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OU & Tulsa to Tussle Today at 3:30
December 02, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 3 Oklahoma women’s basketball team (5-0) will take its undefeated record into the Bertha Teague Classic when it faces  local rival Tulsa (3-3) inside the Reynolds Center at 3:30 p.m., Saturday. 

The game is being televised by the Sooner Sports Network and will air on KAUT-UPN (Cox channel 13) in Oklahoma City and Cox channel 3 in Tulsa.  Additionally, ESPN Full Court subscribers can watch the game through that pay-per-view package.

Those who can’t find the game on television can also follow the action on KOKC (1520 AM) with Ed Murray (play-by-play) and Tara Degiusti (color) calling the action.  It will also be available through Yahoo! Radio on the internet.

The Sooners lead the all-time series with Tulsa 21-2 but will be out for revenge on Saturday.  The Golden Hurricane upset the Sooners in the 2004 Bertha Teague Classic by a score of 67-59.  In that game TU forward Jillian Robbins led the upset charge with 20 points and six rebounds.  That was just the start of things to come for Robbins, who was a honorable mention All-American and the Conference USA Player of the Year in 2005-06.  She averaged 17.9 points and 12.8 rebounds last season and tallied 21 double-doubles, which ranked second nationally behind Courtney Paris’ 33 double-doubles.

 Game Notes | News Wire | Live Stats | Season Stats

Speaking of Paris, she has picked up where she left off in 2005-06.  The consensus preseason All-American is averaging 22.0 points, 15.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 blocks while shooting .603 from the field.  Chelsi Welch (13.2 ppg), Leah Rush (10.6 ppg) and Ashley Paris (10.0 ppg) are also scoring in double figures for the OU offense, which  is scoring 85.8 points a game to lead the Big 12.

After the short trip to Tulsa, OU will conclude its six game road trip at South Carolina on Dec. 7. The game between the Sooners and Gamecocks has been picked up by Cox and will be broadcast throughout the state of Oklahoma.

Setting The Scene
Date: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006
Location: Tulsa, Okla.
Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. Central
Venue: Reynolds Center (8,355)
TV:
Sooner Sports Network
Oklahoma City - KAUT-UPN
Tulsa - Cox channel 3
Enid - Channel 32
Lawton - Cable channel 5
Guymon - Channel 22 PTCI
Woodward - KOMI
ESPN Full Court
TV Talent: Bob Carpenter (PBP) and Debbie Antonelli (color)
Radio: KOKC (1520 AM) and Yahoo! Radio
Radio Talent: Ed Murray (Play-by-Play) & Tara DeGiusti
Tickets:  (918) 631-4688

Player To Watch
Senior Leah Rush is rounding into the form that has earned her two All-Big 12 awards during her career.  She has been steady as  a drum beat the last two games when she has averaged 13 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists.  She has been torching the nets too, shooting 59 percent from the field and converting on all four of her 3-point attempts. Rush has committed just two turnovers during the last two games in which she has played 63 minutes.

Previewing Tulsa
After one of the most successful seasons in school history the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes are off to a 3-3 start this season.  Last year TU went 26-6 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Golden Hurricane are led by second year head coach Charlene Thomas-Swinson who owns a 29-9 career record at TU.

TU has defeated Southeast Missouri, South Alabama and UT-San Antonio and fallen to LSU, Oral Roberts and Florida State.  The one constant for Tulsa is Jillian Robbins, who is averaging 16.7 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.  Robbins is on pace to become the first player in TU history to record 2,000 points and 1,00 rebounds.  Last season, Robbins was an honorable mention All-American after averaging 17.9 points and 12.8 rebounds.  She collected 21 double-doubles, which ranked second nationally behind Courtney Paris.

TU is starting three freshman, including its second leading scorer Valerie Siemens (7.7 ppg).  They are averaging 54.8 points per game while shooting .412 from the field and .481 from 3-point range.

OU owns a 21-2 lead in the all-time series but will be out for revenge in the meeting on Saturday.  In the last meeting between the  programs during the 2004-05 season, the Golden Hurrican upset OU by a score of 67-59.  No surprise that Robbins led the charge with 20 points and six rebounds.

Seeking Membership
Three current Sooners are hoping to join Leah Rush in the OU 1,000 point club.  Rush reached the career milestone against Baylor on Feb. 12, 2006.  She should have company from Courtney Paris, Chelsi Welch and Erin Higgins before the end of the season.

Below is a chart on the chase for 1,000:

 Player  Points  Average   Projected Games
 Courtney Paris  898  21.9  5
 Chelsi Welch  951  9.3  5
 Erin Higgins  836  8.0  21

Rush Moves Up To No. 16
Senior Leah Rush surpassed Mandy Wade, who had 1,148 points from 1992-95, for 16th place on the OU career scoring list.  Rush has 1,158 points and is 33 shy of Lisa Allison (1984-87) at No. 15.

Recap - at Lamar
(AP) -Courtney Paris scored 21 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, her 33rd consecutive double-double, as third-ranked Oklahoma routed Lamar 79-44 on Wednesday night.

Nyeshia Stevenson scored 13 and Leah Rush added 11 for the Sooners (5-0), who’ve won 19 consecutive regular-season games and 11 straight on the road.

The 6-foot-4 Paris overpowered the smaller Cardinals all night, getting many of her baskets after rebounding her own misses. Paris pulled down nine offensive rebounds, two more than Lamar had as a team.

The Sooners outrebounded Lamar 51-29 and held the Cardinals to 32 percent shooting (13 of 41). Oklahoma has held all five opponents below 40 percent.

Alexis Timpone and LaToya Carson scored 11 points apiece for the Cardinals (2-4). Carson became the ninth player in Lamar history to pass 1,000 points.

Postgame Notes
OU only turned the ball over four times in the first half, which is a season low for an individual half. The Sooners finished with 11 turnovers in the game, which is a season low

OU is 41-14 (.745) in pre-conference action since the start of the 1999-00 season.   OU is also 40-1 when ranked in the top-10 and facing an unranked opponent.

The Sooners did not allow a point in the paint in the game.  They held a 42-0 advantage in the category.

OU held Lamar without a made field goal for 11 minutes and 36 seconds which spanned from the 3:57 mark of the first half to the 12:21 mark of the second half. The Lady Cardinals did have six made free throws during that span.

OU held to 13-47 (.317) shooting in the game and is yet to allow an opponent to shoot over 40 percent from the field in five games this season.  Lamar’s percentage was the lowest of the season.

Courtney Paris reached 600 career rebounds with two boards early in the first half. She is easily the quickest to 600 rebounds in OU history. Through 41 career games she has 616 rebounds and is quickly approaching the OU career top-10, which begins at 679.

C. Paris has collected 15 or more boards in four of five games this season. She had 14 rebounds in the first half, which ties a career high for an individual half. She also had 14 in the first half against Baylor in the 2006 Big 12 Championship Game.

Nyeshia Stevenson had 11 points at the half to lead all scorers. It marked the first time in her career that she has reached double figures in points. She finished the game with 13 points.

The Winning Streak
OU has won 19 straight regular season games dating back to Jan. 14, 2006. The streak is the third longest in Big 12 history behind a 21 game streak by Baylor and 25-gamer by Oklahoma (January 2001-December 2001).

OU has  won 11 straight games away from Norman which is five shy of tying the Big 12 record of 16. The streak includes true road games and games at neutral sites. OU set that mark with 16 straight wins from December 2000 to December 2001.

OU has won 10 straight true road games, which is one win shy of the Big 12 Conference record. OU set that mark at 11 straight games from December 2000 to December 2001.

Pregame Lay-Ups
OU is 40-1 when ranked it is ranked in the top-10 and the opponent is not ranked.  The lone loss came to Washington in the 2001 Sweet 16.

  OU is averaging 85.8 points and 19.4 assists.  Both numbers are up from last season  when OU averaged 76.3 points and 16.8 assists.

Frequent Fliers
OU will play seven of its 11 non-conference games away from Norman and the Lloyd Noble Center this season.  It is nothing new for Sherri Coale’s program, which has played 63 (54-86) percent of its preconference game outside the Lloyd Noble Center since 1999-00.  OU has won 75 (41-14) percent of its pre-conference road games during that time.

On The Milestone Verge...
Courtney Paris is two points shy of 900 in her career.  She is also five steals shy of 50, 26 assists shy of 100, 22 field goals shy of 300 and nine free throw attempts shy of 300.  Based on her current pace, Paris would easily be the fastest player to reach 900 points in OU history.   The Sooner center is also 63 rebounds shy of entering the OU career top-10 for rebounds.  Melissa Richie (1986-89) is at No. 10 with 679.

Chelsi Welch is 49 points shy of the 1,000 point club.  

Leah Rush (1,158) is 34 points shy of surpassing Lisa Allison (1,191) for No. 15 on the OU career scoring list.

Ashley Paris is five offensive rebounds shy of 100 in her career.  She is also 21 boards shy of 200 and 38 points shy of 300.

Britney Brown is eight points shy of 400 in her career.

The Double-Double Streak
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in 33 straight games.  The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005.

The Half Double-Double
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 11 occasions (4 first half, 7 second half). She has achieved the mark on one occasion this season, when she had 16 points and 10 boards in the second half against UCLA.

Last year her four first half double-dips came against BYU, Texas (second meeting), UCLA and SMU.  Her second half double-doubles were against New Mexico (twice), Illinois, Michigan State, Texas (first meeting) and Baylor (second meeting). 

As usual, Paris shines in the brightest spotlight with six of these double-doubles coming against ranked teams.

The Experience Factor
Notes on the level of experience OU has on its roster:
  Between eight players, including six seniors, OU has 371 career starts.  Sophomore Carolyn Winchester is the only non-freshman that has never started a game for OU.
  The combined consecutive starts of Chelsi Welch (28), Leah Rush (91) and Courtney Paris (41) is 151.
  Britney Brown had a streak of 25 consecutive starts snapped on opening night.  She returned to the starting lineup against Hawaii (N18) and has started the last three games.
  Since earning her first start at Texas A&M during her freshman season Leah Rush has started 91 straight games.
  Erin Higgins had started 77 straight games before senior night last season when she gave up the honor to then-senior Laura Andrews.
  Leah Rush, Erin Higgins, Chelsi Welch, Erin Higgins and Courtney Paris already appear in the OU career record books a total of 17 times.

It’s A Twin Thing
Ashley and Courtney Paris have an innate ability for finding each other on the court.  The two posts are proficient at dishing the ball off to each other at angles and times unnoticed by most players.  So far this season they have connected on sister-to-sister assists nine times.  Seven of those have been Courtney to Ashley.  The assists account for 50 (7-14) percent of Courtney’s total and 33 percent of Ashley’s total (3-7).

Paris & Putbacks
25 (28-110) percent of Courtney Paris’ points this season have come after she pulled down an offensive rebound.  Of that total, 18 have come after her own miss and 10 have come after her teammates’ misses.

Rewriting The Record Book
Thanks to the unearthing of box scores from the early years of OU women’s basketball, the Media Relations department has updated a few of the career records. 

Most notable is the fact that Courtney Paris no longer owns the OU career double-doubles record.  It belongs to Molly McGuire (1980-83), who had 54 during her career.  Many felt McGuire, who averaged 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds during her career, was the true owner of the record and it was confirmed recently.  Jacquetta Hurley (1983-86) also appears at No. 4 on the list with 28.

McGuire is also fourth on the career double figure scoring games list with 100.  Below are the updated lists, with new additions in bold:

 Double-Doubles  Player
 1  54  Molly McGuire
 2  37  Courtney Paris
 3  33  Caton Hill
 4  28  Jacquetta Hurley
 5  25  Phylesha Whaley

 Games With 10+ Points  Player
 1  108  LaNeishea Caufield
 2  104  Stacey Dales
 3  102  Phylesha Whaley
 4  100  Molly McGuire
 5  92  Jacquetta Hurley

The Experience Factor
A couple notes on the level of experience OU has on its roster.

  Between eight players, including six seniors, OU has 371 career starts.  Sophomore Carolyn Winchester is the only non-freshman that has never started a game for OU.

  The combined consecutive starts of Chelsi Welch (28), Leah Rush (91) and Courtney Paris (41) is 151.

  Britney Brown had a streak of 25 consecutive starts snapped on opening night.  She returned to the starting lineup against Hawaii (N18) and has started the last three games.

  Since earning her first start at Texas A&M during her freshman season Leah Rush has started 91 straight games.

  Erin Higgins had started 77 straight games before senior night last season when she gave up the honor to then-senior Laura Andrews.

  Leah Rush, Erin Higgins, Chelsi Welch, Erin Higgins and Courtney Paris already appear in the OU career record books a total of 17 times.

Assist-To-Turnover Improvement
OU is No. 2 in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.13.  Senior guard Britney Brown is second among Big 12 players with a 2.09 ratio.  Last season OU was eighth in the Big 12 with a ratio of 0.89.

Four In Double Figures, One On The Verge
Currently, four OU players are averaging double figures in points.  Courtney Paris (22.0), Chelsi Welch (13.2), Leah Rush (10.6) and Ashley Paris (10.0) are in the double figure club.  Freshman Amanda Thompson is four-tenths away at 9.6 points per game.

Stingy Defense
OU is yet to allow a team to shoot over 40 percent from the field and is holding opponents to a combined shooting percentage of .351.   The highest shooting percentage posted against the Sooners this season was .387 by UCLA. The low mark was a .317 showing by Lamar.

Last season 12 of 36 opponents shot over 40 percent, while OU held all opponents to a combined percentage of 37 percent.
 

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