Sooners Host No. 1 Huskies

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 28, 1999

Dec. 28, 1999

NORMAN, Okla. - Unranked Oklahoma (9-2) hosts top-ranked Connecticut (8-0) Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Lloyd Noble Center. The game will be broadcast on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (flagship KOMA 1520 AM in Oklahoma City). Ed Murray (play-by-play) and Jenny Bramer (analyst) will call the action. The contest will also be televised nationally by Fox Sports Network. Bill Land (play-by-play) and former Sooner Elissa Walker-Campbell (analyst) will announce.

GAME #12
No. 1 Connecticut (8-0) at Oklahoma (9-2)

Date:Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999
Arena: Lloyd Noble Center (11,100)
Radio: KOMA (1520 AM) - Live
Internet: - Live

Coming off of its largest victory of the season the Oklahoma Sooners enter tonight's game on an eight-game winning streak, it's longest since the 1986-87 season. OU's last contest saw the Sooners winning by a 45-point margin over San Diego, 84-39, on Dec. 21 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Tonight's game is the second of a five-game homestand for OU.

Sharp shooting and solid rebounding has the team off to an overall record of 9-2 and records of 5-0 at home and 4-0 in true road games. Out of the 11 games that Oklahoma has played this season, the Sooners have earned a field goal percentage of 50.0 or better in eight. Last year, OU shot 50.0 percent from the field 12 times. Against TCU, Oklahoma nailed an impressive 61.0 percent of its shots from the field, the second best performance from a Big 12 team this season.

Only two teams have outrebounded the Sooners this year, Arizona and Tennessee Tech. When collecting more total rebounds, OU is 9-0. The Sooners have grabbed 50 rebounds twice this season (vs. Arkansas-Little Rock and San Diego) and own a Big 12 best rebounding margin of +11.1. OU did not collect 50 rebounds in a single game last year.

Senior All-American candidate Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) continues to lead a balanced Sooner attack that features four players averaging in double figures. Whaley, who recorded her 20th career double double and fifth double double of the season against Denver, is averaging 18.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. She has been the team's leading scorer for the past three years and top rebounder the past two seasons.

OU's trio of guards have been solid contributors to the Sooners success as sophomore LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) ranks second in team scoring with 13.6 points but leads the team in steals with 2.7 per contest. Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada), a sophomore, has stepped up her play as she leads the team in assists with 6.8 per game. Dales ranks among the nation's and Big 12 Conference best in assists per game. She also averages 11.4 points per contest, ranking her third on the team. Freshman forward Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) contributes 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Junior Sunny Hardeman (Norman, Okla.) has been a pleasant surprise to OU's starting five. She has started the last eight games and averages 4.3 assists and 6.5 points per game. OU is 8-0 with Hardeman in the line up.

The Sooners opened their 1999-2000 home schedule by hosting the Bertha Teague Classic. Oklahoma picked up back-to-back wins over Oral Roberts and Tulsa to become the only team in the tournament to go undefeated.

OU got off to a 1-2 start after finishing the Hawaiian Regent Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a three-way tie for second place. OU lost its opening game of the season to No. 24 Arizona, before snapping Hawaii's perfect 7-0 mark in its own tournament over the past three years. OU lost to Tennessee Tech in the final game.

As a team, Oklahoma is averaging 79.4 points and 40.5 rebounds per game. The Sooners are shooting 48.3 percent from the field, 31.3 from three-point land and 74.2 percent from the charity stripe. OU has dominated the offensive glass, pulling down 165 offensive rebounds to its opponents' 106. The team also holds the overall advantage in rebounds, 445-331, and steals, 124-102.

Connecticut enters tonight's game as the No. 1 team in the nation and on an eight game winning streak. The UConn Huskies boast a perfect 8-0 record with its most recent victim being nationally-ranked UCLA, 106-64, last Wednesday at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut. Connecticut has held the No. 1 spot in each of the USA Today/ESPN and AP polls this season.

The Huskies are led by four players averaging 10-plus points. Junior guard Shea Ralph leads the squad with 17.1 points per game, followed by Svetlana Abrosimova (13.1), Kennitra Johnson (10.5) and Sue Bird (10.5). Ralph also ranks 19th in the lastest NCAA statistics in field goal percentage, shooting 60 percent. Abrosimova, an All-American, leads the team in rebounds, averaging 8.1 per game. She also was named the 1999 Big East Player of the Year.

As a team, the Huskies are averaging 91.5 points and 44.8 rebounds per game. UConn is hitting 54.5 percent of its shots and dishes out 21.8 assists per game. Connecticut forces 22.4 turnovers per contest, while averaging 11.5 steals.

Sophomore Tamika Williams, who was named 1998-99 Sporting News and Big East Rookie of the Year, is expected to be sideline with a foot injury for a few more weeks.

Geno Auriemma is in his 15th-season as the head coach of the UConn women's basketball program. Auriemma carries an overall record of 365-94 (79.5 winning percentage) into tonight's game. He ranks No. 3 nationally among active Division I coaches in winning percentage. Auriemma has led UConn to 11-consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, including winning the 1995 NCAA National Championship.

Probable Starters

F34Phylesha Whaley5-10Sr.11-1118.38.51st in rebounds
F10Caton Hill6-1Fr.11-1110.86.32nd D-Reb. (46)
G20LaNeishea Caufield5-9So.11-1113.64.72.7 spg
G21Stacey Dales6-0So.11-1111.45.86.8 apg
G13Sunny Hardeman5-7Jr.11- apg

Off the bench (listed numerically)

C00Desiree Taylor6-1Jr.11-34.23.5
G23Jadrea Seeley6-2Fr.11-09.51.3
F40Shannon Selmon6-1So.11-02.11.6


F32Swintayla Cash6-2So.8-89.65.6
F25Svetlana Abrosimova6-2Jr.8-813.18.1
C41Paige Sauer6-5Sr.8-74.33.6
G10Sue Bird5-9So.8-810.52.9
G33Shea Ralph6-0Jr.8-817.13.3

Off the bench (listed numerically)

F20Stacy Hansmeyer6-1Sr.7-05.31.7
G23Kennitra Johnson5-7Fr.8-010.52.3

This is the first meeting between the two teams. UConn is the only team from the Big East Conference that the Sooners will face this season. OU is 3-4 against teams from that conference. Oklahoma has played Miami (Fla.) three times (1-2) and Notre Dame (1-0), Pittsburgh (1-0), Rutgers (0-1) and West Virginia (0-1) once.


.3143pt. FG%.427


  • Wednesday will be the first meeting between the two teams.
  • Oklahoma and Connecticut do not have any only opponents in common.
  • The Sooners last game against a Big East school was against Miami (Fla.) last year. OU lost 62-60.
  • UConn is 4-1 against teams from the Big 12 Conference (Iowa State (1-1), Kansas (2-0), Nebraska (1-0).
  • Connecticut has held the No. 1 spot in each of the USA Today/ESPN and AP polls this season.
  • Tonight is the second of five consecutive home games for the Sooners.
  • UConn's Stacy Hansmeyer (Norman) and Paige Sauer (Midwest City) are natives of Oklahoma, while OU's Desiree Taylor was born in New London, Conn.

Following tonight's game, the Sooners will host North Texas on Wednesday, Jan. 5 before opening the 2000 Big 12 Conference schedule at home on Saturday, Jan. 8 against nationally-ranked Texas Tech.

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, pushing her career point total to 1,702. The Slaton, Texas, native has 725 total rebounds.

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.


CategoryCurrently NeedsTo move, pass
PointsNo. 2, 1702446No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
FG MadeNo. 3, 59278No. 2, Jacquetta Hurley (1983-86)
268No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
FG AttemptedNo. 4, 126410No. 3, Tammy Rogers (1986-90)
170No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
3pt. FG MadeNo. 12, 494No. 11, Sunny Hardeman (1998-P)
3pt. FG AttemptedNo. 12, 1435No. 11, Sunny Hardeman (1998-P)
FT MadeNo. 1, 469XHas record
FT AttemptedNo. 1, 607XHas record (vs. Tulsa, 11-21-99)
ReboundsNo. 5, 72562No. 4, Lynn McCurdy (1983-86)
347No. 1, Molly McGuire (1980-83)
Off. ReboundsNo. 1, 258XHas record (vs. Tenn. Tech, 11-19-99)
Def. ReboundsNo. 2, 46620No. 1, Angi Guffy (1992-95)
Games StartedNo. 4, 9416No. 1, Angi Guffy (1992-95)
should tie it at Texas Tech (F19) and break it at Kansas State (F22)
Minutes PlayedNo. 3, 327788No. 2, Angie Alexander (1989-92)
Consecutive No. 1, 94XHas record (vs. UALR 12-11-99)
Games Started

Freshman Jadrea Seeley (Bethel, Okla.) has scored 105 points this season, leading all of OU's subs. Seeley, a 6-2 guard, averages 9.5 points after an 18 points performance against San Diego on Dec. 21. She has scored in double figures six times, including the last four games, and is shooting a team-best 52.8 percent from the field of players with 60 plus attempts.

The Sooner bench is averaging 20.1 points per game.

Oklahoma has recorded two margin of victories 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.

After dishing out a career-best 10 assists on two occassions, sophomore point guard Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) betters that mark with 11 assists against San Diego on Dec. 21.

When leading at half time, the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team is 9-0. When trailing at intermission the Sooners are 0-2. OU is 5-0 at home and 4-0 on opponent's home court when ahead after the first 20 minutes.

In the Sooners 8-0 run Oklahoma is hitting 50.0 percent or better from the field. OU hit a season-best 61.0 percent (36-59) against TCU and 54.2 percent (32-59) against Tulsa. Oklahoma's 61.0 performance is the second best in the Big 12 Conference this season. Kansas shot 63.8 percent (44-69) from the field against Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 11.


An OU player scored 30 or more points:40, Phylesha Whaley vs. Arkansas (3-14-99)
An OU player collected 12 or more rebounds:12, Phylesha Whaley at Denver
and Stephen F. Austin (12-5-99) and Caton Hill vs. Tulsa (11-29-99)
An OU player collected six or more assists:11, Stacey Dales vs. San Diego (12-21-99)
An OU player had 8 or more steals:9, Caton Hill vs. Tulsa (11-29-99)
An OU player made 10 or more field goals:13, Phylesha Whaley vs. Tenn. Tech (11-21-99)
An OU player made 10 or more free throws:11, LaNeishea Caufield vs. ORU (11-28-99)
An OU player recorded a double-double:Phylesha Whaley at Denver (12-18-99)
Oklahoma scored 100 or more points:102 vs. UALR (12-11-99)
An opponent scored 100 or more points against OU:101, Nebraska (2-14-99)
Oklahoma played an overtime/double overtime game:OT - vs. Arkansas (3-14-99) - L, 97-93
DOT - vs. Oklahoma State (1-14-96) - L, 86-79
Oklahoma won by 30 or more points:30 vs. UALR (12-11-99)
Oklahoma lost by 30 or more points:35, vs. Texas Tech (2-19-98)

In the latest Collegiate Basketball News Women's RPI Rankings the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team was ranked 36th in the country.

Only Texas Tech (5th) and Kansas (33rd) from the Big 12 Conference ranks higher than the Sooners.

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 threee 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 the RPI.

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 1,702 career points and is working toward Molly McGuire's 2,149 mark for the all-time record.

Whaley currently holds school records in most free throws made (469) and attempted (607) and offensive rebounds (258).

Against Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 11, Whaley set the school record for most consecutive games started. She tied the mark at TCU on Dec. 7.

The 5-10 power forward continues to lead the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.3 points and 8.5 boards per game.

Oklahoma women's basketball program will set a school record during the 1999-2000 season by appearing on local, state, regional and national television on 10 occasions during the regular season. OU will make its first ever appearance on ESPN2 on Feb. 19 at Texas Tech. The Sooners will also be seen on the Fox Sports Network five times and News Now 53, a local Norman/Oklahoma City station, four times.

In OU's first televised game this season (Dec. 5), the Sooners won 61-47 over host Stephen F. Austin.

Connecticut's Stacy Hansmeyer and Paige Sauer returns to their home state for face familiar faces. Hansmeyer, a native of Norman, played for Norman High and OU's Head Coach Sherri Coale. Sauer, a native of Midwest City, graduate of Carl Albert High School. Both players led their respective prep teams to Oklahoma High School State titles in their final prep season.

Arizona and Tennessee Tech are the only two teams to defeat Oklahoma this season. Arizona opened the season on a nine-game winning streak before Big 12 foe Kansas handed the Wildcats their first loss of the season, 68-71, on Dec. 21. Tennessee Tech, however, opened the season with a loss to Arizona and Hawaii but have won six of its last nine games. TTU also lost to Western Kentucky, 71-60, No. 5 Georgia, 77-72, and Alabama-Birmingham, 79-68.

Junior guard Sunny Hardeman (Norman, Okla.) currently ranks fifth on the school's single season three-point percentage chart, shooting .405 (17-of-42).

In Hardeman's first start of the season she dished out a career-high six assists and shot a season best 4-of-4 from the free throw line against ORU on Dec. 28. The following night vs. Tulsa, the Norman native set season bests for most points (14), rebounds (5), defensive boards (3), field goals made (5), field goals attempted (9) and three-pointers made (4) and attempted (8).

Hardeman had a perfect performance from three-point land (3-3) and the free throw line (2-2) against Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 11.

For the season, Hardeman is averaging 6.5 points, 4.3 assists, 2.1 rebounds and is hitting 90 percent from the free throw line (9-10).

Oklahoma's subs have outscored its opponents six times this year. The Sooners' reserves poured in 44 of the team's 102 points (43%) against Arkansas-Little Rock, marking the largest bench scoring performance for OU this year. UALR's bench contributed 14 of the team's 72 points (19%).

OU's previous best bench performance was against Sam Houston State when OU's subs scored 35 points to SHSU's 26. Against San Diego OU's bench scored 32 points to USD's nine.

Oklahoma has received votes in each of the USA Today Top 25 poll. This marks the longest span that OU has received top-25 votes under Head Coach Sherri Coale.

OU is injury free heading into tonight's game.

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 three solid all-around performances this season. Against Tulsa, she had 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Dales also hit 5-of-6 free throws and pocketed two steals. Against Sam Houston State, she scored 18 points, had 10 assists, was 4-of-4 from the free throw line and hit 7-of-8 shots from the field. 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.

After being named the 1999 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and earning freshman All-America honors from two women's basketball publications, you might wonder if OU sophomore LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) would be content with her early success. In a one word answer, no.

Caufield continues to rank second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game. She also is the team leader in steals, swiping 2.7 per game, and ranks third in assists with 2.5 per game. She also ranks among the Big 12 best in steals (4th), free throw percentage (9th) and scoring (18th).

In the Bertha Teague Classic, freshman Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) produced back-to-back double double performances. The poward 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.

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.

Averaging the fourth most points in the Big 12 Conference, senior Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) continues to lead the Oklahoma women's basketball team with 18.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Whaley ranks among the league's best in five categories: first in offensive rebounds (4.18), fourth in points (18.3), sixth in rebounds (8.8), sixth in free throw percentage (.829) and 10th in defensive rebounds (4.64).

Whaley also ranks 45th in the nation in scoring.

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 9.5 points per game, ranking her fifth on the team in scoring.


  • Oklahoma has not lost a true road game this season. The Sooners' two losses were on a neutral court in Hawaii.

  • Even though some say Oklahoma is not shooting the ball well, the Sooners have earned a better field goal percentage than nine of their 11 opponents. OU is 9-0 when hitting 50.0 or more of its shots. Arizona and Tennessee Tech are the only two teams to outshoot and beat OU this year.

  • The last time an Oklahoma team won eigth games in a row was in 1986-87. Four teams have met this mark.

  • The last team to open the season with an 9-2 or better record was in 1986-87 (14-1).

  • Oklahoma is one of three teams in the Big 12 Conference that has won its last seven games. The others are Texas Tech and Missouri.

  • Sophomore point guard Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) ranks 25th in the nation in assists, averaging 6.6 per game. (as of Dec. 13)

  • Senior Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) is 46th in the NCAA statistics in scoring with 19.1 points per game. (as of Dec. 13)

  • As a team, Oklahoma ranks 22nd in the NCAA in scoring offense (80.0 ppg) and ninth in rebounding margin (+9.8). (as of Dec. 13)

  • Ada, Okla., natives LaNeishea Caufield and Caton Hill were named to the Berth Teague Classic All-Tournament team, while teammate Phylesha Whaley was voted tournament MVP. Whaley also earned all-tournament honors at the Hawaiian Regent Classic.

    USA Today/ESPN
    Top 25 Poll (Dec. 26)

    1.Connecticut (40)8-01
    2.Tennessee 8-12
    3.Louisiana Tech8-13
    4.North Carolina State10-04
    6.Penn State8-26
    7.Texas Tech10-07
    8.Notre Dame6-28
    10.North Carolina8-211
    13.Iowa State7-213
    14.Rutgers 6-216
    17.UCLA 5-49
    19.Old Dominion7-119
    22.UC Santa Barbara7-321
    23.Mississippi State9-023
    25.Boston College9-325

    Note: Oklahoma received two votes in this poll.

    Associated Press
    Top 25 (Dec. 26)

    1.Connecticut (41)8-01
    2.Tennessee (2)8-12
    3.Louisiana Tech (1)8-13
    4.North Carolina State10-04
    5.Georgia 13-15
    6.Texas Tech10-07
    8.Penn State8-29
    9.North Carolina8-210
    10.Notre Dame6-212
    14.Iowa State7-216
    16.UCLA 5-46
    18.Old Dominion7-120
    21.Mississippi State9-021
    23.Santa Barbara7-322

    Senior Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) was named to the Women's Basketball Journal (WBJ) Preseason All-American honorable mention team in September. The 5-10 forward has been the leading scorer for the Sooners for the past three years and the top rebounder for the last two seasons. She poured in a career-, school- and Bud Walton Arena-record 40 points against Arkansas in the second round of the 1999 WNIT.

    "This is an amazing honor for me," said Whaley. "It's a privilege to be considered in the same field as some of the top players in the nation. I also know if it weren't for my teammates and coaches this wouldn't be possible."

    Whaley, who was Head Coach Sherri Coale's first collegiate recruit, currently ranks among the school's all-time best in 17 categories. She became the 14th player in women's basketball history to record 1,000 points. She surpassed that milestone on Nov. 29, 1998, against Coppin State at the Cancun Invitational. She's a three-time All-Big 12 selection and has averaged more than 18 points and seven rebounds per game during her career at OU.

    "I'm extremely excited for Phylesha," said Coale. "This is a tremendous individual honor as well as a reflection on our team and program at Oklahoma. She has had an outstanding career at OU so far and I expect her senior season to be stellar as well."

    Whaley's Double-Double Performances

    1999-00 (5)SENIOR
    vs. Arizona17 points/11 rebounds
    vs. Tennessee Tech26 points/11 rebounds
    at Stephen F. Austin15 points/12 rebounds
    Arkansas-Little Rock14 points/10 rebounds
    at Denver13 points/12 rebounds

    1998-99 (5)JUNIOR

    at Miami16 points/10 rebounds
    at Colorado25 points/11 rebounds
    Baylor25 points/10 rebounds
    Texas22 points/10 rebounds
    at Arkansas40 points/11 rebounds

    1997-98 (6)SOPHOMORE

    at Loyola-Marymount20 points/15 rebounds
    Miami10 points/10 rebounds
    Texas A&M30 points/10 rebounds
    Texas38 points/14 rebounds
    Kansas29 points/11 rebounds
    vs. Colorado16 points/10 rebounds

    1996-97 (4)FRESHMAN

    Texas A&M10 points/10 rebounds
    at Baylor23 points/11 rebounds
    at Texas A&M18 points/10 rebounds
    at Oklahoma State17 points/11 rebounds

    The Oklahoma women's basketball team was picked to finish sixth in the 1999-2000 Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches and Big 12 Media polls.

    Oklahoma's sixth-place predictionis its highest ever under Head Coach Sherri Coale. OU, returned five starters, was one of nine Big 12 teams that participated in postseason action a year ago.

    Coaches Preseason Poll

    1. Iowa State (11) 121
    2. Kansas 102
    3. Nebraska 92
    4. Texas (1) 90
    5. Texas Tech 83
    6. Oklahoma 74
    7. Kansas State 59
    8. Colorado 54
    9. Missouri 49
    10. Oklahoma State 31
    11. Baylor 19
    12. Texas A&M 18

    Media Preseason Poll

    1. Iowa State (12) 198
    2. Kansas (2) 171
    3. Nebraska 162
    4. Texas (1) 155
    5. Texas Tech (2) 153
    6. Oklahoma 107
    7. Kansas State 94
    8. Colorado 85
    9. Missouri 58
    10. Baylor 65
    11. Oklahoma State 52
    12. Texas A&M 26

    (#) indicates first-place votes.



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