Sooners Host Bedlam Sunday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 02, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- Having lost two straight games for the first time in 13 months, the No. 9/8 Oklahoma women's basketball team (17-3, 7-2) will look to return to its winning ways in the second round of the Bedlam Series, presented by Bank of Oklahoma and your local Ford Dealers, on Sunday at 2 p.m.  The OU and Oklahoma State (15-6, 3-5) tilt will be aired throughout the state by the Sooner Sports Network.

The game is expected to be a sell out.  If it does indeed sell out, OU will sell restricted admission tickets ($8 for adults and children), beginning 90 minutes (12:30 p.m.) before tip off.  Restricted admission grants the ticket holder entrance to the arena but does not guarantee them a seat. If seats remain after tip off, those with restricted admission tickets will be invited to occupy vacant seats in the upper arena. 

 Game Notes | News Wire | Gameday Central | Season Stats

Fans who do not  make it into the arena can watch the game on KAUT Cox channel 16 with Bob Carpenter and Kenny Mossman calling the action. It will also be available on OK43 channel 43 on Direct TV and Cox channel 3 in Tulsa.  Fans outside of the state,  can catch the action on ESPN’s subscription based Full Court package.  The Sooners Sports Radio broadcast can be found on all network affiliates, including flagship station KOKC-1520 AM with Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti.

For the first time since 2005, the Sooners enter a Bedlam game having lost two straight.  OU hopes to repeat its 2005 effort on Sunday.  On March 3 of that season, OU travel to Stillwater and ended its skid with a  69-58 win.  The Sooners have won 16 straight in the series, including a 76-60 win at Gallagher Iba on Jan. 17. OU has not lost to the Pokes in Norman since 1998, a span of seven meetings.  Coale’s bunch has posted double digit wins in 13 of the 16 wins during the current streak.

After Sunday, the Sooners will have their first bye week of the Big 12 season.  After the six-day layoff, OU will travel to Texas A&M and Reed Arena in hopes of avenging the Aggies upset win in Norman on Jan. 27.

Setting The Scene
Date: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007
Location: Norman, Okla.
Venue: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
Tipoff: 2 p.m. Central
TV: Sooner Sports Network
TV Talent: Bob Carpenter & Kenny Mossman
CLICK HERE - Find it on TV in your Market
Radio: Sooner Sports Radio Network & Yahoo! Radio
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Radio Broadcast Info
Tickets:  (800) 456-GoOU ($10 adults, $5 children, $8 restricted)
Promotions:  Free OU fan banner (first 1,000 fans), halftime endowment ceremony, postgame performance by Syd’s Tumblers

Player To Watch
Erin Higgins (right) and her five other senior teammates - Britney Brown, Kendra Moore, Leah Rush, Krista Sanchez and Chelsi Welch - will go for the career sweep of Oklahoma State on Sunday.  Higgins and Welch began their careers in 2002-03 and have been a part of nine straight wins.  The others have been a part of seven straight Bedlam victories.

Recap -Texas 67, OU 62
Tiffany Jackson scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Texas beat No. 9 Oklahoma 67-62 Wednesday night, handing the Sooners their second loss in a row after 26 straight Big 12 wins.

Earnesia Williams added 13 points for Texas (15-7, 4-4), which had lost three of its last four and needed the victory to stay within striking distance of the conference lead heading into the last month of the regular season. The Longhorns play four of their next five games on the road.

The Longhorns (15-7, 4-4) led 36-20 after Jackson picked up a loose ball near midcourt and launched a 3-pointer that bounced twice on the rim before falling in with 9 seconds left in the first half.

They stretched it to 44-26 before the Sooners rallied. Paris scored 20 in the second half to lead the charge that got Oklahoma within four twice in the final minutes. Her two free throws pulled the Sooners to 64-60 before she fouled out with 28 seconds to play.

Courtney Paris had 25 points and 18 rebounds for the Sooners (17-3, 7-2), who rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to get within four points twice in the final minutes. Her two free throws pulled the Sooners to 64-60 before she fouled out with 28 seconds to play.

Paris scored 20 points in the second half to lead the rally. But she was the only player in double figures for the Sooners, who committed 24 turnovers.

Paris had 20 points and 12 boards in the second half, marking the fourth time in Big 12 play and the eighth time this season she has recorded a double-double in a single half.  She has done so 18 times in her career.

The Sooners (17-3, 7-2) had their chances to steal a victory. Oklahoma got within 52-41 before committing three straight turnovers that helped Texas push the lead back to 16 when Jackson converted a 3-point play.

Paris starting getting the better of Jackson in their duel under the basket and the Sooners steadily climbed back in the game. Jackson drew a technical foul when she shoved Paris late in the second half.

Texas, which squandered a late lead and lost on a last-second shot at Texas Tech five days earlier, held on this time despite 3-of-8 free throw shooting in the final 40 seconds.

Postgame Notes
Texas was just the third opponent in 20 games this season to shoot over 40 percent against OU ... The others were Texas Tech and Ohio State ... Courtney Paris (25 points, 18 rebounds) recorded her 48th straight double-double ... With 53 in 56 career games, she is now just one away from tying Molly McGuire for the OU career record ... McGuire needed 115 games to reach the record ... She also moved up to No. 3 on the Big 12 career double-double list and is one shy of No. 2 Angie Welle (Iowa State), who had 54 in her career.  The Big 12 record is owned by Sophia Young (Baylor) with 66 ... Chelsi Welch’s fourth point of the game came in the fourth minute of the second half and moved her past Janet Freeman-Southard for No. 20 on the OU career scoring list ... She finished the game with 7 points and currently has a career total of 1,097 and also surpassed Lanae Jones (1,096) at No. 19 ... C. Paris (1,231) also moved past No. 14 Jo Mosley (1,221) on the OU career scoring list.

The Bedlam Series
Oklahoma trails Oklahoma State 4-3 in the annual Bedlam Series, presented by Bank of Oklahoma and your Oklahoma Ford Dealers.  OU claimed a two-point win in football and a one point win in women’s basketball, but has dropped points in soccer, cross country, wrestling and men’s basketball. 

OU has won the annual series for three year straight years.

Previewing Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is arguably the most improved team in the Big 12 this season. The Cowgirls are 15-6 overall and 3-5 in conference.  Last season  OSU went 6-22 and 0-16 in league play.

The Cowgirls turnaround has been orchestrated by second year head coach Kurt Budke.  Budke took the reins after compiling an 80-16 record in three years as the head coach at Louisiana Tech.

Budke’s roster has been overhauled from last season.  OSU is led by a pair of transfers. The leading scorer is junior college transfer and spot starter Maria Cordero, who is averaging 12.8 points.  Second on the squad in scoring is UConn transfer Rashidat Sadiq, who is averaging 12.7 points and a team-high 6.4 boards.  Another juco transfer, Danielle Green, is also averaging double figures at 10.7 points per game.

Freshman Andrea Riley is one of the early favorites for Big 12 Freshman of the Year.  The Dallas Lincoln high school product is leading all Big 12 freshman in scoring (10.8), steals (2.26) and assists (5.0).

Last season OU swept the series from OSU for the seventh consecutive season.  OU won by 34 in Stillwater and by 16 in Norman.

OU leads the all-time series 43-34 with wins in 18 of the last 19 meetings, including 16 straight.  OU is 23-11 at LNC against the Pokes and has not lost at home since 1998, which was also the last time the Cowgirls swept the season series.

Winning Season & 20 Wins
OU has already clinched its ninth consecutive winning season, regardless of the outcome of its final seven regular season games and its guaranteed one game in the Big 12 Championship.  It marks the second such nine year stretch in OU history.  The other came from 1980-81 to 1987-88. 

OU is three wins shy the program’s 12th 20 win season and the sixth during Coach Coale’s 11-year tenure.

Second Half Rush
Leah Rush has scored 91 points in Big 12 play.  Of that output, 56 of those points have come in the second half of league games. That total accounts for 62 percent of her conference total.  Her efforts have helped OU overcome second half deficits and claim wins on four occasions.

Pregame Lay-Ups
OU moved down to No. 10 in the latest round of RPI numbers released by the NCAA on Jan. 29.  The release was prior to the loss at Texas on Jan.  31. 

Sherri Coale currently has 104 Big 12 wins, which is second among active coaches.  She trails league leader and Texas head coach Jody Conradt (109).

OU is 50-2 when it is ranked in the top-10 and the opponent is not ranked.  The losses came to Washington in the 2001 Sweet 16 and Texas on Wednesday night. 

OU’s has won a record 38 straight games against unranked teams at home. The streak dates back to a loss to SMU on Dec. 21, 2002.

Wednesday’s loss ended a 29-game winning streak versus unranked teams, which was a school record. The old record was 26 from the start of 2001-02 season until losing to SMU in Dec. 2002.

Paris Leads NCAA
For the second consecutive season, Courtney Paris appears among the NCAA statistical leaders more than any player in the country.  Paris ranks in the top 10 in four categories: double-doubles, points, rebounds and blocks.  She is also 14th in field goal percentage.  No other player in the NCAA ranks in the top 10 in more than two categories. 

53 Double-Doubles, 48 Straight | Paris' Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris has 53 career double-doubles in 56 career games.  She has recorded a double-double in 48 straight games.  The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005.  The streak will be 423 days old when OU takes the court next.

The Half Double-Double | Paris' Big Games
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 18 occasions (7 first half, 11 second half).  She has eight single half double-doubles this season: UCLA (second half), Tulsa (first half), Texas Tech (first half) Colorado (second half), Baylor (second half), Texas (second half) and in both halves against New Mexico.

Last year her four first half double-dips came against BYU, Texas (second meeting), UCLA and SMU.  Her second half double-doubles were against New Mexico (twice), Illinois, Michigan State, Texas (first meeting) and Baylor (second meeting).  As usual, Paris shines in the brightest spotlight with 10 of these double-doubles coming against ranked teams.  Paris’ career high for points in a half is 23 (Michigan State, 12-21-05, and New Mexico, 12/30/06).  Her career high for rebounds in a half is 14 (Baylor (3/11/06 & Kansas State 1/3/07).

Paris & Putbacks
23 (103-443) percent of Courtney Paris’ points this season have come after she pulled down an offensive rebound.  Of that total, 42 have come after her own miss, 52 have come after her teammates’ misses and nine have come at the free throw line after being fouled after an offensive board. Her high for putback points in game is 10 vs Texas (1-31-07).

Double Figure Twins
Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris have scored in double figures in the same game on 14 occasions, including seven times this season. The 14 occasions account for every double figure game of Ashley’s career.  Additionally, the twins have posted a double-double in the same game on five occasions, including once this season.  OU is 13-1 when the low post twins reach 10 or more points and 5-0 when they both record a double-double.

Historic Defensive Stretch
OU has held 17 of 20 opponents, including its first nine opponents, below 40 percent shooting this season.  The previous record for consecutive opponents held below 40 percent was seven and set in 1984-85. 

The Sooners have held six opponents under 30 percent shooting, all in the last 13 games.  Earlier in the season, OU also held South Carolina, Arkansas Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado below 30 percent in consecutive outings. That streak is an OU record.  OU has held two straight opponents below 30 percent on eight occasions in the program history.

OU is first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at .333.  Only Ohio State (.450), Texas Tech (.443) and Texas (.435) have shot over 40 percent against OU this season.  The lowest mark was a .224 by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado. Last season 24 of 36 opponents failed to reach the 40 percent mark against OU.

The End of the Winning Streaks
OU’s loss to Texas A&M on Jan. 27 snapped two Big 12 record winning streaks.  OU had won 26 straight games against conference teams (including last year’s Big 12 Championship).  The Sooners had also won 24 straight in regular season play (7 in 2006-07, 16 in 2005-06, one in 2004-05). 

OU won 18 straight regular season games away from Norman, which was Big 12 record.  The streak included true road games and games at neutral sites. OU broke its own Big 12 record established with 16 straight wins from December 2000 to December 2001.  The streak began on Dec. 30, 2006 at New Mexico and ended on Jan. 31, 2007 at Texas.

  OU won 16 straight regular season true road games, which is a Big 12 record.  The previous record was 11 games and was set by OU from December 2000 to December 2001. The streak began on Dec. 30, 2006 at New Mexico and ended on Jan. 31, 2007 at Texas.

OU won 13 straight regular season Big 12 road games, which was another conference record.  The streak began at Oklahoma State on March 3, 2005 and was snapped at Texas on Jan. 31, 2007.

1,000 Point Club Membership | OU 1,000 Point Scorers
Three current Sooners - Leah Rush, Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch - are in the OU 1,000 point club.  Rush reached the career milestone against Baylor on Feb. 12, 2006.  Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch both reached it against Ohio State on Dec. 20, 2006.  It marks the third time that OU has had three 1,000 point scorers on the same team.  The other instances were 1994-95 (Angi Guffy, Mandy Wade and Etta Maytubby) and 2001-02 (Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield, Caton Hill). Only 11 known NCAA Division I teams have had four players with the 1,000 career points.

Erin Higgins is also closing in on the 1,000 career points and could reach the milestone by the end of the season.  Below is her projection, in terms of games needed to get to 1,000:

 Player  Points  Average   Projected Games
 Erin Higgins  913  7.7  11 Games

Giving Moore
Kendra Moore has cranked up her game during Big 12 play. The Sooner senior point guard has come off the bench to average 8.6 points since the start of Big 12 play.  The Ardmore, Okla.,  native has scored 77 (82.7 percent) of her season total of 93 points since the start of Big 12 play.  She is also averaging 2.2 steals per game during league action, which is the third-best mark in league play.

Pink OUt Planned for Texas
The OU Athletics Department will also a hold a “Pack The Place Pink Night” for the Feb. 12 Red River Rivalry match up with Texas on ESPN2. In an effort to promote cancer awareness and early detection, free pink t-shirts will be placed in every seat and again fans are encouraged to put them on when they arrive.

The coaching staffs of both teams will all wear an item of pink and both squads will wear pink t-shirts during warm-ups. 

Higgins Heating Up
Erin Higgins began the season in a slump from 3-point land.  The OU all-time leader in 3-pointer made just 20 percent of her attempts in the first eight games and had just one multiple trey game during that span.

She has found her stroke in the last 12 games, shooting 40 percent and making 21 of 52 attempts.  She has tallied  71 points over that span after having 25 combined in the first eight games. On the season Higgins is shooting 32.2 percent from 3-point range.

Big 12 History
All-time, OU has a 104-65 (.615) Big 12 record under head coach Sherri Coale.  The Sooners have won four regular season titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006) and three Big 12 Championships (2002, 2004, 2006).  The Sooners were picked by the coaches to win the 2006-07 regular season title.

Since the 1999-00 season, OU has won 75 percent of its regular season Big 12 games for a record of 90-30.  That winning percentage is the best in the Big 12 during that time frame.

OU’s all-time record in regular season Big 12 play ranks third among member schools.  The Sooners trail No. 1 Texas Tech (122) and Texas (108).  Coale (104) is currently second in Big 12 wins among active coaches behind Jody Conradt (109) of Texas.

Last season Oklahoma became the first team in Big 12 history to run the table to a perfect 16-0 record in league play. Then OU won three straight Big 12 Championship games to go 19-0 against the league this in 2005-06.  The overall record is a Big 12 record.

This season marked the third time OU has started 7-0.  OU also accomplished the feat in 1999-00 and 2005-06.

Overall, OU is 56-27 (.675) in Big 12 games played at the Lloyd Noble Center and 48-38 (.558) in conference road contests.

3-point Threats Everywhere

While Erin Higgins is the most recognizable 3-point shooter on the OU roster, she hasn’t been the most proficient this season.  In fact, OU has three of the top seven long range shooters in the league.  Chelsi Welch (48.4) is second in the Big 12 and Leah Rush (47.6) ranks third. Britney Brown (34.6) and Jenna Plumley (36.4) are also shooting over 34 percent from long range.  Welch is also eighth in the Big 12 in makes per game at 1.55.  As a team OU ranks second in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally with a 3-point percentage of 36.9.

Time to Talk About Rush
Leah Rush, the nation’s Most Underrated Player last season, is playing some of the best basketball of her career.  Rush is third on the OU team in scoring at 10.6 points per game and is posting career highs in 3-point percentage (47.5), field goal percentage (52.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.96). She ranks third in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage and fifth in field goal percentage.

Welch Going Out Strong
Chelsi Welch is putting together a stellar senior campaign. The season has been highlighted by her addition to the OU 1,000 point club, which she reached with 14 points against Ohio State on Dec. 20.

The 5-10 guard has scored in double-figures in 11 games this season, while tallying at least eight points in four others.  She posted a season high 23 points in the season opener against DePaul.  Last season, Welch scored in double-figures on four occasions during the non-conference schedule and 16 times total.

This year, Welch ranks 12th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 49.6, which is the highest mark among guards.  She is also second in the league with a 3-point percentage at 48.4.

She appears to be picking up where she left off last year, when she scored in double figures in 14 of the final 24 games.  She also dialed up her shooting percentage during that stretch and finished 11th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage during conference action. At the end of the year, Welch ranked No. 2 in conference-only games in 3-point percentage with a 44.9 mark.

Free Throw Improvement
As a team, OU has improved at the free throw line since the start of Big 12 play.  OU shot 58.8 (120-204) from the charity stripe in 11 non-conference games.  They averaged 18.5 free throw attempts per game.

In nine Big 12 games, OU is shooting 67.7 (134-198) from the free throw line.  The Sooners are also getting to the line more, 22.0 times per game. On an individual basis nine players - Courtney Paris, Chelsi Welch, Leah Rush, Kendra Moore, Ashley Paris, Britney Brown, Amanda Thompson, Krista Sanchez and Jenna Plumley - have a higher league free throw percentage than season percentage. 




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