Red Hot Sooners Hit The Road

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 14, 2000

Jan. 14, 2000

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Oklahoma (12-3, 2-0 Big 12) hopes to extend its Big 12 winning streak to three games Saturday as the Sooners journey to Waco, Texas, to face Baylor (5-8, 0-3 Big 12) at 7 p.m. inside the Ferrell Center.

The game will be broadcast on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOMA 1520 AM in Oklahoma City) following the conclusion of the men's basketball game at Texas, which has a start time of 8 p.m. Ed Murray (play-by-play) and Jenny Bramer (analyst) will call the action.

The Sooners return to unfamiliar territory this weekend as they travel to Waco, Texas, to face Baylor in their third conference game of the season. OU has not played a road game since December 18, 1999, but boasts a perfect 4-0 mark on opponent's home court.

Oklahoma defeated Texas A&M and Texas Tech to open the conference at 2-0 for the first time in four years. The Sooners handed the Aggies their worst loss of the season, 87-59, and gave TTU its second-straight conference loss, 82-76, for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

OU enters Saturday's game with a better field goal percentage and rebounding margin than its opponents. The Sooners are knocking down 49.1 percent of their shots, which ranks among the nation's top 10 and in conference play, OU is hitting an impressive 56.1 percent from the field. Oklahoma's rebounding margin of +9.9 and scoring average of 79.7 ranks among the NCAA's best. OU also ranks 17th in the latest Collegiate Women's RPI Ratings and is on the verge of breaking into the AP Top 25 poll.

Coale and company have accomplished this with their transition game and solid defense.

With the combination of the two, OU has an overall record of 12-3 and records of 8-1 at home, 4-0 on the road and 0-2 on neutral court.

Senior All-America candidate Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) continues to lead a balanced Sooner attack that features four players averaging in double figures. Whaley, who tied the school career record in defensive rebounds against Texas A&M, is averaging 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game. She has been the team's leading scorer for the past three years and top rebounder the past two seasons.

Following Whaley is a trio of underclassmen in sophomore guards LaNeishea Caufield and Stacey Dales and freshman forward Caton Hill. Caufield averages 13.8 points and a team-high 2.7 steals per outing. Dales is the team leader in assists with 6.6 and ranks third on the team in scoring with 12.5 ppg. Hill is an all-around contributor as she averages 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals and hits 51.6 percent from the field.

OU has dominated the offensive glass, pulling down 214 offensive rebounds to its opponents' 152. The team also holds the overall advantage in rebounds, 601-447, and steals, 166-150. In Oklahoma's last 12 games, the Sooners boast an overall record of 11-1 with its only loss being against Connecticut.

Baylor enters the contest with an overall record of 5-8 and records of 4-2 at home and 1-6 on the road. The Lady Bears are lead by sophomore forward Danielle Crockrom's 12.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. However, Crockrom did not play in Baylor's last game against Kansas State on Wednesday and will not play against the Sooners on Saturday due to violating a team rule. Crockrom has been granted a temporary leave of absence. She will rejoin the team on Monday. The 6-2 forward/center out of Houston's North Shore High School, leads the team in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks.

Also averaging in double figure scoring is senior guard Mandy Hayworth with 10.7 a game. In Big 12 games, sophomore guard Brittany Bruns leads BU with 10.0 points, while junior forward Monica Arnold and freshman forward Hilary Akromis boasts 6.3 and 6.0 rebounds a game.

K-State handed Baylor its third Big 12 loss, 73-58, of the season Wednesday in Manhattan, Kan.,, marking the second-straight year that BU has opened conference play with three losses. Freshman Stasha Richards and Bruns each posted career highs in Baylor's losing effort at Kansas State. Richards scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down a career-high six rebounds to lead the squad. Fifteen of her 17 points were from 3-point range. Bruns, also posted 15 points while pulling down a team-leading seven rebounds. "We took a step forward tonight," said Head Coach Sonja Hogg. "If we continue to improve, even in a losing effort, we're happy. We've had some wins where we weren't as pleased with their effort like we were tonight."

Baylor also lost at Missouri and at home to Texas A&M.

Sonja Hogg (Louisiana Tech, 1968) is in her sixth season at Baylor where she owns an overall record of 81-79 and 52-41 Big 12 mark. Hogg is the founder of the Louisiana Tech University women's basketball program. Under her guidance, the Lady Techsters won the first NCAA Championship in women's basketball in 1982. Louisiana Tech made six consecutive Final Four appearances from 1978-82. Her teams hold the national records for both consecutive victories (54) and most wins in a season (40, 1980).

Oklahoma holds an 7-4 edge over Baylor in the all-time series. The Sooners swept the two-game series a year ago with scores of 86-65 (Norman) and 76-67 (Waco). The series dates back to Jan. 9, 1980, when OU handed the Lady Bears a 66-48 loss in Norman.

Outside of Big 12 Conference, the only common opponent between the two teams was North Texas. OU defeated UNT, while the Lady Eagles handed Baylor its first loss of the season.

Oklahoma travels to Austin, Texas, to take on the Longhorns on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center (16,175). Texas is currently 10-5 overall and 2-1 in league action. UT hosts Missouri Saturday in Austin.

Sophomore center Jen Cunningham had a career night against Texas A&M Wednesday at the Lloyd Noble Center. The Kingston, Ontario, Canada, native had career highs in rebounds with 11 overall and 10 defensive. She also set season bests in scoring (9), field goals made (4), attempted (4) and field goal percentage (1.000).

"If I had a game ball to give, I would give it to Jen Cunningham," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale. "She did a great job off the bench and had an effect on their interior players. Jen did a great job of rebounding and was strong with the ball in making determined post moves inside."

OU's starting five is tied for second, with Texas, in the Big 12 Conference in field goal accuracy. Iowa State's top five leads the league, shooting 50.8 percent. The Sooners and Longhorns are hitting 48.5 percent from the field.

Oklahoma used a 25-7 run to close out the first half, including 17 unanswered points, en route to a 87-59 victory over Texas A&M Wednesday at the Lloyd Noble Center. Senior forward Phylesha Whaley pulled down seven defensive rebounds to tie Angi Guffy for the all-time defensive rebound title.

Sophomore guard LaNeishea Caufield led OU in scoring with 18 points, including 6-of-6 from the free throw line, and eight rebounds. Whaley and sophomore Stacey Dales both turned in 16 point performances, with Whaley adding 11 boards to register her sixth double-double on the season. In addition, sophomore center Jen Cunningham grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds.

The Sooners performed well offensively, shooting 53 percent from the field, 46 percent from three-point range and tied a season-high by hitting 86 percent from the charity stripe. When shooting over 50 percent in a game, the Sooners are 11-0 on the season. Oklahoma dominated down low scoring 40 points in the paint and outrebounding the Aggies, 49-25, including 18 second-chance points.

The Aggies were held to 33 percent shooting for the game. Texas A&M had four players in double-digit scoring, led by Jaynetta Saunders with 14. The 28-point defeat was the Aggies worst loss on the season.

Out of the 15 games that Oklahoma has played this season, the sharp shooting Sooners are nailing 49.1 percent of their shots and 56.1 percent in Big 12 games.

In addition, out of the nine players that have seen action in at least 14 games, seven are shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Leading OU in field goal accuracy is sophomore center Jen Cunningham's 68.4. Cunningham has hit 13-of-19 attempted shots, while sophomore forward Shannon Selmon has hit 10-of-18 shots for a field goal percentage of 55.6. Out of the starters, freshman Caton Hill is shooting 51.6 (64-of-124), followed by senior Phylesha Whaley's 51.2 (110-of-215) and sophomore LaNeishea Caufield's 50.8 (65-of-128).

Senior Phylesha Whaley is one defensive rebound shy of becoming Oklahoma's all-time leader in that category. The Slaton, Texas, native tied current record holder Angi Guffy with seven defensive boards against Texas A&M Wednesday night in Norman. With her first defensive rebound against Baylor she will be the sole owner of the title.

Whaley is also close to moving up to No. 2 for most career field goals attempted. She has taken 1,317 shots and is seven shy of Lynn McCurdy's 1,323. The school record is 1,433 held by OU great Molly McGuire.

Sophomore Stacey Dales is currently the Big 12 Conference leader in assists and boasts the league's second best assists/turnover ratio. The Brockville, Ontario, Canada native dishes out 6.60 assists a game and owns an impressive 1.80 assists/turnover ratio. Texas Tech's Melinda Pharies' 1.94 assists/turnover ratio tops the conference.

Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation in rebounding margin and in field goal percentage, 15th in scoring and 16th in free throw percentage. (as of Jan. 10)

Individually, Stacey Dales and Phylesha Whaley ranks within the NCAA best in assists and scoring per game. Dales, a native of Brockville, Ontario, Canada, ranks 13th in the NCAA in assists, while Whaley, a Slaton, Texas native, ranks 32nd in points per game. (as of Jan. 10)

With back-to-back Big 12 Conference wins, Oklahoma is off to its best conference start since 1995-96 and the best overall start, 12-3, since the 1986-87 squad rushed out to a 15-3 mark. That team finished at 18-10.

When leading at halftime, the Sooners are 12-0.

In the latest Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Rankings the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team was ranked 17th in the country.

Only Texas Tech (8th) from the Big 12 Conference ranks higher than the Sooners. Oklahoma also has a higher RPI than nine teams in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll (Auburn, 52, North Carolina, 42, Iowa State, 27, Arizona, 22, UCLA, 34, Mississippi State, 40, Kansas, 30, Oregon, 41).

The Ranking Percentage Index (RPI) is used by the NCAA women's basketball committee to supplement the selection of at-large teams for the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is derived from three component factors: Division I winning percentage (25%), schedule strength (50%) and opponent's schedule strength (25%). Games against non-Division I opponents are not used in calculation of the RPI.

Out of the nine players that consistently see action for Head Coach Sherri Coale, six are undersclassmen. OU has senior leadership in All-America candidate Phylesha Whaley but aside from that the Sooners depend on four underclassmen, two sophomores and two freshmen, to lead the team. Sixty-three percent of OU's offense (points) and 60 percent of the Sooners' defense (rebounds) comes from the freshmen or sophomore class.

OU is injury free heading into tonight's game.

The 10,713 fans who filled the Lloyd Noble Center on Dec. 29 to watch Oklahoma challenge No. 1 Connecticut were part of numerous record setting figures. That mark surpassed OU's previous arena record of 6,250 (vs. Texas A&M, 1996-97) and was the largest to ever witness a women's basketball game in the state of Oklahoma.

It was also the 14th highest attended women's basketball game this season according the an unofficial home attendance statistics complied weekly by the Wisconsin-Madison Women's Sports Information Office.

Senior forward Phylesha Whaley became only the second player in Oklahoma women's basketball history to ever score more than 1,700 points and grab more than 700 rebounds in her career. Whaley reached the mark against San Diego on Dec. 21 when she recorded 16 points. The Slaton, Texas, native has 754 total rebounds and 1,783 points.

Sooner great Molly McGuire is the only other player to reach this milestone. McGuire ended her career with 2,147 points and 1,071 rebounds.

Sophomore point guard Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) used her redshirt freshman season to improve every aspect of her game and the women's basketball program is the beneficiary. Dales continues to be the floor general and emotional leader for the Sooners.

Dales has already had numerous solid all-around performances this season most recently was a 15 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists performance against Texas Tech.

She has scored in double digits eight times, including the last four outings.

In Dales' performance at TCU, she produced 23 points, hitting 9-of-13 shots and nailing 4-of-6 three pointers. She tied her career best for most made threes with four. Dales also added two rebounds and had four assists vs. TCU. In addition, Dales has had at least five assists in all but one game this season, including a career-high 11 against San Diego on Dec. 21.

Oklahoma has recorded two margins of victory this season that rank among the school's all-time best. OU's 45-point margin of victory against San Diego ranks ninth and Oklahoma's 37-point margin of victory over Sam Houston State ranks 15th all-time for OU.

In the Bertha Teague Classic, freshman Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) produced back-to-back double-double performances. The power forward had 12 points and 11 rebounds against Oral Roberts, followed by career-bests 18 points and 12 rebounds vs. Tulsa.

Hill's double-double performances earned her a spot on the Bertha Teague Classic All-Tournament team.

Stacey Dales was the last Sooner to produce back-to-back double doubles. Dales accomplished it a year ago against Texas (J23) and Texas Tech (J27). Against the Longhorns, Dales had 21 points and 12 rebounds and vs. Texas Tech she scored 17 points and had 10 boards.

Senior All-America candidate Phylesha Whaley moved up to the No. 2 spot on Oklahoma's all-time scoring chart against TCU on Dec. 7. The Slaton, Texas, native now has 1,783 career points and is working toward Molly McGuire's 2,149 mark for the all-time record.

Averaging the third most points in the Big 12 Conference, senior Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) continues to lead the Oklahoma women's basketball team with 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game. Whaley also ranks her 32nd in the nation in scoring. She ranks among the league's best in four categories: fourth in offensive rebounds, third in points, sixth in free throw percentage and 11th in rebounds.

Whaley currently holds school records in most free throws made (489) and attempted (631) and offensive rebounds (269). Against Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 11, Whaley set the school record for most consecutive games started.

Sophomore Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) and two other OU athletes, Tim Heskett (men's basketball) and Jessica Volcansek (soccer), have been selected as Bank of America Community Champions, and are finalists for the Community Champion of the Year Award. These student-athletes' selection was based on their accomplishments in Big 12 Conference athletics and in the community. In recognition of excellence, Bank of America contributed $3,000 to Oklahoma's general scholarship fund.

Jadrea Seeley (Bethel, Okla.) enters her inaugural collegiate season as the first high school girls basketball player to score 2,000 points in the five-on-five format. If you have seen her smooth and silky shot, you would know why Seeley was one of the best shooters in the state.

This season, the 6-2 guard has scored in double figures six times, with her best being an 18-point performance against San Diego on Dec. 21. Seeley comes off the bench to average 8.7 points per game, ranking her fifth on the team in scoring.



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