Women's Basketball Takes On SMU This Weekend

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 18, 2002

Dec. 18, 2002

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Women's Basketball Game Notes
No. 15/16 Oklahoma (8-2) versus SMU (4-2)

Opponent: SMU (4-2)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2002
Site: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
Television: None
Radio: KOMA (1520 AM) and www.soonersports.com
Tickets: Tickets are still available. To purchase call 405-325-GoOU.
Promotion: "Mini-Weekend Packages" which features six home games on sale for $30.

Quickly: Oklahoma (8-2) enters Saturday's contest against SMU (4-2) ranked 15th in the Associated Press and 16th in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches polls. The Sooners will host the Mustangs at 12 p.m., followed by the men's team hosting Georgia State at 4 p.m. inside the Lloyd Noble Center.

SMU recently defeated North Texas, 68-64, in Dallas and will host Southern California on Thursday before traveling to Norman. In OU's last two games, the Sooners over came halftime deficits to win. The Sooners defeated Wichita State, 70-64, and TCU, 68-64.

Radio: All of OU's games will be broadcast live on KOMA (1520-AM) and on the Internet at www.soonersports.com. Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti will call the game. Sooner fans may also view the game through GameTracker on OU's women's basketball website under schedule.

Rankings: Oklahoma is ranked 15th in the AP and 16th in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches polls. SMU is not ranked.

Series Records: The all-time series record between the two programs is tied at four victories each. Oklahoma has a winning margin of 21.8 points over the Mustangs, while SMU's margin of victory is only 7.5 points.

Tickets: Oklahoma women's basketball is offering Sooner fans the opportunity to purchase selected weekend home games for just $30. Weekend mini-package starts this Saturday.

Single game tickets can also be purchased for a small price. Adult reserved seating is $10, while general admission seating is $8. Youth will be admitted for $5 and OU students are free with valid I.D.

To order tickets or for more ticket information, fans should call (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GoOU during regular business hours. Tickets may also be purchased online at soonersports.com.

Coaches: Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987) is in her seventh season at the helm of the OU women's basketball program. The Healdton, Okla., native directed the Sooners to their first Final Four and national championship game appearance a year ago. Coale also has three Big 12 regular season titles under her belt and owns an overall record of 119-75. (For more information on Coale see page 3).

Rhonda Rompola (SMU, 1983) has spent her 11th years as a head coach directing the SMU women's basketball program. Over this time span, she has produced an overall record of 206-121. She has coached seven teams to postseason action, six being to the NCAA Tournament. The Dallas Morning News named Rompola the 2000 WAC Coach of the Year after her team went 22-9 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


Oklahoma looks to extend its 25-game home winning streak Saturday. OU has currently won three consecutive games and its two home games of the 2002 season.

OU was dealt a blow when the team lost senior Caton Hill and freshman Erin Higgins to torn ACLs on Nov. 26.

However, junior guard Maria Villarroel has filled the scoring void for the Sooners, as she's tallied 189 points to average 18.9 ppg. She has posted two 30+ point games this season - 31 vs. Sam Houston State and 30 vs. Fordham.

Senior Theresa Schuknecht has connected on 91.3 percent of her free throw attempts (42-of-46) to lead players with more than 10 made free throws. Schuknecht is also pacing the squad with 7.5 rebounds per game. She has scored 10 points or more in five of OU's 10 games.

Sophomore Dionnah Jackson tops the team with 49 assists (4.9 apg) and 23 steals (2.3 spg).

OU has won its last two road games after trailing at half-time. Oklahoma is 3-2 when trailing at intermission and 5-0 when leading after the first 20 minutes.

As a team, Oklahoma is shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 68.8 percent from the foul line. OU also averages 71.3 points to its opponents' 63.0 points per game.


SMU will play Souther Cal Thursday before traveling to Norman to face the Sooners on Saturday. The Mustangs are currently 4-2 on the season. Their most recent win was against North Texas, 68-64, in Dallas Tuesday.

SMU is lead by a pair of juniors in Andrea Cossey and Kim Walter. Cossey tops the Mustangs in scoring with 14.0 ppg and assists with 4.0 apg. Walter, a TCU transfer, ranks second on the team with 13.0 ppg and charts a team-best 7.7 rebounds per game.

SMU also has two other transfers in junior Kaira White, formally of Texas, and junior Juli Colli, previously with Vanderbilt. Both will miss the 2002-03 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

As a team, SMU averages 66.5 points and 40.8 rebounds per game. They are also shooting 41.3 percent from the field, 61.1 percent from the foul line and 30.6 percent from the arc.

SMU ended its 2002 season with an overall record of 12-18 and a seventh place mark of 6-12 in the WAC.

Coach Rompola returns eight letterwinners from that squad.


Oklahoma and SMU share three common opponents, TCU, Tulsa and Missouri. TCU defeated the Mustangs, 77-57, while OU defeated TCU, 68-64. Oklahoma defeated Tulsa, 65-61. SMU will face TU twice in conference action. Missouri lost to SMU 72-70 in the first round of the Flint Hills Resources Islander Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas. Oklahoma will challenge the Tigers on Feb. 26 as part of the Big 12 schedule.


Oklahoma and SMU faced each other during the 2001-02 season. OU won 91-70 in Dallas. The Sooners had four players in double digits led by LaNeishea Caufield and Stacey Dales with 26 points apiece. Rosalind Ross and Jamie Talbert contributed 16 and 14 points, respectively. Oklahoma shot 55.0 percent for the game, while SMU hit 43.8 percent from the field.


Saturday features Oklahoma men's and women's basketball teams in action. The women take to the court at 12 p.m. vs. SMU, followed by the men at 4 p.m. against Georgia State.

Sooner fans that have a men's ticket will be admitted to the women's game free of charge. Women basketball fans are encouraged to stay for the men's game. All season ticket holders will have rights to their seats for their respectively games.

You will not be allowed to leave the facility and re-enter.


Oklahoma's 25-game home winning streak currently ranks second best in the NCAA. Connecticut currently tops the charts at 50 straight home wins. Oklahoma has not lost a game inside the Lloyd Noble Center since Iowa State handed the Sooners an 81-79 buzzer beater defeat on Jan. 6, 2001.

The school record is 26 consecutive home victories (Feb. 18, 1984 to Feb. 22, 1986).

The Sooners sport an impressive four year record of 42-3 (.933 winning percentage) inside the Lloyd Noble Center, including this season. Last year, OU produced a perfect 14-0 home record and when 13-1 in 2001.


Junior Maria Villarroel and senior Theresa Schuknecht currently ranks among the NCAA leaders in field goal and free throw percentages as of Dec. 16, 2002. Villarroel ranks fourth in the nation with a 67.0 field goal percentage, while Schuknecht's 91.3 free throw percentage mark is tied for 23rd.


Senior Theresa Schuknecht has hit 15 consecutive free throws dating back to the Stephen F. Austin game on Dec. 5. She has attempted at least one free throw in all but one game, Tulsa. The Canadian has been perfect at the stripe in six games. Schuknecht's 13-of-15 performance at the charity stripe against Tennessee (11/10) tops the Big 12 Conference for best individual performance.


Junior Maria Villarroel currently leads the Big 12 Conference in field goal percentage. She has made 73 of her 109 attempted shots for a 67.0 field goal accuracy. Colorado's Tera Bjorklund ranks second in the league, hitting 56-of-93 shots for a 60.2 field goal percentage. The guard 5-8 also ranks fourth in the conference in scoring with 18.9 ppg. Villarroel's 13-of-15 performance against Sam Houston State ranks second in the Big 12 Conference for best individual performance.

Senior Theresa Schuknecht ranks among the league's best three categories. She's fifth in free throw percentage, hitting 91.3 percent of her shots (42-of-46), 10th in rebounds (7.5 rpg) and 20th in scoring (12.0 ppg).

Sophomore Dionnah Jackson also ranks among the top 20 in three areas. She's seventh in steals (2.3 spg), eighth in assists (4.9 apg) and tied with Schuknecht for 20th in scoring (12.0 ppg).



Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications and Tyler Media, LLC.


Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.