 4-of-6 field goals and 2-of-2 free throws, in the Sweet 16.

In four NCAA games, Robinson is the Sooners' leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points. Robinson has made 22 of 34 field goals (.647) and 21 of 23 free throws (.913) while dishing 21 assists, grabbing 19 rebounds and counting nine steals.

Six-Pack of Stuffing
Courtney Paris' six blocked shots versus Georgia Tech matched the most by a player in a single game thus far in the tournament and she repeated the feat with another six against Purdue in the regional final. Michigan State's 6-9 center Alyssa DeHaan, also had six in her team's first round victory over Middle Tennessee.

Against Purdue, Paris became the first woman in NCAA history to record 100 blocks in each of her four seasons.

Paris' 18 blocks leads all players in the NCAA Championship.Oklahoma leads Final Four teams with 5.8 blocks per game.

Hand Regains Form
After failing to score in the Big 12 Championship, her only two career games with zero points, Hand looked rusty in OU's first-round matchup with Prairie View.

The freshman shot 2-of-13 from the field, including a 2-of-10 performance from beyond the arc.

However, she returned to the court two nights later to provide one of her best performances of the season, a 15-point effort driven by 5-of-9 field goal shooting and a 3-of-6 3-point mark.

Against Pittsburgh in the Sweet 16, Hand led all scorers with a career-high 22 points and was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.

In the Oklahoma City Regionals, Hand provided OU's spark, making 12-of-32 shots from beyond the arc. Hand was named to the all-region team.

Free Throws No Problem
Oklahoma's free throw percentage has risen dramatically in the NCAA Championships.

Averaging just 66 percent from the charity stripe as a team entering the NCAA tournament, OU has made 77 percent (62-of-122) of its free throws.

Courtney Paris is the only Sooner to have missed more than two free throw attempts (15-of-23) in the NCAA tourney.

OU Versus Ranked Opponents
Oklahoma will play its 16th ranked opponent of the season when it meets Louisville Sunday night. Oklahoma is 11-4 versus the current AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Top 25.

OU has not lost to a team ranked lower than 11th in either poll and two of OU's four losses were by one point.

OU and the RPI
Oklahoma entered the NCAA tournament No. 3 in the RPI. Connecticut was No. 1, Louisville fourth and Stanford 10th.

Oklahoma has not lost to a team below 11th in the NCAA's RPI and is 15-4 against the RPI Top 50.

All-Time vs. Final Four Opponents
Oklahoma and Louisville have never met, but the Sooners do have history with possible national championship game opponents Connecticut and Stanford.

OU is 0-7 all-time versus UConn with a 28-point loss to the Huskies earlier this season. OU and UConn have met twice previously in the NCAA tournament. UConn beat OU 102-80 in the 2000 East Region (Richmond, Va.) Semifinal and 82-70 for the 2002 National Championship.

OU is 2-4 versus Stanford with a 1-2 record against the Cardinal in the NCAA Championship. The Sooners beat Stanford 67-50 in the 2001 second round (Norman, Okla.) but lost to the Cardinal in second round in 2004 (68-43) and in the 2006 Sweet 16 (88-74).

In St. Louis
The Sooners have played only once in St. Louis, Mo., defeating Saint Louis University, 87-61, earlier this season on Dec. 30, at Chaifetz Arena.

Six Sooners scored in double figures with Nyeshia Stevenson shooting 6-for-9, 3-for-3 from 3-point range, for a team-leading 18 points.

All-Time in the NCAA Championship
• Oklahoma is 21-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with a 10-2 record in the first round. The Sooners have a 7-3 record in the second round; 2-5 in the regional semifinal; 2-0 in the regional final; 1-0 in the national semifinal and 0-1 in the national championship.

• The last and only other time Oklahoma earned a No. 1 seed was 2002. The Sooners finished as the national runner-up to Connecticut.

• Four of the past six national champions did not win their conference tournaments (2003 and 2004 Connecticut, 2006 Maryland and 2007 Tennessee).

• Oklahoma's 2009 appearance in the NCAA Championship will be its 12th overall and 10th consecutive. OU has played in the NCAA Championship in 1986, 1995 and every year since 2000.

Courtney Paris Becomes First Four-Time AP & USBWA All-American
Courtney Paris was named to the 2009 Associated Press and U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America Teams, becoming the first player in history to earn the distinction in each of her four seasons. Paris was also named to ESPN.com's and CBSSportsline.com's All-America first teams.

Courtney Paris Named Wade Trophy and State Farm Coaches All-America Team Finalist
The WBCA named Courtney Paris to its 12-member finalist list for the 2009 Wade Trophy and the 40-member State Farm All-America Team finalist list following the NCAA's first and second rounds. Paris is a four-time Wade Trophy finalist and three-time consensus All-American.

Seniors Lead Sooners Named to Academic All-Big 12 Team
Six OU players, including all three seniors, were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team. Rose Hammond (human relations), Ashley Paris (advertising), Danielle Robinson (sociology), Amanda Thompson (communication) and Carolyn Winchester (mathematics education) were all first-team honorees. Courtney Paris (journalism) was named to the second team.

Sooners Dominating Awards Watch
Ashley and Courtney Paris were named to the Naismith Trophy mid-season candidate list, with the award honoring the top player in women's college basketball, and Danielle Robinson was named as one of 13 candidates for the Nancy Lieberman Award, honoring the nation's top point guard.

2009 SENIORS AMONG BIG 12'S WINNINGEST
Oklahoma seniors Ashley and Courtney Paris and Carolyn Winchester have led the Sooners to one of the best four-year spans in Big 12 history. Oklahoma has compiled a 113-23 (.831) record over the past four seasons, second best in the league's history. Oklahoma is one wins shy of the record.

Most Wins by Big 12 Teams Over Four-Year Spans
113, Oklahoma, 2006-09
111, Baylor, 2004-07
110, Baylor, 2005-08
110, Baylor, 2002-05
109, Texas Tech, 1998-2001
109, Baylor, 2003-06

Ashley Paris Joins Millennium Club
Ashley Paris became the fourth Sooner to reach both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career during the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship. The others are Courtney Paris (2,715 points and 2,018 rebounds), Molly McGuire (2,147 points and 1,071 rebounds) and Caton Hill (1,653 points and 1,044 rebounds).

Courtney Paris Starts Own Club
Against Pittsburgh in the Sweet 16, Courtney Paris became the first college basketball player -- any gender, any membership, any division -- to collect 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds in a career.

Only five players previously had reached both 2,000 points and 2,000 rebounds -- Tom Gola of La Salle (1952-55), Joe Holup of George Washington (1953-56), Major Jones of Albany State (1973-76), Jim Smith of Steubenville (1955-58) and, the only woman, Sheila Ford of North Carolina-Asheville (1980-84).

Fordham's Anne Gregory (1977-80), who scored 2,548 points, ended her career one rebound shy of 2,000.

Simply the Best
While nine Division I teams have both their men's and women's basketball programs ranked in the top 25 of the AP Poll, only two NCAA Division I programs have their football and men's and women's basketball teams ranked -- Oklahoma and Florida State. Oklahoma's football team finished No. 5, while its men's basketball team is No. 7 and women's team is No. 4. Florida State's are Nos. 21, 16 and 12, respectively.

Oklahoma became the first Big 12 institution to have its men's and women's basketball teams each start 6-0 in league play in the same season. The Sooner men were 13-3 in the Big 12 and the OU women finished as champions at 15-1.

The success isn't limited to football and basketball. Many of Oklahoma's sports programs are among the best in the nation.

AMAZING ATTENDANCE
Oklahoma's 2009 total home attendance of 153,116 set a program record. The average home attendance of 9,007 was the third best in program history and ranked fourth nationally.

A visit by the Sooners raised its opponents attendance by 25 percent over its season average. The Sooners were the top draw for Saint Louis, Nebraska and Oklahoma State this season and its win over California in San Jose set a SJSU Event Center record for women's basketball with a crowd of 2,636 in attendance.

Oklahoma's quarterfinal attendance in the Big 12 Championship was 7,634, a record for a quarterfinal morning session.

The Sooners have built one of the largest fan followings in the nation. Here's a quick look at the attendance records set recently by the program:

2002 - NCAA Championship Game Record Attendance: 29,619
2007 - Big 12 Championship Game Record Attendance: 12,413
2007 - Program record for home average: 10,437
2008 - State record for single-game women's attendance: 13,611
2008 - Program record No. 3 national attendance ranking: 10,254
2008 - Lloyd Noble Center three consecutive sellouts to finish season
2008 - Averaged 42 percent increase for opponent during road games
2009 - Set Lloyd Noble Center women's basketball record: 12,906
2009 - Set program's total attendance record: 153,116

The Circus Comes to Town
When UConn visited Norman to play the Sooners during the 1999-2000 season, a then-record crowd of 10,713 attended the game at the Lloyd Noble Center. OU head coach Sherri Coale likened the experience to "the circus coming to town."

It seems that Oklahoma now has its own three rings. A visit by the Sooners in 2008-09 boosted its opponent's attendance by 25 percent over its season average.

BENCH SUPPORT
Oklahoma's depth has taken a hit with a finger injury keeping freshman guard Whitney Hand out of the starting lineup for the next few games. Nyeshia Stevenson, the conference's top scoring reserve and shoo-in for Sixth Man of the Year, has taken her place. Stevenson accounted for 49 percent of OU's total bench points before taking the starting role.

In OU's loss to Texas A&M, the Sooner bench was outscored 19-0 by A&M's reserves. The tables flipped in OU's win versus Oklahoma State as the Sooners, led by 15 points from Jenny Vining, outscored the Cowgirls' reserves 19-11.

In Oklahoma's 32 wins, the Sooner bench has outscored the opponent's bench 638-385, or an average of 20-12. In four losses, OU's bench has been outscored 92-33, or 23 to 8 per game.

Oklahoma had only one loss -- the Big 12 Championship semifinal to Texas A&M -- when its bench outscored its opponents bench. The Sooner bench outscored the Aggie reserves 23-9.

Stevenson...Beyond the Arc
Junior forward Nyeshia Stevenson set an OU record by making nine consecutive 3-point field goals. Stevenson was a perfect 4-for-4 in the second half versus California and 2-for-2 in the game against Tulsa and 3-for-3 at Saint Louis for a total of nine consecutive 3-pointers made.

Stevenson's streak of nine straight games with at least one 3-pointer ended as she was held scoreless Jan. 18 versus Texas A&M. Stevenson is second the Big 12 Conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.379).

As a freshman, Stevenson made just 2-of-11 (.182) 3-pointers. As a sophomore, she improved to 28-of-82 (.341). Already in 2008-09, the junior has made 50 of 132 (.379).

POINT OF ORDER

Danielle Robinson's improved efficiency at point guard as a sophomore is incredible considering she was, statistically, the top freshman point guard in the nation last season, leading her to Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. Robinson has 207 assists to 146 turnovers in 2008-09, a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio, and leads the team with 81 steals.

Robinson has also been spreading the ball around well, counting assists to nine teammates. Her only exceptions: reserves Rose Hammond, Jasmine Hartman and Carolyn Winchester.

Sophomore Passes 200 Assists Milestone
Danielle Robinson's 207 assists are a sophomore single-season record for Oklahoma and the third most in a single season ever for a Sooner. Only Stacey Dales (248 in 2001) and Sharee Mitchum (242 in 1994) have more.

Robinson Taking From Charity
Sophomore guard Danielle Robinson leads the Big 12 Conference in free throw percentage (.906, 115-of-127) and is second nationally.

The statistic is just one example of the point guard's remarkable improvement from her freshman season when she made just 68 of 99 (.687) free throws.

Robinson's 9-for-9 free throw shooting against Texas A&M (Jan. 18) was the best by a Sooner since Maria Villaroel made 11-of-11 versus Missouri on Feb. 26, 2003.

Robinson set an OU record by making 30 consecutive free throws, ending with her third attempt against Texas (Jan. 25). LaNeisha Caufield (2002) held the Oklahoma record for consecutive free throws at 29.

Electric Defense
Sophomore point guard Danielle Robinson, last year's only rookie on the Big 12's All-Defensive Team, has taken 26 charges in 36 games.

Runaways
Oklahoma has put away opponents early by opening with large runs. The Sooners took a 13-0 lead on North Carolina Central (Jan. 4) and then a 15-0 lead on Nebraska (Jan. 10).

Those are just two of the 39 scoring runs of 10 or more points the Sooners have had this season. Oklahoma's last was an 11-0 run versus Purdue lasting from 17:09 to 12:55 of the second half.

OU's comeback versus California featured a 28-0 run that last from 9:00 remaining to the final 30 seconds of that game.

The Sooners quickest 10-0 run lasted 2:11 over both sides of the break against No. 1 Connecticut. Oklahoma has even had three double-digit runs in one game, doing so with 12-point first half, 13-point over-the-break, and 13-point second half runs against Creighton.

THE STREAK ENDS AT 112 CONSECUTIVE DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Courtney Paris' streak of consecutive games with a double-double ended Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, against Tennessee at 120 games. Paris' streak began with a 22-point, 24-rebound effort versus UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005, and lasted 1,159 days. Courtney Paris has collected 127 double-doubles in 136 career games.

Officially a Record
It has long been thought that Courtney Paris' double-double numbers were NCAA records. Beginning with the 2008-09 season, those statements are now factual.
The NCAA has made single-season and career double-doubles as well as single-season and career consecutive double-doubles new records for women's basketball.

Single-Season Double-Doubles
33 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, 2006
33 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, 2007
32 - Anne Donovan, Old Dominion, 1983
31 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, 2008
30 - Cheryl Taylor, Tennessee Tech, 1986
Single-Season Consecutive Double-Doubles
33 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, Nov. 12, 2006-March 25, 2007
31 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, Nov. 11, 2007-March 25, 2008
28 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, Dec. 5, 2005-March 25, 2006
20 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, Nov. 15, 2008-Jan. 31, 2009
18 - Cheryl Miller, Southern Cal, Nov. 28, 1984-Feb. 14, 1985
Career Double-Doubles
127 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, 2006-Active
90 - Cheryl Taylor, Tennessee Tech, 1984-87
78 - Janet Harris, Georgia, 1982-85
75 - Sylvia Fowles, LSU, 2005-08
Career Consecutive Double-Doubles
112 - Courtney Paris, Oklahoma, Dec. 5, 2005-Jan. 31, 2009
19 - Anne Donovan, Old Dominion, Jan. 29, 1982-Dec. 29, 1983
18 - Cheryl Miller, Southern Cal, Nov. 28, 1994-Feb. 14, 1985

PARIS AND DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING
Courtney Paris became the NCAA career leader in double-figure scoring games with her performance against Prairie View in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Paris fell just shy of the NCAA record for most consecutive double-figure scoring games, which belongs to LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State (1999-2002) at 125. Paris' streak of double-figure games ended at 120 on Feb. 2 vs. Tennessee when she scored just nine points.

Most Consecutive Double-Figure Scoring Games
125 LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State (1998-2002)
120 Courtney Paris, Oklahoma (2006-2009)

Most Double-Figure Scoring Games
133 Courtney Paris, Oklahoma (2006-09, 136 games)
130 Sophia Young, Baylor (2003-06, 139 games)
125 LaToya Thomas, Miss. St. (1998-02, 125 games)

 OU Fact of the Game
 Oklahoma is making its first Final Four apperance since 2002; Louisville is making its first ever.

THE HONOR ROLL -- Awards won by Sooners in 2008-09

Sherri Coale
Big 12 Coach of the Year
WBCA Region 5 Coach of the Year

Courtney Paris
First-Team All-American (AP, USBWA, ESPN.com, CBSSportsline.com)
State Farm Coaches All-America Team Finalist
Wade Trophy Candidate
Naismith Trophy Candidate
Wooden Award Candidate
Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Big 12 Player of the Year
Big 12 All-Defensive Team
Academic All-Big 12 Second Team
NCAA Championship OKC Regional Most Outstanding Player
All-Big 12 Championship Team member
Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team member
WBCA National Player of the Month of December
Big 12 Player of the Week (Jan. 26, Feb. 23)

Ashley Paris
Naismith Trophy Candidate
All-Big 12 First Team
Academic All-Big 12 Academic Team
Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team member
Big 12 Player of the Week (Nov. 24, Jan. 19)

Danielle Robinson
ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District
Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist
All-Big 12 First Team
Big 12 All-Defensive Team
Academic All-Big 12 First Team
NCAA Championship Oklahoma City All-Region Team

Whitney Hand
Big 12 Freshman of the Year
All-Big 12 honorable mention
NCAA Championship Oklahoma City All-Region Team
Big 12 Freshman of the Week (Dec. 1, Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9)

Nyeshia Stevenson
Big 12 Co-Sixth Man of the Year
Big 12 Player of the Week (Dec. 15)

Rose Hammond
Academic All-Big 12 First Team

Amanda Thompson
Academic All-Big 12 First Team

Carolyn Winchester
Academic All-Big 12 First Team