NORMAN, Okla. -- After returning to first place in the Big 12 standings, the 14/11 Oklahoma women’s basketball team (19-4, 9-3) travels to Texas Tech Saturday for a 1 p.m. game at United Spirit Arena. The game will be broadcast to a near-national audience by Fox Sports Net (FSN) with Kevin Eschenfelder and Debbie Antonelli calling the action.
The game will also be available on the radio waves through Sooner Sports Radio flagship station KOKC-1520 AM with the regular team of Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti. Fans outside of KOKC’s signal range can listen to the game through Yahoo! Radio at a minimal cost.
Thanks to a 20-point win over Texas on Monday and an upset heavy Wednesday in Big 12 basketball, the Sooners are again in first place in the conference standings. OU is in the middle of four team logjam at the top of the standings. OU, Baylor, Nebraska and Texas A&M all have 9-3 records. OU currently owns a potential tiebreaker with Nebraska and Baylor, although the Sooners still have another game with Baylor on Feb. 28.
The aforementioned win over Texas was ignited by new starters Jenna Plumley, Amanda Thompson and Ashley Paris, who all scored in double figures alongside Courtney Paris’ 27 points and 15 rebounds. Plumley and Thompson showed no ill-effects from the pressure of their first career starts as they combined for 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
Texas Tech had been reeling since senior Chesley Dabbs left the team. That was until it snapped a three-game losing streak and did OU a major favor by upsetting Nebraska in Lincoln on Wednesday night. Overall Texas Tech is 15-11 and 6-6 in Big 12.
The trip to Lubbock is the first stop on a two-game road trip. OU will make its final Big 12 road stop at Kansas on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7p.m. The game will be broadcast back to Oklahoma by the Sooner Sports Network.
Setting The Scene
Date: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Venue: United Spirit Arena (15,000)
Tipoff: 1 p.m. Central
TV Talent: Kevin Eschenfelder & Debbie Antonelli
FSN Coverage Map
Radio: KOKC-1520 AM (flagship) & Yahoo! Radio (subscription)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Tickets: (806) 742-TECH
Player To Watch
Freshman point guard Jenna Plumley started her first career game against Texas on Monday and put on an impressive showing. INfact, her final line was as impressive as any by a Sooner point guard this season. Plumley finished the game with 11 points, eight assists, five steals, four rebounds and just two turnovers. The 5-4 Plumley established five career highs by the end of the night. The Red Rock, Okla., native is shooting 37 percent from 3-point range this season and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.48.
Small Batch of Big 12 Tickets On Sale
The Oklahoma Athletics Ticket Office has put a limited number of Phillips 66 Women’s Big 12 Championship tickets up for public sale. Reserved all-session tickets are currently available for $80.
Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last and may be purchased in person at the Athletics Ticket Office or by calling the 800 456 GoOU or 405 325 2424. All orders are subject to a $25 processing fee.
Recap - OU 78, Texas 58
(AP) - Courtney Paris had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 14 Oklahoma used a shuffled lineup to rout Texas 78-58 on Monday night.
The Sooners (19-4, 9-3 Big 12) ended the first half with a 27-3 run and avenged one of their four losses.
Paris scored 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Jenna Plumley, one of two freshmen in coach Sherri Coale’s new lineup, added a pair of 3-pointers as the Sooners surged ahead. On the final play of the half, Paris took an inbounds pass from Plumley with 1.5 seconds left and hit a turnaround jumper from the left side to put the Sooners up 48-22.
She then ran off the court with her teammates, getting congratulated as though she’d hit a game-winner. Texas (16-10, 5-7) was 0-for-6 from the field and committed six turnovers during Oklahoma’s run.
The Longhorns, who beat Oklahoma 67-62 in Austin on Jan. 31, got back within 55-38 when Tiffany Jackson came across the lane and scored a layup around Paris from the left block.
With Jackson on the bench with four fouls, Erneisha Bailey scored six straight points to cut the deficit to 62-46.
That’s as close as the Longhorns got. Oklahoma pushed back with six points in a row, and Paris’ basket inside made it 68-46.
Paris got her 51st straight double-double and her twin sister, Ashley Paris, got her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Plumley added 11 points and a career-high eight assists, and Amanda Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds. Both made their first career starts as Coale switched things up after the Sooners lost three of their previous four games.
Jackson led Texas with 19 points, Bailey scored 14 and Earnesia Willams had 12. The Longhorns have lost three straight games.
OU dropped to No. 14 in the new Associated Press Top 25 Poll released on Monday afternoon ... OU unveiled a new starting lineup of Jenna Plumley, Erin Higgins, Amanda Thompson, Ashley Paris and Courtney Paris ... It was the first career start for Plumley and Thompson ... It was the 59th consecutive start for C. Paris, 17th consecutive start for Higgins and the 14th start of A. Paris’ career ... Consecutive start streaks for Leah Rush (108) and Chelsi Welch (45) were snapped ... At 7:54 in the first half OU led 21-19 ... The Sooners used a 27-3 run to the close the half with a 46-22 lead ... OU went over 100,000 in season attendance for the first time in program history with tonight’s attendance of 11,245 ... The season total for attendance at the Lloyd Noble Center is 103,162 ... OU is averaging a record 10,316 fans per game ... Tonight’s attendance marked the eighth largest crowd in OU history ... Ashley Paris recorded her sixth career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds ... Monday marked the 15th time both Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris scored in double figures in the same game ... It is the eighth time this season ... It was the second time this season, and sixth time overall, that both have posted a double-double in the same game ... OU is now 14-1 when both reach 10 or more points and 6-0 when they both record a double-double ... Jenna Plumley broke career highs in steals (5), rebounds (4), defensive rebounds (4), assists (8) and minutes played (33) ... Courtney Paris collected her 51st consecutive double-double and 56th career double-double in 59 career games ... C. Paris eclipsed 1,300 career points with her second basket of the game ... She also reached 900 career rebounds with her 12th board at the 11:11 minute mark of the second half ... She needed 59 career games to reach 1,300 points and 900 rebounds, which is the fastest pace in OU and Big 12 history.
Previewing Texas Tech
Texas Tech is 15-11 overall and 6-6 in Big 12 play under first year head coach Kristy Curry, who left her head coaching position at Purdue to take over in Lubbock. In seven years at the helm of the Boilermakers, she compiled a career record of 179-51 (.778) and was 86-26 (.768) in Big Ten Conference games.
Texas Tech has signature Big 12 wins over Oklahoma State (twice), Texas and most recently Nebraska. The Lady Raiders upset of Nebraska in Lincoln muddled the top of the Big 12 standings and put OU in the middle of four way first place tie.
The Lady Raiders lost stars Erin Grant and LaToya Davis to graduation after last season, which is also when coaching legend Marsh Sharp retired.
Picking up the scoring slack this season is senior Alesha Robertson, who is only player averaging double figures at 13.7 points per game. She is also the leading rebounder at 8.7 per outing.
In conference play, Patrice Edwards has joined Robertson in double figures offensively. The 6-6 Edwards is averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. She played hero against the Huskers on Wednesday when she hit two game clinching free throws with 24 seconds left and blocked the potential game winning shot.
Texas Tech was 6-0 at home during the non-conference season but is just 3-3 at United Spirit this season. The Lady Raiders draw 10,696 fans on average, which is the third best mark in Division I ball. The Sooners are right behind at No. 4 with 10,316.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series 21-13 but has dropped three straight to OU. OU is just 4-12 in Lubbock.
The last meeting was an instant classic. The teams battled into double overtime at the Lloyd Noble Center. OU was saved by senior point guard Kendra Moore, who went off for 20 points, including 13 in extra time. An Erin Higgins three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation sent the game into a first overtime.
Below is OU’s RPI by the NCAA and predictor website College Basketball News, Jeff Sagarin and College RPI. The numbers in parentheses are strength of schedule
NCAA CBN Sagarin College RPI
RPI 17 14 (28) 12 (19) 15 (23)
Courtney Paris needs two blocks to become the first player in Big 12 history with 1,300 career points, 900 career rebounds and 200 career blocks.
C. Paris is averaging 29.5 points and 16.5 rebounds in the last four games. Paris has shot 65 percent (36-55) from the field in the last three games. She was 36-82 (.439) from the field in the five games prior, which included a 9-24 showing against Texas Tech earlier this season.
Sherri Coale currently has 106 Big 12 wins, which is second among active coaches. She trails league leader and Texas head coach Jody Conradt (110).
OU has won 30 of 36 games away from Norman over the last two seasons. The Sooners are 20-4 at home during the same time span.
OU has won a record 40 straight games against unranked teams at home. The streak dates back to a loss to SMU on Dec. 21, 2002.
Big 12 Update
Oklahoma is in a four-way tie for first place in the Big 12 standings with Baylor, Nebraska and Texas A&M. All four teams have 9-3 league records. OU owns a potential tiebreaker with Nebraska and Baylor, although it still has to face the Lady Bears in the season finale on Feb. 28.
Texas A&M owns tiebreakers with all three teams, but still has to face Baylor another time. On paper, A&M also has the toughest remaining schedule with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas.
Nebraska owns a tiebreaker with Baylor.
Baylor does not own a tiebreaker with any of the teams, but can change its fate with remaining games against A&M and OU.
On the Milestone Verge...
Courtney Paris three assists shy of 100 and two blocks shy of 200. When she reaches 200 blocks, she will become the first player in OU and Big 12 history to accumulate 1,200 career points, 900 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. The Sooner center is 149 rebounds shy of No. 2 on the OU career list, nine shy of No. 2 on OU offensive rebound list and 21 shy of No. 2 on the OU defensive rebounds list. She is also 29 points shy of passing No. 11 Tami Rogers (1,353) on the OU career scoring list. Leah Rush (1,328) is currently four points ahead of Paris on the OU scoring list.
Leah Rush (1,328 points) is 26 points shy of passing No. 11 Tami Rogers (1,353 points) on the OU career scoring list.
Chelsi Welch (1,108) is 41 points shy of No. 18 Mandy Wade (1,148 points) on the OU career scoring list.
Frosh to the Rescue
OU head coach Sherri Coale wanted to infuse energy and shake up her team after losing three of four Big 12 games recently. The result was the addition of freshman point guard Jenna Plumley and freshman forward Amanda Thompson to the starting lineup against Texas on Feb. 12. The duo ignited a 20-point win over their Red River Rivals.
Plumley is averaging just 3.1 points and 1.5 assists on the season but she has cranked up her output in the last two games, when she has received her most significant minutes of the conference season. She is averaging 8 points, 6 assists and 4.5 steals during that span.
Thompson has been garnering meaningful minutes all season but has really contributed over the last four games. She is averaging 9 points, 5 boards and 1.7 assists during that stretch.
Historic Defensive Stretch
OU has held 19 of 23 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 14 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 .337. Only Ohio State (.450), Texas Tech (.443), Texas (.435) and Texas A&M (.475) have shot over 40 percent against OU this season. The lowest mark was .224 by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado. Last season 24 of 36 opponents failed to reach the 40 percent mark against OU.
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 (44.3) is second in the Big 12 and Leah Rush (42.9) ranks third. Britney Brown (34.6) and Jenna Plumley (37.2) are also shooting over 34 percent from long range. As a team OU ranks third in the Big 12 and 34rd nationally with a 3-point percentage of 35.5.
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 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:
For the first time in program history, the OU women’s basketball team has reached a season attendance total in excess of 100,000 fans. 103,162 fans have turned out for 10 home contests this season, which averages out to 10,316, which is an OU record and the fourth best mark nationally. OU also sold a record 6,526 season tickets this year.
Last year, OU had an average attendance of 7,630 over 13 contests. They played in front of 99,188 fans and fell just short of the 1000,000 mark.
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 15 games, shooting 38 percent and making 27 of 71 attempts. She has tallied 89 points over that span after having 25 combined in the first eight games. On the season Higgins is shooting 32.1 percent from 3-point range.
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 9.7 points per game and is posting career highs in 3-point percentage (42.9), field goal percentage (50.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.76). She ranks ninth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage.
56 Double-Doubles, 51 Straight | Every Paris Double-Double
Courtney Paris has 56 career double-doubles in 59 career games. She has recorded a double-double in 51 straight games. The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005. The streak will be 439 days old when OU takes the court next.
51 Straight Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris has collected a double-double in 51 straight games. It is the longest known double-double streak in the history of NCAA Division I women’s basketball and is 11 longer than the longest stretch on the men’s basketball side.
Double-Double Reference | The 411 on CP3
Largely due to the numbers put up by Courtney Paris, the NCAA is currently researching the national records for career double-doubles and consecutive double-doubles in women’s basketball.
Since those records do not currently exist, the only comparison on the collegiate level is to the men’s side. Below are the top five consecutive double-double streaks in men’s basketball history and the top five career double-double marks.
Career Double-Double Record
Courtney Paris claimed the OU career double-double record on Feb. 10 when she reached 55 against Texas A&M. Paris needed 58 career games to break the record. OU legend Molly McGuire accumulated her total of 54 in 115 career games. The Big 12 record is 61 by Sophia Young of Baylor, which is certainly within Paris’ reach this season. The NCAA does not keep track of women’s career double-doubles, but is currently researching the mark.
Countdown to 1,500 Points & 1, 000 Rebounds
Courtney Paris is quickly approaching 1,500 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She is 176 points shy of 1,500 and 97 rebounds shy of 1,000. Based on her career scoring average of 22.4, it should take Paris eight games to reach 1,500 points. Her career rebound average is 15.3, which puts her approximately six games away from reaching 1,000. Molly McGuire (2,147 points, 1,071 rebounds) and Caton Hill (1,653 points, 1,052 rebounds) are the only players in OU history with at least 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds. Only five players - Sophia Young, Stacy Stephens, Angie Welle, Kendra Wecker and Hill - have eclipsed 1,000 career points and rebounds in Big 12 history.
The Half Double-Double | Paris' Big Games
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 19 occasions (7 first half, 11 second half). She has nine 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), Oklahoma State (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, New Mexico, 12/30/06 and Oklahoma State, 2/4/07). Her career high for rebounds in a half is 14 (Baylor, 3/11/06 & Kansas State 1/3/07).
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 13th in field goal percentage. No other player in the NCAA ranks in the top 10 in more than two categories.
Paris & Putbacks
22 percent (119-536) of Courtney Paris’ points this season have come after she pulled down an offensive rebound. Of that total, 46 have come after her own miss, 60 have come after her teammates’ misses and 13 have come at the free throw line after being fouled