Villanova-Oklahoma Preview

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 17, 2002

March 17, 2002

GAME: No. 9 Villanova (20-10) vs. No. 1 Oklahoma (25-6).
REGIONAL: West, Second Round.
TIME: Monday, 9:35 p.m. EST.
SITE: Lloyd Noble Center; Norman, Okla.

Oklahoma looks to remain perfect at home this season as it tries to advance to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament when it plays host to Villanova.

The Sooners improved to 13-0 at home following an 84-52 win over Hartford in the first round Saturday. No team has scored more than 69 points against the Sooners at the Lloyd Noble Center this season.

Oklahoma got off to an 18-0 first-half run in which the Sooners scored on eight of nine possessions and got baskets from six players.

Caton Hill had 14 points to lead four Sooners in double figures. Stacey Dales and LaNeishea Caufield scored 13 points, and Dionnah Jackson had 10 for Oklahoma.

The Sooners were able to rest their starters, using nothing but reserves in the final seven minutes. No starter played more than 27 minutes.

"The more rest we can get for these guys early in the tournament, the better that bodes for us later," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.

Oklahoma has won six straight, averaging 81.5 points during that span, to improve to 14-1 since Jan. 19.

Villanova had one of its best defensive games of the season, holding Pepperdine to 38 percent in a 67-46 win its first-round matchup Saturday. Katie Davis scored 16 points and Stephanie Baker 10 for Villanova, which overcame its 39-percent shooting by outrebounding the Waves 41-30.

The Wildcats have won eight of nine, and have been playing outstanding defense of late. Villanova, holding opponents to an average of just 56.3 points for the season, has limited six of its last 10 opponents to fewer than 50.

The winner faces either fourth-seeded Texas Tech or 12th-seeded Mississippi State in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Villanova - F Davis (10.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg), F Nicole Druckenmiller (5.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg), C Stephanie Baker (4.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg), G Mimi Riley (12.1 ppg, 4.8 apg), G Trish Juhline (13.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg). Oklahoma - F Hill (13.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg), F Jamie Talbert (8.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg), G Rosalind Ross (11.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg), G Caufield (17.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg), G Dales (16.7 ppg, 5.0 apg, 5.0 rpg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Villanova - At-large bid, Big East Conference; defeated Pepperdine 67-46, first round. Oklahoma - Automatic bid, Big 12 tournament champion; defeated No. 16 Hartford 84-52, first round.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Villanova - 3-5, 6 years. Oklahoma - 7-4, 5 years.



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