Feb. 12, 2011

 
  Danielle Robinson
 Connecticut (24-1, 10-0 Big East) vs. Oklahoma (18-6, 8-3 Big 12)
 Date  Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 | 6 p.m. (CT)
 Location  Hartford, Conn. | XL Center (16,294)
 Tickets  Ticketmaster.com
 TV  ESPN2
 Radio  Sooner Radio Network
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City, KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa
 Webcast  ESPN3.com
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

SATURDAY'S GAME PLAN
• No. 14 Oklahoma visits No. 2 Connecticut on Valentine's Day, Monday, Feb. 14, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., at 6 p.m. Central.
• The game is a marquee event of ESPN's February Frenzy and, in honor of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and breast cancer awareness, the Sooners and Huskies will wear special pink uniforms. OU will host its Pack the Place Pink Game Saturday, Feb. 19, vs. Texas.
• The game will be televised on ESPN2 with Pam Ward as play-by-play and Stephanie White as color analyst.
• The Sooner Sports Network radio broadcast with Brian Brinkley will be on KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City and KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa.

The Teams
• Oklahoma is ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. Connecticut is ranked No. 2 in both polls.
• The first matchup was established in the 1999-2000 season and has developed into one of the premier must-see games of the past decade. Connecticut is undefeated, 8-0, in the series and has won the only matchup in Hartford. Last season, OU pushed UConn to the brink of the second half in Norman before falling, 76-60. UConn beat Oklahoma, 82-70, in the 2002 National Championship Game, one of two postseason meetings.

The Coaches
• Sherri Coale is 331-149 (.690) in her 15th season at Oklahoma. She has been the Big 12 Coach of the Year four times.
• Geno Auriemma is 759-123 (.861) in his 26th season, all at Connecticut. He is a six-time National Coach of the Year award winner.

Tickets for Sooner Women's Basketball
• OU Season Tickets are available for as low as $140. Tickets may be purchased online at SoonerSports.com or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-456-GoOU. Single-game tickets are $15 for reserved seating, $8 for general admission adults and $5 for general admission youths and senior citizens. OU students receive free admission with a valid ID.

 Connecticut Projected Starters
No.
 Name
Pos.
Ht.
Year
 2010-11 Statistics
3
 Tiffany Hayes
G
5-10
Jr.
 14.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg
14
 Bria Hartley
G
5-7
Fr.
 12.4 ppg, 3.8 apg
23
 Maya Moore
F
6-0
Sr.
 24.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg
31
 Stefanie Dolson
C
6-5
Fr.
 8.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg
34
 Kelly Faris
G
5-11
So.
 7.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg

 Oklahoma Projected Starters
No.
 Name
Pos.
Ht.
Year
 2010-11 Statistics
13
 Danielle Robinson
G
5-9
Sr.
 19.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.0 apg
3
 Aaryn Ellenberg
G
5-7
Fr.
 17.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
25
 Whitney Hand
G
6-1
So. (RS)
 12.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg
10
 Carlee Roethlisberger
F
6-1
Sr.
 6.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg
4
 Nicole Griffin
C
6-6
Fr.
 3.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg

PREVIEWING OKLAHOMA
The Sooners enter 2010-11 following back-to-back trips to the Final Four. OU returns eight letterwinners from the squad, including three starters, and introduces five newcomers. Oklahoma was picked by the league's coaches to finish third in the Big 12 Conference this season.

Preseason All-American Danielle Robinson leads the team after a standout junior season in which she averaged 16.8 points and 5.3 assists.

Redshirt sophomore Whitney Hand, the 2009 Big 12 Freshman of the Year who suffered an ACL injury five games into the 2009-10 season returned to action on Jan. 2.

The Sooners introduce five newcomers, including high school All-Americans Aaryn Ellenberg and Nicole Griffin.

In the Polls
The Sooners are No. 12 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll this week.

In the 608 week history of the AP Women's Basketball Top 25 Poll, the Sooners have been listed 209 times, including 188 weeks under Sherri Coale.

Oklahoma has remained in the Top 25 of both polls since the beginning of 2005-06 season, a total of 107 weeks in the AP poll and 104 in the coaches' (including preseason and final polls).

Oklahoma highest ranking in either poll is No. 2, which it was ranked following the 2002 season and for a few weeks in 2008-09. The Sooners ended the past two seasons at No. 4 and No. 3.

 
 Sooner to Watch 

Joanna McFarland | So. | Forward/Center
McFarland's first career game-leading scoring performance was also the first time this season a post player has led the Sooners in points. With 14 points, McFarland paced OU's offense against Missouri. The sophomore center was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

   

PREVIEWING CONNECTICUT
The two-time defending national champions and No. 2 team in the nation features the sport's top collegiate player, Maya Moore.

Moore, a two-time Wade Trophy winner, leads UConn with 24.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.2 steals.

Junior point guard Tiffany Hayes contributes 14.8 points per game and freshman guard Bria Hartley adds 12.4 points.

The Huskies, however, have struggled with reserves. Caroline Doty, who scored a career-high 18 points against Oklahoma in 2008, suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the preseason.

Freshman forward Samarie Walker, a top-10 overall recruit, transferred to Kentucky at the end of the fall semester, leaving UConn with just nine active players.

Robinson a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in women's basketball. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Fan voting counts for one-third of the total balloting and will be conducted online at www.seniorclasssaward.com and via Facebook through March 20.

Fans are able to vote for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominees once each day through March 20. Click here to vote for Danielle Robinson.

Robinson Approaching Rare Benchmark
Danielle Robinson is on pace to become the third top-level women's college basketball player, and the second in NCAA Division I competition, to total 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals in a career. Previously, only Dawn Staley and Nancy Lieberman had reached those benchmarks. Robinson trails the milestones by 45 points, 31 assists and 15 steals.

Players with 2,000 Points/700 Assists/300 Steals
Dawn Staley, Virginia (1989-92): 2,135 points, 729 assists, 454 steals
*Nancy Lieberman, Old Dominion (1977-80): 2,430 points, 961 assists, 512 steals

Players with 2,000 Points/600 Assists/300 Steals
Kim Perrott, Louisiana-Lafayette (1987-90): 2,157 points, 654 assists, 421 steals

*Pre-NCAA statistics

Non-Conference Success
Oklahoma is 10-3 against non-conference teams this season, 24-8 in the past two years combined, 40-11 in the past three, 51-14 in the past four and 64-15 in the past five.

The Sooners also have a 40-game home winning streak against unranked non-conference opponents with the last loss in Norman being to SMU, 71-68, on Dec. 21, 2002.

Oklahoma's Big 12 Dominance
No Big 12 team has won more games, titles or honors since the formation of the conference than Oklahoma.

Since the league was formed for the 1996-97 season, the Sooners have appeared in three Final Fours (2002, 2009, 2010) and have the most Big 12 victories and highest overall winning percentage (155-80, .660), all of which have come under Sherri Coale, who has been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year a record four times.

The Sooners have won a league-high six regular-season conference crowns and four Big 12 Championship titles. In addition, Oklahoma players have won Big 12 Player of the Year six times, including Courtney Paris, who had a streak of three years taking the award. OU has also tallied five Big 12 Freshmen of the Year, including current Sooners Danielle Robinson (2008) and Whitney Hand (2009).

Oklahoma's 11-game NCAA Championship appearance streak is also the longest active streak among Big 12 teams. Baylor, in second place, has been to the tournament the last seven years.

Griffin Answers the Call
With Oklahoma searching for a post presence, Nicole Griffin provided an impressive 18 minutes in a loss to Texas A&M (Feb. 9), scoring 10 points (eight in the second half) and hitting on all three field goal attempts taken. The 6-6 center was 3-for-3 again, for 7 points in 15 minutes, in her first start against Missouri (Feb. 12) ended with a Plus-Minus of +11 in the 69-47 victory.

Griffin's size and wingspan of seven feet opened the paint for the Bigs, who scored 35 of OU's 69 points against Missouri after averaging just 14.9 points combined entering the game.

Ellenberg Sparking Beyond the Arc
The freshman has been pacing some of the Sooner records for 3-point shooting with her brilliant performances this season. Ellenberg already has OU freshman records for 3-point makes and attempts, and the best single-season 3-point percentage overall for anyone with more than 150 attempts. Her 70 3-pointers made ranks fifth all-time at OU and her 164 attempts is just shy of the top 10. Her 42.7 3-point percentage would be sixth best if the season ended today.

Last Time Out: No. 14 Oklahoma 69, Missouri 47
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Joanna McFarland matched her career high with 14 points, Lyndsey Cloman scored 10 and Oklahoma relied on improved post play to beat Missouri 69-47.

McFarland had been relegated to the bench and Coale gave freshman Nicole Griffin her first career start while continuing to look for reliable play at center.

McFarland responded with a big second half as OU put the game away with a 23-7 run after Missouri had cut a 14-point deficit to five. McFarland scored the final eight points at the foul line, pushing the Sooners' advantage to 59-38 with 6:06 to play.

• Oklahoma's bench scored 40 points, totaling 60 for the past two games after averaging just 8.4 points through the team's first nine conference games.

• Danielle Robinson scored five points, her lowest total since the final game of her freshman year -- a two-point effort against Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

NEXT UP
Oklahoma hosts Texas at the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday, Feb. 19, for Pack the Place Pink Day in support of breast cancer awareness. Several game-used items will be auctioned, with all proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, on SoonerSports.com.