Sept. 9, 2001
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NORMAN, Okla. - After ending last year ranked seventh in the country, Head Women's Basketball Coach Sherri Coale and team will face another equally challenging schedule for the 2001-02 campaign it was announced today. The Sooners will see 12 teams that participated in postseason action and five teams that advanced to at least the NCAA Sweet 16.
In addition, OU Athletic officials announced for the first time in school history fans will have the opportunity to purchase reserved seating for all home games at the newly renovated Lloyd Noble Center for the upcoming season. Out of OU's 27 scheduled games, 12 will take place in Norman starting Nov. 27. Season tickets are on sale now at the OU Athletic Ticket Office.
With the renovation to the Lloyd Noble Center fans will also be seated closer to the action. "We are thrilled to be able to offer reserved seating to our fans and we are ecstatic that the seats are selling so quickly," added Coale. Season tickets are on sale for $48 for reserved and $36 for general admission. To date, OU has sold 1,645 season tickets compared to last year's 779. "Our capacity crowds at last year's first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament indicated an immediate need for reserved seating and we are happy to reward our loyal and energetic supporters," Coale said. To purchase your season tickets call 405-325-2424 or 1-800-456-4668.
The Sooners will play a school record 12 games on television, including two ESPN2 games and one ESPN. As part of the Big 12 Conference package, OU will appear four times on the FoxSports Network, the most of any Big 12 school. In addition, Sooner Sports Properties will air five games, the most in history.
"This year's schedule presents us with many opportunities both at home and on the road," stated Coale. "Once again the Big 12 Conference promises to be the toughest women's basketball leagues in the country. We add to that two non-conference showcase events, the State Farm Tip-off Classic and the Big 12/Big 10 Challenge. As brutal as this schedule is, it prepares us for the NCAA Tournament and that's what the season is all about."
After two exhibitions, Oklahoma opens its season on ESPN 2 Nov. 11 against Purdue, the 2001 NCAA runner-up, at the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Durham, N.C. This equals the earliest an OU team has opened its season. The 1994-95 squad also tipped off the season on Nov. 11.
For the fourth consecutive year, OU will be one of four state teams participating in the annual Bertha Teague Classic held this year in Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla. Tulsa, Oral Roberts and host Oklahoma State completes the field that will face each other on Nov. 17-18.
Oklahoma will meet Butler and North Texas on Nov. 23-24 in the Texas-San Antonio Thanksgiving Tournament in San Antonio, Texas, the same place the 2002 NCAA Women's Final Four will take place.
Slated for the end of December is a Big 12/Big 10 Challenge against Illinois on ESPN in Norman on Dec. 16 at 3:30 p.m. In addition, OU has a rematch with national power Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. The OU-UConn game will be televised on ESPN2 with a 1 p.m. tipoff. "Why we throw in UCONN at Connecticut I'm not sure, except that it gives us a chance to know exactly where we are and exactly what we need to do to win a national championship," said Coale.
Oklahoma tips off its home schedule in the newly renovated Lloyd Noble Center with games against TCU and Wichita State on Nov. 27 and 29, respectively. Both start times are set for 7 p.m. A road trip to Dallas to face SMU on Dec. 5 and a home contest against Montana State on Dec. 8 completes Oklahoma's non-conference schedule.
Oklahoma will attempt to capture its third Big 12 Conference regular season title in as many years against a league that saw an NCAA-record seven teams make last year's NCAA Tournament (Iowa State, Texas Tech, Missouri, Baylor, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma) and one other appeared in the WNIT (Oklahoma State). OU opens league play against two of the best teams in the conference, Colorado at home on Jan. 2 and Texas Tech in Lubbock on Jan. 5.
The Sooners will face South Division foes Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech twice and will play each member of the North Division once. North Division foes who will visit Lloyd Noble Center are Colorado (Jan. 2), Kansas (Feb. 2), Nebraska (Feb. 16).
For a fun-filled 2001-02 basketball season be sure to purchase your season tickets by calling 405-325-2424 or 1-800-456-4668.