Dec 8, 2001
Press Conference Audio
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale was a little embarrassed about her team's 26 turnovers against Montana State. On the other hand, she had nothing but praise for LaNeishea Caufield.
Caufield turned in a near flawless performance, going 13-of-15 from the field and hitting all six of her free throws to score a career-high 33 points in an 86-62 victory Saturday.
Caufield scored 22 during the opening half to lead the No. 3 Sooners to a 86-62 victory over the Bobcats.
"It wasn't very pretty. I almost feel like apologizing to our fans," Coale said. "As for LaNeishea, she's got a great first step and an uncanny ability to get to the rim. And she had a chance to do that again and again today. She had a great game."
Caufield was perfect during the first half, making all eight of her field goal attempts and going 5-for-5 from the foul line. Her 20 first-half points nearly equaled Montana State's total as the Sooners built a 52-22 lead.
Oklahoma had a 21-15 lead just over eight minutes in, but widened the advantage by outscoring the Bobcats 31-7 to finish the half. Caufield accounted for 10 points and four assists during the run, as Oklahoma hit 20-of-29 (69 percent) before the break.
Oklahoma, 9-0 for the first time since the 1984-85 season, forced Montana State into 18 first-half turnovers. Although they were sloppy with the ball, the Sooners won every other statistical category including rebounding (35-26).
"It was a great spurt at the end of the half," Coale said. "But other than that, I thought we were undisciplined, and didn't play with the intensity we should.
"But LaNeishea always shows up. She makes big plays and does everything you want a senior leader to do."
Caufield did not miss her first shot from the field until 17:24 remained. She finished the game 13-of-15 from the field and exited to a standing ovation with 2:37 remaining.
"I'm very confident with the way I'm playing right now," Caufield said. "I just went out there and played, and tried to get into the flow. My teammates kept getting me the ball - I couldn't have done it without them."
Stacey Dales added 13 points and nine assists for the Sooners. Caton Hill and Jamie Talbert finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bobcats (4-4) were led by Jessica Blake and Cassie Johnson with 14 points each.