NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 6 Oklahoma women’s basketball team (17-1, 7-0) will host No. 21 Texas A&M (14-4, 4-2) for the annual “WhiteOUt the Lloyd Noble Center” promotion Saturday at 11 a.m. General admission tickets remain at $8 for adults and $5 for children. OU students with a valid OU ID will be admitted free of charge.
The WhiteOUt has become an annual showcase for Sooner fans. Last year, the WhiteOUt drew sellout crowds for the men’s game against Texas and the women’s game against Baylor. Both contests turned out to be thrillers and OU victories.
Those that cannot make it out to the arena can watch the game on Fox Spots Net, which will air the contest to a near-national audience. Kevin Eschenfelder and Debbie Antonelli will be calling the action for FSN. The game will also be available on Sooner Sports Radio flagship station KOKC-1520 AM with Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti and on the internet subscription based Yahoo! Radio.
Texas A&M will be the final opponent in the current three game home stand. The Aggies are 14-4 overall and 4-2 in league play. A&M lost two non-conference games to Rice and Washington when junior starter Morenike Atunrase was out with a foot injury. Atunrase’s return has helped the Aggies jump into a second place tie in the Big 12 standings. On Wednesday night, A&M moved up into that tie with a 66-65 win over Nebraska.
OU extended its winning streak against Big 12 teams to 26 on Wednesday with a 20-point win over Iowa State. Three Sooners reached double figures offensively, but it was the defensive stats - 13 steals and .304 opponent field goal percentage - that clinched the win.
After Saturday, OU returns to the road for the Red River opener in Austin on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast live from the Erwin Center by ESPNU.
Setting The Scene
Date: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007
Location: Norman, Okla.
Venue: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
Tipoff: 11 a.m. Central
TV: Fox Sports Net (Cox channel 37 in OKC)
TV Talent: Kevin Eschenfelder and Debbie Antonelli
FSN Coverage Map
Radio: KOKC-1520 AM (Flagship), Yahoo Radio! (Subscription)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Radio Broadcast Info
Tickets: (800) 456-GoOU - $ 8 Adults, $5 Children
Promotions: WhiteOUt the Lloyd Noble Center
Player To Watch
Britney Brown and fellow point guards Kendra Moore and Jenna Plumley will be crucial against Texas A&M’s full-court pressure. Last year, Brown averaged 12 points and six assists against the Aggies and was labeled by A&M head coach Garry Blair, “ as the best point guard in the Big 12.” This season Brown is averaging 4.5 points and 3.8 assists. Against South Carolina’s press in December, Brown had a career high 10 assists and eight points.
The White OUt is Back
The Oklahoma Athletics Department is bringing back the popular WhiteOUt the Lloyd Noble Center’ promotion for the contest between the Oklahoma women’s basketball team and Texas A&M on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. The event sold out last season and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. The game will air in front of a near-national audience on Fox Sports Net.
Tickets can be purchased online through SoonerSports.com (click on link below) or by calling (800) 456-GoOU.
|Tickets are going fast, don't miss your chance |
to be part of the 2007 WhiteOUt on Saturday.
Watch Free Highlights of 2006 WhiteOUt
A free OU “Cheer Like a Champion” white t-shirt will be placed in every seat in the Lloyd Noble Center. Fans are encouraged to wear the t-shirt during the match up of top-25 teams. Last season, OU and Baylor battled into overtime in front of a program record crowd of 12,112 during the WhiteOUt promotion.
Recap - Iowa State
(AP) - Chelsi Welch scored 13 points, Leah Rush added 12 and No. 6 Oklahoma did much of its damage with All-America center Courtney Paris on the bench in a 69-49 win against Iowa State on Wednesday night.
Paris notched her 46th straight double-double with a season-low 14 points and 13 rebounds, but it was during the 6-foot-2 sophomore’s two rest periods in the first 35 minutes that Oklahoma took control.
The Sooners (17-1, 7-0 Big 12) outscored Iowa State 24-3 in those spans on their way to their 26th straight conference win. It was also Oklahoma’s third win in five days, including a double-overtime victory against Texas Tech on Monday in a game rescheduled due to icy weather.
Megan Ronhovde scored 13 points to lead Iowa State (15-5, 3-4), and Lyndsey Medders had 10. Iowa State shot 32 percent and committed 20 turnovers.
Immediately after Paris headed to the bench with 16:18 left to play, Rush scored six straight points to start a 14-3 run that put the Sooners up 50-32. She hit a 3-pointer from the right wing, then added a three-point play after banking in an airborne layup off a lob pass. Britney Brown followed with a 3-pointer from the right wing, and Welch finished the spurt with two free throws and a 3-pointer from the left corner.
Before that, most of Oklahoma’s lead got built during a first-half stretch while Paris was taking a breather. The Sooners took advantage of three Iowa State turnovers to score 10 straight points, and Paris then returned to add a layup and stretch the lead to 22-8.
Iowa State scored the final seven points of the half to get within 28-19, as Oklahoma went more than 5 minutes without a point.
The win was Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale’s 100th at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Wednesday night’s victory marked OU head coach Sherri Coale’s 104th Big 12 win, making her the second-winningest active coach in the conference behind Texas’ Jody Conradt (106) and breaking a tie with Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly. The win was also Coale’s 100th at the Lloyd Noble Center.
OU is off to the best 18-game start in program history. OU opened the 1985-86 and 2001-02 seasons at 16-2, which was the previous high until this year.
C. Paris recorded her 46th straight double-double and the 51st of her career, clinching it with a breakaway layup. Only three other players (Sophia Young, Angie Welle and Kendra Wecker) in Big 12 history and one in OU history (Molly McGuire) have recorded 50 career double-doubles.
C. Paris blocked five Iowa State shots. Coming into the game she was averaging 4 blocks per game in Big 12 play and 3.3 on the season.
C. Paris also tied her career high with three steals. She has stolen five passes on five occasions during her 54-game career.
Kendra Moore had four steals against the Cyclones. She had a career-high five steals in the double overtime win over Texas Tech two days earlier. She had nine steals in non-conference play and 13 in Big 12 play coming into Wednesday’s game.
Moore added to her offensive onslaught in Big 12 play. With seven points Wednesday night, Moore has scored 69 of her season total 85 points in conference play.
Previewing Texas A&M
Texas A&M, which has been ranked in the top-25 all season, is 14-4 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play. The Aggies are currently No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 20 in the coaches poll.
TAMU is led by head coach Gary Blair, who owns a 456-206 career record that includes stops at Arkansas and Sam Houston State. Blair is in his third season in College Station and has revamped the program. TAMU has gone 62-47 under his watch and reached the NCAA Tournament last season.
OU has won eight straight over Texas A&M, 19 of the last 22 and every game in Norman since 1991. All-time the series swings in OU’s favor 23-8.
A&M is led by junior Morenike Atunrase, who was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team. Atunrase is averaging 13.5 points and shooting 38 percent from 3-point range despite spending missing a significant number of games with a foot injury.
The Aggies scoring leader is sophomore Takia Stars, who is averaging 13.9 points and 4.7 boards. Starks scored 19 points against OU in College Station last season.
TAMU point guard Aqua Franklin is one of the fastest players in league and one of the best floor generals. The junior guard is averaging 8.3 points and 5.1 assists, which is second in the conference. Last season Franklin scored 20 points in College Station and averaged eight assists in two games against OU.
Last season OU won 81-72 in at Reed Arena in a fast paced game. The Aggies pressed OU for 40 minutes and the result was five players in double figures, including 18 for Courtney Paris and 16 for both Britney Brown and Chelsi Welch.
When the Aggies came to Norman, they abandoned the full cout pressure for a slower pace. OU led by four at halftime before pulling away for 73-54 win that was led by Leah Rush, Paris and Welch, who all scored in double figures.
Jenna Plumley and Texas A&M guard/forward Danielle Gant (Putnam City North) played AAU ball together during their high school years. Gant was recruited by OU in the same class as the Paris twins. At one point in high school, Gant and Plumley wanted to pursue their basketball careers at the same college. That same Oklahoma Air Stars team also included Texas sophomore Earnesia Williams (Sapulpa HS).
OU moved up to No. 8 in the latest round of RPI numbers released by the NCAA. The NCAA will announce the RPI rankings on NCAASports.com on a weekly basis for the remainder of the season.
OU is 45-59 (19-21 at home) all-time against ranked opponents. This season OU is 4-1 against ranked teams with wins over UCLA, Baylor, DePaul and New Mexico. The lone loss came to Ohio State.
OU is 41-31 (17-10 at home) when it is ranked and facing a ranked team.
Sherri Coale currently has 104 Big 12 wins, which is second among active coaches. She trails Jody Conradt leads the league (106).
OU is 50-1 when 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 has an average scoring margin of +13.9 in Big 12 games this season, which includes five double digit wins.
OU is averaging 79.9 points and 17.6 assists. Both numbers are up from last season when OU averaged 76.3 points and 16.8 assists.
Paris Leads NCAA | Paris' Big Games
For the second consecutive season, Courtney Paris appears among the NCAA statistical leaders more than any player in the country. Paris ranks in the top 10 in five categories: double-doubles, points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage. No other player in the NCAA ranks in the top 10 in more than two categories.
51 Double-Doubles, 46 Straight | Paris' Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris has 51 career double-doubles in 54 career games. She has recorded a double-double in 46 straight games. The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005. The streak will be 415 days old when OU takes the court next.
The Half Double-Double
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 17 occasions (7 first half, 10 second half). She has seven single half double-doubles this season: UCLA (second half), Tulsa (first half), Texas Tech (first half) Colorado (second half), Baylor (second half) and in both halves against New Mexico.
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 10 of these double-doubles coming against ranked teams. Paris’ career high for points in a half is 23 (Michigan State, 12-21-05, and New Mexico, 12/30/06). Her career high for rebounds in a half is 14 (Baylor (3/11/06 & Kansas State 1/3/07).
Paris & Putbacks
21 (87-406) percent of Courtney Paris’ points this season have come after she pulled down an offensive rebound. Of that total, 36 have come after her own miss, 44 have come after her teammates’ misses and seven have come at the free throw line after being fouled after an offensive board.
Forget The Hack-A-Shaq
Opponents might rethink the idea of employing the hack-a-Shaq defense on Courtney Paris at the end of games. The Sooner center shot 71 (27-38) from the free throw line in the final four minutes of games last season. She is 9-of 16 in that scenario this season and owns a career percentage of 68 (36-53) percent. Below are more number breakdowns for Paris at the charity stripe in the final four minutes of games.
Double Figure Twins
Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris have scored in double figures in the same game on 14 occasions, including seven times this season. The 14 occasions account for every double figure game of Ashley’s career. Additionally, the twins have posted a double-double in the same game on five occasions, including once this season. OU is 13-1 when the low post twins reach 10 or more points and 5-0 when they both record a double-double.
Historic Defensive Stretch
OU has held 16 of 18 opponents, including its first nine opponents, below 40 percent shooting this season. The previous record for consecutive opponents held below 40 percent was seven and set in 1984-85.
The Sooners have held six opponents under 30 percent shooting, all in the last 11 games. Earlier in the season, OU also held South Carolina, Arkansas Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado below 30 percent in consecutive outings. That streak is an OU record. OU has held two straight opponents below 30 percent on eight occasions in the program history.
OU is first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at .327. Only Ohio State (.450) and Texas Tech (.443) have shot over 40 percent against OU this season. The lowest mark was a .224 by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado. Last season 24 of 36 opponents failed to reach the 40 percent mark against OU.
The Winning Streaks
OU has won a Big 12 record 26 straight games against conference teams (including last year’s postseason championship) and 24 straight regular season games - 16 last year, one in 2004-05 - against conference foes. The Sooners have also won 11 straight Big 12 home games and 13 straight Big 12 road games. The previous record for consecutive wins was 16 by the 2000-01 OU team.
OU has won 18 straight regular season games away from Norman, which is a Big 12 record. The streak includes true road games and games at neutral sites. OU broke its own Big 12 record established with 16 straight wins from December 2000 to December 2001.
OU has won 16 straight regular season true road games, which is a Big 12 record. The previous record was 11 games and was set by OU from December 2000 to December 2001.
1,000 Point Club Membership | OU 1,000 Point Scorers
Three current Sooners - Leah Rush, Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch - are in the OU 1,000 point club. Rush reached the career milestone against Baylor on Feb. 12, 2006. Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch both reached it against Ohio State on Dec. 20, 2006. It marks the third time that OU has had three 1,000 point scorers on the same team. The other instances were 1994-95 (Angi Guffy, Mandy Wade and Etta Maytubby) and 2001-02 (Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield, Caton Hill). Only 11 known NCAA Division I teams have had four players with the 1,000 career points.
Erin Higgins is also closing in on the 1,000 career points and should, based on her career scoring average, reach the milestone this season:
Kendra Moore has cranked up her game during Big 12 play. The Sooner senior point guard has come off the bench to average 9.9 points since the start of Big 12 play. The Ardmore native has scored 69 (81 percent) of her season total of 85 points since the start of Big 12 play. She is also averaging 2.4 steals per game during league action, which is the second best Big 12 mark.
Pink OUt Planned for Texas
The OU Athletics Department will also a hold a “Pack The Place Pink Night” for the Feb. 12 Red River Rivalry match up with Texas on ESPN2. In an effort to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection, free pink t-shirts will be placed in every seat and again fans are encouraged to put them on when they arrive.
Fans are encouraged to donate to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation when they enter the arena. Volunteers will be available on the concourse to take donations.
Higgins Heating Up
Erin Higgins began the season in a slump from 3-point land. The OU all-time leader in 3-pointer made just 20 percent of her attempts in the first eight games and had just one multiple trey game during that span.
She has found her stroke in the last 10 games, shooting 41 percent and making 16 of 39 attempts. She has tallied 56 points over that span after having 25 combined in the first eight games. On the season Higgins is shooting 31.4 percent from 3-point range.
Big 12 History
All-time, OU has a 104-63 (.623) Big 12 record under head coach Sherri Coale. The Sooners have won four regular season titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006) and three Big 12 Championships (2002, 2004, 2006). The Sooners were picked by the coaches to win the 2006-07 regular season title.
Since the 1999-00 season, OU has won 76 percent of its regular season Big 12 games for a record of 90-28. That winning percentage is the best in the Big 12 during that time frame.
OU’s all-time record in regular season Big 12 play ranks third among member schools. The Sooners trail No. 1 Texas Tech (121-44) and Texas (106-57). Coale is currently second in Big 12 wins among active coaches behind Jody Conradt (106) of Texas.
Last season Oklahoma became the first team in Big 12 history to run the table to a perfect 16-0 record in league play. Then OU won three straight Big 12 Championship games to go 19-0 against the league this in 2005-06. The overall record is a Big 12 record.
This season marks the third time OU has started 7-0. Only two the 1999-00 and 2005-06 teams also started 7-0.
Overall, OU is 56-26 (.683) in Big 12 games played at the Lloyd Noble Center and 48-37 (.565) in conference road contests.
3-Point Threats Everywhere
While Erin Higgins is the most recognizable 3-point shooter on the OU roster, she hasn’t been the most proficient this season. In fact, OU has three of the top seven long range shooters in the league. Chelsi Welch (49.2) is second in the Big 12 and Leah Rush (45.9) ranks fourth. Britney Brown (34.6) and Jenna Plumley (36.4) are also shooting over 34 percent from long range. Welch is also ninth in the Big 12 in makes per game at 1.61. As a team OU ranks second in the Big 12 and 18th nationally with a 3-point percentage of 36.9.
Time to Talk About Rush
Leah Rush, the nation’s Most Underrated Player last season, is playing some of the best basketball of her career. Rush is third on the OU team in scoring at 10.3 points per game and is posting career highs in 3-point percentage (45.9), field goal percentage (52.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.13). She ranks fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage and fifth in field goal percentage.
Welch Off To Strong Start
Chelsi Welch is putting together a stellar senior campaign. The season has been highlighted by her addition to the OU 1,000 point club, which she reached with 14 points against Ohio State on Dec. 20.
The 5-10 guard has scored in double-figures in 11 games this season, while tallying at least eight points in four others. She posted a season high 23 points in the season opener against DePaul. Last season, Welch scored in double-figures on four occasions during the non-conference schedule and 16 times total.
This year, Welch ranks eighth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 52.0, which is the highest mark among guards. She is also second in the league with a 3-point percentage at 49.1.
She appears to be picking up where she left off last year, when she scored in double figures in 14 of the final 24 games. She also dialed up her shooting percentage during that stretch and finished 11th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage during conference action. At the end of the year, Welch ranked No. 2 in conference-only games in 3-point percentage with a 44.9 mark.
A team effort is behind the Sooners success this season. No stat, or perhaps lack of stats, is more indicative of that than the fact that no OU player ranks among the Big 12 leaders in minutes played for the all games or Big