Nov. 5, 2002
Norman, Okla. -
Converting inside shots and free throws helped the Oklahoma women's basketball team score 62 first-half points against Oklahoma Christian in an exhibition game Tuesday night inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners led 62-28 after the first 20 minutes and ended the game with a 93-61 victory. All of Oklahoman's eight newcomers contributed to the offense as they accounted for 72 percent of the team's total points.
Newcomer Theresa Schuknecht, a 6-3 center, led the way for the Sooners in the first half, converting 10-of-13 field goals and all six of her free throw attempts for 26 points. The senior also added seven first-half rebounds. She finished with a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action.
"I think it did what an exhibition game is supposed to do," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale. "It exposed some weaknesses. It gave the freshmen an opportunity to play through a little anxiety. Our upperclassmen have been in this situation before, in front of a big crowd and they did some good things. It gave Theresa (Schuknecht) a chance to get out there and give Tennessee a good scouting report."
Oklahoma scored the game's first four points at the free throw line and got off to a 9-0 lead, capped by a three-point shot by senior Caton Hill. Hill played 18 minutes but accounted for 11 points, hitting 5-of-6 shots from the field, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"I love playing with Caton," said Schuknecht. "She has great passing skills; she's just fun to play with. I think everyone noticed that when she wasn't on the court during the second half our performance dropped off. I know I sure missed her presence on the court."
Junior transfer Maria Villarroel also scored in double figures with 14 points. She also had four rebounds in her first outing as a Sooner. Sophomore guard Dionnah Jackson produced game-highs of 10 rebounds and nine assists while directing the Sooners' offense. Eleven of 13 players scored for the Sooners. OU's four freshmen played significant minutes in the game and contributed a combined 24 points to the Sooners' total.
Oklahoma shot 63.9 percent from the field in the first half and 51.6 percent for the game. The Sooners also converted 13-of-14 first-half free throws and 23-of-36 overall. OU out-rebounded Oklahoma Christian 59-33 and dished out 23 assists compared to OC's six.
"We missed a bunch of layups and open shots, which I expected. I am not worried about that," said Coale. "We'll be able to put the ball in the basket. We shot 51 percent and that includes a lot of easy misses. We got a little antsy in our half court offense after we scored 60 plus points in the first half. We tried to homerun it in the second half and didn't let the offense come to us."
Oklahoma Christian was led in scoring by Elizabeth Mullins with 24 points. Kimya Murray and Lauren Decker each scored 11 for the Lady Eagles.
The Sooners defeated Oklahoma Christian 90-62 in an exhibition game last season. Oklahoma is now 3-0 against Oklahoma Christian in the series history.
Oklahoma will open its regular season Sunday, Nov. 10 in Knoxville, Tenn., where they will face No. 2 Tennessee in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.