Nov. 1, 2001
Norman, Okla. - In its first game in the Howard McCasland Field House since the 1977-78 season, the Oklahoma women's basketball team defeated local rival Oklahoma Christian, 90-62. The two teams faced each other in an exhibition game Thursday night in Norman in front of 1,233 fans. Oklahoma is now 9-4 in exhibition play over the last five years
OU was led by forwards Caton Hill and Jamie Talbert, who scored 20 and 15 points, respectively. Talbert, a senior, also grabbed a team-high six rebounds, followed by Hill's five. The Sooners started off slow in the first half, however they built a comfortable 50-29 lead at halftime and cruised to the victory.
On the game, OU shot 48.8 percent from the field (38-of-79), but just 42.9 percent from the free throw line (3-of-7). The Sooners had an impressive 28 assists and an incredible 26 steals on the night. OU's all-time record for steals in a single game is 28, set vs. Missouri in 1995.
OU had a starting five of guards Stacey Dales, Rosalind Ross and LaNeishea Caufield, and forwards Hill and Talbert. Freshman Dionnah Jackson of St. Louis, Mo., saw significant playing time, logging 25 minutes and scoring six points. She also displayed excellent defensive ability, taking numerous charges and having three steals on the night.
Caufield, a Defensive All-American, pocketed six steals in the evening, in addition to her seven points and six assists. Fellow All-American Dales dished out eight assists and had seven points, three rebounds, a block and a steal.
"It was great to play again," said Hill. "Practice has been fun but we needed to play someone other than ourselves. We shot well and that got us going with our offense, but the game let us know we're not where we need to be."
Oklahoma Christian was led by Sarah Reese, who scored 15 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. Elizabeth Mullins and Ali Griffin added 12 points apiece. The 5-3 Griffin played in all but two minutes of the game and had seven assists. OC shot 56.5 percent (26-of-46) from the field on the night.
In the first half, Oklahoma actually shot better from three-point range than it did from the field overall. OU hit eight of its 14 three-point attempts in the opening stanza, good for 57.1%. The Sooners were 21-for-39 overall in the first half, a 53.8% clip. Hill scored 15 first half points and Ross added 14.
"In your first exhibition game, you find out about your team," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale. "You find out what you're good at and what you're not good at. I thought our veterans did a nice job. We got our freshmen a lot of time too, and that's what they need. It was beneficial for us and hopefully for Oklahoma Christian as well."
This is the second consecutive year that OU and Oklahoma Christian have matched up in exhibition play. OU defeated the Lady Eagles 94-61 last season at the Lloyd Noble Center. OC Head Coach Stephanie Findley coached OU's Coale and Sooner assistant Jan Ross when they played at Oklahoma Christian in the 1980s.
The Sooners host Southwestern Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 6. The regular season kicks off against Purdue on Sun., Nov. 11 in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Durham, N.C.