Jan. 21, 2000

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GAME #18
Colorado (6-9, 1-3) at #25 Oklahoma (14-3, 4-0)

Date: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2000
Arena: Lloyd Noble Center (11,100)
Radio: OU - KOMA (1520 AM) - Live
Internet: www.soonersports.com - Live
TV: NONE

THE GAME
The 25th-ranked Oklahoma (14-3, 4-0 Big 12) women's basketball team puts a five-game winning streak on the line Saturday when the Sooners host Colorado (6-9, 1-3 Big 12) at the Lloyd Noble Center. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.

Both teams are young, but believe it or not the Sooners have the edge in experience over Colorado. OU has at least one senior and two juniors, while Colorado sports just one junior and the rest are underclassmen. CU starts three sophomores, a junior and a freshmen and Oklahoma sends out a senior, a junior, two sophomores and a freshmen for opening tip.

Oklahoma and Colorado are coming off Big 12 Conference wins. OU picked up its first ever win over Texas, 76-73, in Austin, Wednesday, while the Buffs earned their first league victory over Texas A&M, 62-47, in Boulder.

The OU-Colorado women's game will be broadcast live on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOMA 1520 AM in Oklahoma City) and can be heard live on the internet at www.soonersports.com. Ed Murray (play-by-play) and Jenny Bramer (analyst) will call the action.

OKLAHOMA SOONERS
Oklahoma puts a five-game winning streak on the line Saturday when the Sooners host Colorado (6-9, 1-3) at the Lloyd Noble Center at 7:05 p.m.

Oklahoma hopes to tie its best conference start in school history with a win over the Buffs. In 1984-85, the Sooners rushed out to a school-best 5-0 record in league play as a member of the Big Eight Conference. OU's wins in conference play this season have been against Texas in Austin, at Baylor and at home against Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

OU enters Saturday's game with a better field goal percentage and rebounding margin than its opponents. The Sooners are knocking down 49.8 percent of their shots, which tops the conference and ranks fifth the nation. OU also leads the league in rebounding margin with a +11.2 and ranks third in scoring with 79.9 points a game. Both stats rank among the NCAA's best.

Coale and company have accomplished this with their transition game and solid defense.

With the combination of the two, OU has an overall record of 14-3 and records of 8-1 at home, 6-0 on the road and 0-2 on neutral court.

Senior All-America candidate Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) continues to lead a balanced Sooner attack that features four players averaging in double figures. Whaley, who became the school's career record holder in defensive rebounds and minutes played at Baylor, is averaging 19.1 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. She has produced seven double- doubles this season and scored in double digits in all 17 games.

Following Whaley is a trio of underclassmen in sophomore guards LaNeishea Caufield and Stacey Dales and freshman forward Caton Hill. Caufield averages 13.8 points and a team-high 2.8 steals per outing. Dales is the team leader in assists with 6.6 and ranks third on the team in scoring with 12.4 ppg. Hill, who is coming off career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds at Texas, is an all-around contributor as she averages 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals and shoots 52.1 percent from the field.

OU has dominated the offensive glass, pulling down 240 offensive rebounds to its opponents' 174. The team also holds the overall advantage in rebounds, 687-505, and steals, 182-172. In Oklahoma's last 14 games, the Sooners boast an overall record of 13-1 with its only loss being against Connecticut.

ABOUT COLORADO
The Sooners thought they were a young team, but Colorado is probably the youngest in the Big 12 Conference as the Buffs sport no seniors and only one junior on their roster. CU's sophomore class is the strongest and most experienced in the history of the program as four of five players played in all 29 games a year ago. Leading Colorado is a pair of sophomores in Jenny Roulier and Britt Hartshorn. Roulier, a guard, averages the league's 11th best scoring average of 13.9 points per game, just ahead of Hartshorn's 13.4, which is 18th in conference. Hartshorn, a center, also ranks ninth in the Big 12 in rebounds with 8.1 a game.

Colorado picked up its first Big 12 Conference win against Texas A&M, 62-47, earlier this week in Boulder. Prior to that victory, the Buffs had lost five straight games. As a team, CU is averaging 66.0 points and 40.5 rebounds, while shooting 40.1 percent from the field.

Colorado was the only school not respresented on the Big 12 All-Stars tour last summer as CU's players, coaches and support staff toured Europe for the first time ever. In an 11-day, five-game tour, the Buffs left Europe with an overall record of 3-2 as they faced teams from France, Switzerland and Monaco.

Ceal Barry (Kentucky, 1977) is in her 17th season at Colorado. Barry has logged a 405-220 career record at CU and is the school's all-time winningest women's basketball coach. She served as an assistant coach to the 1996 gold medal winning USA Olympic team and is still active in USA Basketball where she is a member of the U.S. Senior Women's National Team Selection Committee, the team that will play in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Probable Starters
Oklahoma

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPGOthers
F34Phylesha Whaley5-10Sr.17-1719.18.41st in ppg & rpg
F10Caton Hill6-1Fr.17-1710.67.12nd in rebounds
G20LaNeishea Caufield5-9So.17-1713.84.62.8 spg
G21Stacey Dales6-0So.17-1712.45.26.6 apg
G13Sunny Hardeman5-7Jr.17-145.02.03.9 apg

Off the bench (listed numerically)

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPG
C00Desiree Taylor6-1Jr.17-34.83.2
C15Jen Cunningham6-3So.16-02.12.6
G23Jadrea Seeley6-2Fr.17-09.51.9

Colorado

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPG
F22Sabrina Scott6-2Fr.15-139.77.7
F55Kami Carmann6-3Jr.15-157.26.9
C00Britt Hartshorn6-4So.14-1413.48.1
G21Jenny Roulier5-8So.15-1513.92.7
G32Mandy Nightingale5-6So.15-159.13.9

Off the bench (listed numerically)

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPG
F30Diana Spencer5-11Fr.15-03.32.2
G/F42Eisha Bohman5-10So.15-16.83.0

THE SERIES
This is the 41st meeting between the two schools. The OU-Colorado series is the fourth longest in Sooner history. Colorado has dominated OU with an overall record of 31-9 and 18-2 in the 1990s.

Last year Colorado won the only meeting between the two schools, 63-62, in Boulder, after sophomore points guard Stacey Dales missed a jumper inside the free throw line with less than 10 seconds to play.

TEAM COMPARISONS
OVERALL GAMES

OUCATEGORYCU
14-3Records6-9
79.9Points66.0
40.4Rebounds40.5
.498FG%.401
.3363pt. FG%.301
.737FT%.706
19.4Assists17.3
10.7Steals7.7

BIG 12 GAMES

OUCATEGORYCU
4-0Records1-3
83.0Points59.0
42.0Rebounds38.5
.555FG%.376
.3863pt. FG%.190
.724FT%.756
20.8Assists14.0
9.8STEALS7.5

Oklahoma vs. Colorado
Year-by-Year Recap

YearResultSiteMargin
1979W, 68-66Norman+2
1979L, 78-62Lincoln-16
1980L, 90-77Boulder-13
1982L, 71-61Manhattan-10
1983W, 90-79Norman+11
1983L, 89-82Boulder-7
1983L, 78-70Norman-8
1984L, 66-62Boulder-4
1984W, 88-78Norman+10
1985W, 73-65Boulder+8
1985W, 80-58Norman+22
1986L, 91-84Boulder-7
1986W, 82-69Norman+13
1987L, 94-80Boulder-14
1987L, 74-73Norman-1
1988W, 82-78Boulder+4
1988L, 91-88 (OT)Norman-3
1989L, 73-70Norman-3
1989L, 87-76Boulder-11
1989L, 80-61Salina-19
1990L, 56-48Norman-8
1990L, 86-49Boulder-37
1991L, 68-51Norman-17
1991L, 76-55Boulder-21
1991L, 80-75Salina-5
1992L, 63-55Norman-8
1992L, 86-63Boulder-23
1993L, 80-49Boulder-31
1993W, 74-69Norman+5
1994L, 79-74Norman-5
1994L, 89-79Boulder-10
1995L, 83-59Boulder-24
1995L, 69-64Norman-5
1996L, 68-53Norman-15
1996L, 83-68Boulder-15
1996L, 76-70Salina-6
1997L, 61-42Boulder-17
1998W, 61-58Norman+3
1998L, 71-66Kansas City-5
1999L, 63-62Boulder-1

NEXT UP
Oklahoma has a pair of Big 12 Conference road games to close out the month of January. The Sooners travel to Texas A&M on Wednesday, Jan. 29, for a 7 p.m. game at the Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, followed by a 7 p.m. game at Missouri at the Hearnes Center in Columbia on Jan. 29.

A win Saturday, plus two road wins next week would mark the first time a Sooner women's basketball team had gone unbeaten in January.

SOONERS CRACK THE TOP 25
For the first time in four years, the University of Oklahoma women's basketball program is ranked among the NCAA Division I top programs. The Sooners are ranked 25th in the nation according to the Associated Press Poll released Monday.

Oklahoma boasts an overall record of 13-3, including a 12-1 run in its last 13 games. OU is also one of only two teams in the Big 12 Conference with an undefeated record at 4-0. Oklahoma upset nationally ranked Texas Tech, 82-76, to open league play on Jan. 8.

"This is a great thing for our players," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale. "It's a reward for how hard they have worked and the commitment they have made to take this program into national prominence. It's a part of that big picture we have been pursuing since day one. The key is sustaining our climb."

"I'm excited and very proud of our team and coaching staff," said Marita Hynes, OU Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women's Administrator. "Before the season ever started, Coach Coale indicated that this team would be very good and it just proves to me that she is a master of assessing talent at the NCAA Division I level."

The last time Oklahoma was ranked in the top 25 was on Feb. 28, 1995. The highest national ranking the Sooners have ever received was 11th in 1985-86. That season, OU was ranked for 16 consecutive weeks.

SOONERS SET ROAD RECORD
With the win at Texas on Jan. 19, Oklahoma set the school record for most consecutive road wins with six.

WHALEY COLLECTS 500TH FREE THROW AND DEFENSIVE REBOUND
Senior Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) scored her 500th free throw and grabbed her 500th defensive rebound against Texas on Wednesday. Whaley is OU's career record holder in each category. She also started her 100th consecutive game against the Longhorns.

SOONERS DE-HORN THE LONGHORNS
Oklahoma entered Wednesday's game against Texas in Austin winless but the Sooners left the Frank Austin Center with a stunning 76-73 victory that ended UT's 10-game home winning streak. OU dominated the glass, outrebounding the much bigger Horns, 44-30, and shot 49.2 percent to UT's 41.0 from the field.

Freshmen Caton Hill and Jadrea Seeley carried the Sooners when experienced Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield and Phylesha Whaley were saddled with four personal fouls each midway through the second half. Hill recorded career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds, for her fourth double double of the year, and Seeley followed with 15 points and a career-high five boards. Whaley had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Caufield contributed nine points and pocketed four steals. Dales, who forced a shot clock violation and drew a charge on UT's All-American Edwina Brown in the final seconds of the game, dished out a game-high seven assists and added eight points, including 2-of-4 threes.

Texas led 33-29 at halftime but Oklahoma hit 17-of-30 (56.7%) in the final 20 minutes to outscore the Longhorns 47-40 in the second half. This was just the fourth time this season the Sooners trailed at intermission and was the first time this year OU won a game after trailing at half.

POSTING THE NUMBERS
OU sophomore center Jen Cunningham (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) and junior Desiree Taylor (Richardson, Texas) have been essential in the Sooners' early Big 12 success. Cunningham came off the bench against Texas A&M and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds and scored nine points (4-of-4 from the field) in only 18 minutes of action. She also had a steal and a blocked shot against the Aggies.

Taylor has played in each game the last two seasons. The power forward is yet to miss a shot in Big 12 play. She has hit all seven attempted shots from the field and is 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Taylor has scored 19 points, dished out six assists, collected three steals and a blocked shot while averaging 16.3 minutes. In non-conference action, she matched her career-high 20 points against Denver and had 10 rebounds against San Diego. Taylor also scored 15 points, had four offensive and four defensive boards and went 9-of-9 from the foul line in 10 minutes of playing time against North Texas.

Both players contributed valuable minutes at Texas when OU's Phylesha Whaley was benched with four fouls midway through the second half.

FANTISTIC FRESH
Oklahoma's freshmen Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) and Jadrea Seeley (Bethel, Okla.) have been solid contributors for the Sooners this season. Hill, who has started all 17 games, ranks among the team's top five in field goal-, free throws- and three-pointers made, attempted and percentage, scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots and minutes played.

Seeley has played in all 17 games for OU and averages the team's best field goal and free throw percentages. She also leads the league in Big 12 games with a 65.5 field goal accuracy, hitting 19-of-29 shots.

Each have hit over 50 percent in 12 of 17 games this season.

The duo is the only pair of freshmen from the same school to rank among the league's best in field goal percentage overall and in Big 12 games. There is only one other freshman, Texas Tech's Plenette Pierson, who breaks into the top 12.

DALES LEADS THE LEAGUE
Sophomore Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) is currently the Big 12 Conference leader in assists and boasts the league's second best assists/turnover ratio. She's dished out 6.65 assists a game and has an 1.79 assists/turnover ratio. Texas Tech's Melinda Pharies' 2.08 assists/turnover ratio tops the conference.

In conference games only, Dales also tops the league in assists with 6.75 a game.

HOT HANDS
Oklahoma is the only school in the Big 12 Conference with three players ranked among the league's best in field goal and free throw percentage. In field goal percentage, freshman Jadrea Seeley ranks eighth (55.1%), freshman Caton Hill is 11th (52.1%) and senior Phylesha Whaley ranks 11th (51.9%). At the foul line, Whaley is fifth (83.3%), junior Desiree Taylor ranks seventh (81.0%) and sophomore LaNeishea Caufield is eighth (78.8).

In conference only games, Sooners Sunny Hardeman, Hill and Stacey Dales are the only three from the same school to appear on the assists/turnover ratio top 12. Dales is sixth (1.69), Hardeman follows at 10th (1.30) and Hill ranks 12th (1.18).

WHALEY BECOMES SCHOOL'S ALL-TIME LEADER
Senior Phylesha Whaley became Oklahoma's all-time leader in defensive rebounds and minutes played at Baylor on Jan. 15. The Slaton, Texas, native collected a total of 11 boards, for the second consecutive game, and nine defensive boards to give her the record. The 5-10 forward now has 500 defensive rebounds to her credit.

Whaley also became OU's all-time leader in minutes played with 33 against the Lady Bears.

She is the OU's record holder in six career statistics: free throw made (500), attempted (644), offensive (273) and defensive (500) rebounds, minutes played (3472) and consecutive games started (100).

WHALEY LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS
Senior forward Phylesha Whaley was one of five players selected to the 1999-2000 Preseason All-Big 12 Conference team. The Slaton, Texas, native is living up to the all-conference and preseason All-America praise as she ranks among the league's best in six different categories. She is tied with Iowa State's Stacy Frese for the most individual categories to be ranked in.

SHARP SHOOTING SOONERS
Out of the 17 games that Oklahoma has played this season, the sharp shooting Sooners are nailing 49.8 percent of their shots and 55.5 percent in Big 12 games.

In addition, out of the nine players who have seen action in at least 16 games, seven are shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Leading OU in field goal accuracy is sophomore center Jen Cunningham's 66.7. Cunningham has hit 14-of-21 attempted shots, while sophomore forward Shannon Selmon has hit 11-of-19 shots for a field goal percentage of 57.9. Out of the starters, freshman Caton Hill is shooting 52.1 percent (74-of-142), followed by senior Phylesha Whaley's 51.9 (125-of-247) and sophomore LaNeishea Caufield's 51.0 (75-of-147).

INJURY REPORT
OU is injury free heading into the game.

SOONERS AMONG THE NATION'S ELITE
In the latest Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Rankings, the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team was ranked 17th in the country.

Only Texas Tech (9th) from the Big 12 Conference ranks higher than the Sooners. Oklahoma also has a higher RPI than nine teams in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll (Louisiana Tech, 18, Auburn, 34, North Carolina, 68, Iowa State, 26, Arizona, 23, UCLA, 33, Mississippi State, 36, Kansas, 43, Tulane, 28).

The Ranking Percentage Index (RPI) is used by the NCAA women's basketball committee to supplement the selection of at-large teams for the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is derived from three component factors: Division I winning percentage (25%), schedule strength (50%) and opponent's schedule strength (25%). Games against non-Division I opponents are not used in calculation of the RPI.