OU Hands Fordham A 90-62 loss In First Game Of Hawaiian Airlines Classic

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 28, 2002

Nov. 29, 2002

Norman, Okla. - The Oklahoma women's basketball team displayed tremendous confidence and poise as the Sooners handed Fordham a 90-62 loss in OU's first game of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, inside the Stan Sheriff Center Friday. Oklahoma moves to 4-1 on the season, while Fordham drops to 2-1 overall.

Junior guard Maria Villarroel lead OU for the second consecutive outing with a game-high 30-points. Villarroel connected on 13-of-18 shots, many in transition, had five rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes of action.

"I feel like I'm doing my job," said Villarroel. "I'm happy and very proud of my teammates for finding me in transition. I just want to help my team win."

Sophomore guard Dionnah Jackson and redshirt-freshman Antoinette Wadsworth ended the game with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Wadsworth's 13 points establishes a career high for the Texas native. Senior Theresa Schuknecht posted a game-high 10 rebounds while Jackson followed with five board.

As a team, OU shot a season-best 54.1 percent from the field, hitting 15-of-32 attempted shots, and nailed 20-of-27 free throws for a 74.1 accuracy. The Sooners also had a season-low 11 turnovers while forcing Fordham into giving the ball up 20 times.

Outside of Fordham scoring the first point of the game, the Sooners never trail and led by as many as 30 points before settling for a 28-point victory, tying their largest margin of victory this season. OU also defeated ORU by 28-points on Nov. 23.

Friday's game was as much about confidence as it was about winning since it marked the first time out since OU's All-America candidate Caton Hill and freshman standout Erin Higgins suffered season ending ACL injuries Tuesday, before the team left for Hawaii.

I'm very proud of how this team played today," said Head Coach Sherri Coale. "Maria is stepping up and filling the void of Caton (Hill) and Erin (Higgins). She is doing what she needs to do, be aggressive, and that was to her advantage tonight. She is a great finisher in transition."

The Sooners will face No. 15 North Carolina (3-0) in the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 5:30 p.m. HT. UNC defeated DePaul, 82-66, in its opening game of the classic. OU fans can tune to KOMA 1520-AM and www.soonersports.com for play-by-play action.

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