Sooners Ready For 'Big Dance'

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 15, 2000

March 15, 2000

* PDF Formatted NCAA Notes
* PDF Formatted Postseason Bios

NORMAN, Okla. - This year marks the first ever that the Oklahoma women's basketball team will be one of the 64 teams in the NCAA Championship. The Sooners have particpated to two previous NCAA Tournaments under different formats.

OU's last appearance was in 1995. Oklahoma's first showing in the "Big Dance" was in 1986.

No. 5 Seed Oklahoma (23-7) vs.
No. 12 Seed Brigham Young (22-8)

Saturday, March 18 - 6 pm EST
Mackey Arena (14,123) - West Lafayette, Ind.

TOURNAMENT DATES: March 18 & 20, 2000

TOURNAMENT SITE: Mackey Arena (14, 123) ... West Lafayette, Ind.

TOURNAMENT HOST: Purdue University

Media Coordinator: Tom Schott
Women's Basketball Contact: Kathleen Offer


INTERVIEWS: To request an interview with Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale or an OU player, please contact Debbie Long. Long will be staying at the University Inn in West Lafayette, Ind. (3001 N. Western Ave.).

TELEVISION: Oklahoma's first-round game against Brigham Young will not be televised. However, if the Sooners advance to the second round on Monday, March 20, that game will be televised as a part of the ESPN "Full Court" package at 8 p.m. (EST)

You must subscribe to the ESPN "Full Court" service to be able to watch Oklahoma's possible second round game.

RADIO: Saturday's game will be carried on 1400 AM KNOR and 1490 AM KOKC radio. Monday's game will be carried live on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network on 1520 AM KOMA. Ed Murray will be calling the play-by-play and Jenny Bramer adding color commentary with a simulcast on the internet at

Oklahoma is one of 16 teams in the NCAA East Region Championship. The Sooners are in the same bracket and could face the defending NCAA Champions, Purdue, in the second round. If OU advances to the sweet 16, the Sooners will most likely take on No. 1 Connecticut in Richmond, Va.

The East Region sports 10 conference champions, an RPI of 12th, six teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation and two additional teams earning votes. See NCAA Bracket inside back cover.

Oklahoma displays an overall record 23-7 and the school's second-best all-time winning percentage of 89.7%.

OU is coming off an early exit in the 2000 Big 12 Conference Tournament where the No. 3 seed Sooners lost to No. 6 seed Texas, 71-68, at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., last week. The loss marked the fourth consecutive year OU dropped its first game of the conference tournament.

However, the Sooners ended the regular season as tri-Big 12 Conference Champions with a league record of 13-3. The Sooners were picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches and media polls. Oklahoma collected its first Big 12 Conference regular-season title with an 77-68 victory over arch rival Oklahoma State in its last home and regular season game on March 1. Ironically, OU captured its first-ever conference title in 1986 when the Sooners defeated OSU in Stillwater to clinch the Big Eight crown.

BYU finished the regular season and the Moutain West Conference Tournament in second place. The Cougars produced an overall record of 22-8 and a league mark of 10-4.

Freshman Erin Thorn, the MWC Freshman of the Year, leads the Cougars with averages of 13.1 points, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. She also shoots 43.2 percent from behind the three-point line. Also averaging double figures in points per game are seniors Jill Adams (12.2) and Cady Williams (10.9). Adams leads the team defensively with 6.3 boards a game.

Before losing the championship game of the conference tournament, BYU had won six consecutive games.

Not since the 1992-93 season has a BYU women's team competed in the NCAA Tournament. Last year the Cougars lost to Colorado, 70-53, in the WNIT.

BYU is coached by Trent Shippen. Shippen, a 1990 Colorado State graduate, is in his third year with the program and owns a BYU career record of 53-35 (.602 winning percentage).

Oklahoma will face Brigham Young for the third time in the two school's history. The all-time series is tied at one with the Sooners winning 103-81 (+22) in Norman in 1989 and the Cougars defeating OU 108-77 (-31) in Provo in 1990.

Host Purdue, a four seed, and Dartmouth, a 13 seed, square off following OU's opening game at 6 p.m. (EST).

Purdue is the defending 1999 NCAA Champion and sports an overall record of 22-7 and a national ranking of No. 13.

Dartmouth is the winner of the Ivy League regular season title and owns an overall mark of 20-7.

Oklahoma would be playing both opponents for the first time in school history.


1985-86 at Norman, Okla.
First RoundBye
Second RoundW, 86-67Vanderbilt at Austin, Texas
Regional SemifinalL, 85-59Texas
1994-95 at Ruston, La.
First RoundW, 90-55Loyola (Md.)
Second RoundL, 48-36Louisiana Tech


OpponentSeriesLast Meeting
BYU1-11990 (L, 108-77, Provo)
Connecticut0-11999 (L, 84-68, Norman)
Drake0-31997 (L, 77-64, Norman)
SF Austin2-41999 (W, 61-47, Nacogdoches)
WKU1-01986 (W, 89-81. Bowling Green)

OKLAHOMA (23-7, 13-3 Big 12)
Pos.No.NameHt.Yr.Hometown (High School/Community College)Ppg.Rpg.Ast.Stl.Min.
F34Phylesha Whaley5-10Sr.Slaton, Texas (Slaton HS)
F10Caton Hill6-0Fr.Ada, Okla. (Ada HS)
G13Sunny Hardeman5-7Jr.Norman, Okla. (Norman HS)
G20LaNeishea Caufield5-9So.Ada, Okla. (Ada HS)
G21Stacey Dales6-0So.Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Thousand Islands Secondary School)

Sooner Reserves

C00Desiree Taylor6-1So.Richardson, Texas (L.V. Berkner HS)
C15Jennifer Cunningham6-3Fr.Kingston, Ontario, Canada (Frontenac Secondary School)
G23Jadrea Seeley6-2Fr.Bethel, Okla. (Bethel HS)

Head Coach: Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987), 4th season, currently 51-62 at OU

WHALEY NAMED BIG 12 CONFERNECE PLAYER OF THE YEAR All-American Phylesha Whaley continues to be honored as the 5-10 senior forward has led the Sooners in scoring for the past four years and rebounding the last three seasons. She is averaging 20.6 points and 8.2 rebounds and shoots an impressive 47.9 percent from the three-point line.

The Slaton, Texas native was most recently named to the Associated Press honorable mention squad, Women's Basketball Journal second team All-America and was Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. Whaley also was named to the five member District V team, qualifying her for Kodak All-America honors. In addition, she's earned All-Big 12 and Women's Basketball News Service All-America first-team accolades.

"It's a great honor for me to receive this award," stated Whaley upon hearing of her Big 12 honor. "I'm shocked to tell you the truth because there's so many great players in this league: Stacy Frese, Edwina Brown, Lynn Pride, I could go on and on. It's overwhelming when the coaches choose you over all of those great players."

Whaley currently ranks second on OU's career scoring list, just 29 points shy of the all-time record. She currently has 2,119 and looks to pass Sooner great Molly McGurie who has 2,147 career points.

Whaley became Oklahoma's first women's basketball player to ever earn be named Big 12 Conference Player of the Year.

Whaley scored a season-high 31 points to earn her 2000th career point against Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Whaley has the school record in six categories: field goals attempted, free throws attempted, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, games started, consecutive games started and minutes played.

Whaley has produced 10 double-doubles this year and has 25 career double-doubles.

Whaley has scored 10-or-more points in all 30 games this year, including 16 20-plus performances.

Whaley has been named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week twice this season, marking the ninth time the power forward has earned this honor in her four-year career.

Whaley became the 14th Sooner to pass the 1,000-point mark a year ago.

Whaley is a four-time all-conference selection and Sooner MVP.


CategoryCurrently NeedsTo move, pass
PointsNo. 2, 211929No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
ReboundsNo. 2, 878194No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
FG MadeNo. 2, 753107No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
3pt. FG MadeNo. 7, 763No. 6, Michele Workman (1996-99)
3pt. FG AttemptedNo. 9, 1934No. 8, Angie Alexander (1989-92)
FG AttemptedNo. 1, 1553XHas record (at OSU, 2-12-00)
FT MadeNo. 1, 537XHas record (1998-99)
FT AttemptedNo. 1, 694XHas record (vs. Tulsa, 11-21-99)
Off. ReboundsNo. 1, 307XHas record (at Tenn. Tech, 11-19-99)
Def. ReboundsNo. 1, 571XHas record (at Baylor, 1-15-00)
Minutes PlayedNo. 1, 3945XHas record (at Baylor, 1-15-00)
Games StartedNo. 1, 113XHas record (at Kansas State 2-21-00)
Consecutive No. 1, 113XHas record (vs. UALR 12-11-99)
Games Started

1999-2000 Honors

Head Coach Sherri Coale

  • Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year
  • The Dish Coach of the Year
  • WBCA District V Coach of the Year
  • CNN Sports Illustrated Coaches to Watch
  • IKON/WBCA Coach of the Year Finalist
  • Kansas City Star Coach of the Year
  • Dallas Morning News Coach of the Year
  • Fort Worth Star Telegram Coach of the Year
  • San Antonio Express Coach of the Year

    Phylesha Whaley

  • WBNS All-American, first team
  • WBJ All-American, second team
  • Associated Press All-American, honorable mention
  • Kodak All-American Finalist
  • District V Kodak All-American
  • Big 12 Conference Player of the Year
  • All-Big 12, first team
  • Academic All-Big 12, first team
  • Two-time Big 12 Player of the Week
  • Star Telegram All-Big 12
  • Sooner Scholar, Fall
  • Commissioner's Honor Roll, Fall
  • Bertha Teague Classic MVP
  • Hawaiian Regent All-Tournament team
  • Preseason All-Big 12, first team
  • WBJ Preseason All-American, honorable mention

    Stacey Dales

  • All-Big 12, second team
  • Fort Worth Star All-Big 12, second team
  • San Antonio Express All-Big 12, second team
  • Academic All-Big 12, first team
  • OU Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
  • Sooner Scholar, Fall
  • Commissioner's Honor Roll, Fall
  • Dean's List, Fall
  • President's Honor Roll, Fall

    Caton Hill

  • Kansas City Star All-Big 12 Freshman Team
  • All-Bertha Teague Classic
  • Pace Award Winner
  • Jay Myers Honoree
  • Sooner Scholar, Fall
  • Commissioner's Honor Roll, Fall

    LaNeishea Caufield

  • All-Big 12, second team
  • Dallas Morning News All-Big 12, second team
  • All-Bertha Teague Classic
  • Athletic Council Service Award winner

    Jadrea Seeley

  • Kansas City Star All-Big 12 Bench Team

    Desiree Taylor

  • Academic All-Big 12, first team
  • Sooner Scholar, Fall

    Jennifer Cunnigham

  • Academic All-Big 12, first team
  • Sooner Scholar, Fall
  • Commissioner's Honor Roll, Fall

    Shannon Selmon

  • Academic All-Big 12, first team
  • Sooner Scholar, Fall
  • Commissioner's Honor Roll, Fall
  • Dean's List, Fall

    It's time to make room for a new star in NCAA Division I coaching. With the arrival of Oklahoma's Head Coach Sherri Coale four years ago, the Sooner women's basketball program has been escalated to national prominance. With Coale in the director's chair and senior All-American Phylesha Whaley leading the youthful Sooners, OU is bound for its first NCAA Tournament in five years.

    In her fourth year, Coale has the Sooners in the NCAA Tournament, guided OU to a share of the Big 12 Conference regular-season title and produced a 20-win season. For this, the Healdton, Okla., native has earned numerous Coach of the Year accolades.

    Coale opened her collegiate coaching career with a 5-22 record, followed by an 8-19 campaign in 1998. Last year, Coale took OU to the WNIT and finished the year with an overall record of 15-14. After struggling to just 28 wins in her first three years, Coale's Sooners are 23-7 this season, and sit at No 18 on the Associated Press and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' polls. The Sooners, who had won just 13 conference games over the past three years prior to the 1999-2000 season, had 13 Big 12 victories this season.

    Sherri Coale has been named Coach of the Year by:

    • Big 12 Conference
    • The Dish
    • WBCA District V
    • IKON/WBCA Coach of the Year Finalist
    • CNN Sports Illustrated Coaches to Watch
    • Kansas City Star Big 12
    • Dallas Morning News Big 12
    • Fort Worth Star Telegram Big 12
    • San Antonio Express Big 12
    Freshman guard Jadrea Seeley looks to break out of her shooting slump during the NCAA Championship. The Bethel, Okla., native has gone 7-for-26 for an accuracy of 26.9 percent in OU's last six games. In Seeley's previous six games, she shot 52.7 percent (19-for-36) from the field.

    This year's team is on the verge of setting single season records in three-pointers made, three-point field goal percentage and assists. OU is 15 treys shy of tying the school record for most made treys and currently shoots .367 from behind the arch. The single season record is .397. The Sooners have dished out 571 assists and are going for the school record of 575.

    The Sooners have already established a single season record for best free throw percentage, shooting .746.

    The University of Oklahoma women's basketball program is the 17th most improved program this year in the NCAA as announced by the national office on Tuesday, March 14.


    1. Chattanooga
    2. Southwest Texas State
    3. Fairfield
    5. Samford
    6. Long Island
    SF Austin
    Stony Brook
    Western Illinois
    James Madison
    Fla. Atlantic
    Austin Peay
    Georgia State
    Southern California
    UNC Wilmington

    Oklahoma placed five players on the Academic All-Big 12 first team. Earning her third all-academic honor was junior Desiree Taylor of Richardson, Texas.

    For the second straight year, sophomores Jennifer Cunningham and Stacey Dales were selected to the all-academic first team. Cunningham, a native of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, is a business major who earned a perfect 4.0 GPA for the 1999 spring semester. Dales is majoring in communications and has better than a 3.5 overall GPA.

    Earning her second academic all-conference honor was senior Phylesha Whaley. Whaley, a sociology major, was also named to the 1997 team. In addition, English major Shannon Selmon appeared on the list for the first time this year.

    Oklahoma's 2000 Women's Basketball Academic All-Big 12

    Jennifer Cunningham, OklahomaSo.BusinessKingston, Ontario, Canada
    Stacey Dales, OklahomaSo.CommunicationsBrockville, Ontario, Canada
    Shannon Selmon, OklahomaSo.English ChemicalNorman, Okla.
    Desiree Taylor, OklahomaJr.Chemical EngineeringRichardson, Texas
    Phylesha Whaley, OklahomaSr.SociologySlaton, Texas

    Through the season, Head Coach Sherri Coale's bunch has exhibited an impressive balance offensively, making it difficult for opponents to focus on one person.

    Three Sooners, led by senior forward Phylesha Whaley (20.6), are averaging double figures in scoring. Others in double figures include sophomore guards LaNeishea Caufield (14.5 ppg) and Stacey Dales (12.8).

    Oklahoma is 0-3 this season when playing on a neutral court. OU lost two games at the Hawaiian Regent Classic (Arizona and Tennessee Tech) and its first game of the Big 12 Tournament (Texas). The three teams that defeated OU on a neutral court are participating in the NCAA Tournament.

    OU is injury free heading into postseason.

    Sophomore LaNeishea Caufield is automatic when placed on the free throw line in the final minutes of the game. The 5-9 guard has connected on 94.1 percent of her foul shots in the last two minutes of a game, hitting 32-of-34 attempted foul shots. On the season, she has connected on 155-of-183 foul shots for an OU single season best free throw accuracy of 84.7.

    She currently ranks third in the league in free throw percentage (.847) and steals (3.00). Caufield owns the school career free throw percentage record with a 82.4 accuracy, hitting 338-of-410.

    Oklahoma's eight consecutive road wins, from Nov. 20 to Jan. 29, marked a school record. The previous best was five straight road wins set during the 1984-85 season.

    Oklahoma has not lost a game when leading at halftime. The Sooners boast an 20-0 mark when ahead at intermission.

    Oklahoma became the first team in the Big 12 Conference to open league play with nine straight wins.

    Each team that defeated Oklahoma this season will compete in the 2000 NCAA Championship with Connecticut earning a top seed in the East Region (the region OU's in). Arizona, Tennessee Tech, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Texas are also attempting to win a national title. Both Iowa State and Texas Tech, Big 12 opponents, are three seeds, followed by No. 7 seed Texas, No. 8 seed Arizona and No. 14 seed Tennessee Tech.

    When Oklahoma combines solid shooting and rebounding the Sooners are almost unstoppable. OU is 20-3 when producing a better field goal percentage than its opponent and 20-1 when outrebounding its challenger.

    In addition, OU is 14-0 when hitting 50 percent or better from the field. Oklahoma also has the edge when shooting (19-0) and making (18-0) more free throws.

    Sophomore LaNeishea Caufield moved up to No. 3 on OU's single season list with 90 steals. She is 20 shy of claiming the single season record in that category.

    The Ada, Okla., native took over the No. 1 slot earlier this year for best single season free throw percentage, hitting 84.7 percent of her shots. In addition, she ranks third in most free throws made (153) and ranks fourth in free throws attempted (181).

    As a freshman, she set the school single season record for most made (183) and attempted (227) free throws.

    Sophomore guard Stacey Dales is second on OU's single season assists chart with 169. Holding the top single season record for OU in this category is Sharee Mitchum, who dished out 242 assists during the 1993-94 season.

    Dales is 73 assists shy of Mitchum's single season record.

    Oklahoma's home average attendance of 2,659 fans ranks 36th in the nation according to an unofficial home attendance chart complied weekly by the Wisconsin-Madison Women's Sports Information Office.

    This year a total of 39,880 fans witnessed a women's basketball game at the Lloyd Noble Center compared to last year's total of 20,257 fans. The Sooners ended the 1999-2000 campaign with a home record 13-2.

    Head Coach Sherri Coale and her 1999-2000 team have established four of OU's top 10 attendance marks and seven of the top 25 figures this year.

    Oklahoma enters the NCAA Tournament as one of the most prolific scoring threats in the country, according to the most recent NCAA statistics released on March 13.

    OU ranks 14th in the NCAA with an average of 78.9 points per game.

    The Sooners also rank eighth in field goal accuracy, hitting 48.0 percent of their shots (863-of-1799), 17th in rebounding margin (+6.7) and 20th in free throw percentage, shooting 74.6 percent (488-of-654).

    Oklahoma is undefeated when scoring 90-plus points against its opponents. However, the Sooners are 0-2 when being held to 59 points or less. When registering 80 or more points, OU is 14-2.

    When Scoring:

    50-59 points: 0-2
    60-69 points: 4-3
    70-79 points: 4-1
    80-89 points: 8-2
    90-99 points: 5-0
    100-plus points: 1-0

    After shooting 80.6 percent from the free throw line the last five games, Oklahoma broke the school single-season record for best free throw percentage. Through 30 games, the Sooners have nailed 74.6 percent of their shots from the charity stripe.

    That breaks the single season team record of 72.1 percent established by last year's team.

    In the Sooners' 30 games this season six different players have led the team in scoring. OU's leading scorer in 19 games has been senior Phylesha Whaley. Sophomores LaNeishea Caufield and Stacey Dales have paced the team seven and five times, respectively.

    Oklahoma ended its 1999-2000 home campaign at the Lloyd Noble Center with 13 victories which ties the school record set by the 1983-84 and 1984-85 teams.

    In addition, OU bettered the previous school record for most home games in a single season by one with 16.

    The last time Oklahoma ended the regular season by winning three consecutive games was during the 1978-79 campaign ... Oklahoma's 9-0 run to open the Big 12 Conference schedule is a league best. ... In the latest Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Rankings, Oklahoma is ranked 18th in the country. (March 13) ... The Sooners are 1-3 against ranked opponents. ... Oklahoma is 5-4 in televised games. ... Oklahoma was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 Conference Coaches and Media polls. ... The last time that Oklahoma's men's and women's basketball programs were ranked at the same time was during the 1994-95 season. ... Oklahoma assistant coach Kristi Hayes resigned Feb. 1. Hayes cited her mother's illness as the reason for leaving the nationally-ranked Sooners. ... OU matched its second longest winning streak in school history at 10 games. The 1984-85 squad also accomplished this mark. The 1983-84 team holds the school record with 11 consecutive victories. ... Oklahoma set a record for the largest crowd to ever witness a women's sporting event in the state of Oklahoma when 10,713 fans watched the Connecticut game on Dec. 29. ... OU's 45-point margin of victory over San Diego on Dec. 21 was the ninth largest in school history. ... Oklahoma became the first squad in OU women's basketball history to go undefeated in the month of January (8-0).


    Iowa State133.813255.833
    Texas Tech133.813254.862
    Kansas State610.3751317.433
    Oklahoma State511.3131416.467
    Texas A&M313.1881116.407


    Edwina BrownTexasMVP
    Stacy FreseIowa State
    Nicole KubikNebraska
    Angie WelleIowa State
    Desiree TaylorIowa State


    First Team
    Phylesha WhaleyOklahomaF5-10Sr/3LSlaton, Texas
    Edwina BrownTexasG/F5-10Sr/3LLockhart, Texas
    Stacy FreseIowa StateG5-8Sr/2LCedar Rapids, Iowa
    Lynn PrideKansasG/F6-2Sr/3LArlington, Texas
    Nicole KubikNebraskaG5-10Sr/3LCambridge, Neb.
    Second Team
    Keitha DickersonTexas TechF6-0Sr/3LElk City, Okla.
    Jennifer CrowO-StateG5-9Sr/3LCorn, Okla.
    Stacey DalesOklahomaG6-0So/1LBrockville, Ontario
    Angie WelleIowa StateC6-4So/1LFargo, N.D.
    LaNeishea CaufieldOklahomaG5-9So/1LAda, Okla.
    Third Team
    Amanda LassiterMissouriF6-1Jr/TRSan Francisco, Calif.
    Jaynetta SaundersTexas A&MF5-11Jr/TRLouisville, Ky.
    Megan TaylorIowa StateG5-10Jr/2LRoseau, Minn.
    Jenny RoulierColoradoG5-8So/1LEnglewood, Colo.
    Desiree FrancisIowa StateF6-1Sr/1LAntigua, West Indies

    Honorable Mention: Nicole Collins, Baylor, Suzi Raymant, Kansas, Brooke Reves, Kansas, Jaclyn Johnson, Kansas, Jennifer Jackson, Kansas, Angie Finkes, Kansas State, Nicky Ramage, Kansas State, Olga Firsova, Kansas State, Julie Helm, Missouri, Brooke Schwartz, Nebraska, Prissy Sharpe, Texas A&M, Melinda Schmucker-Pharies, Texas Tech

    Player of the Year: Phylesha Whaley, Oklahoma
    Newcomer of the Year: Amanda Lassiter, Missouri
    Freshman of the Year: Plenette Pierson, Texas Tech
    Coach of the Year: Sherri Coale, Oklahoma


    Phylesha WhaleySeniorSociology
    Desiree TaylorJuniorEngineering
    Stacey DalesSophomoreCommunications
    Jennifer CunninghamSophomoreChemistry
    Shannon SelmonSophomoreEnglish



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