Dec. 16, 1999

GAME #10
Oklahoma (7-2) at Denver (4-3)

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Date: Saturday, Dec. 18, 1999
Arena: Magness Arena(7,200)
Radio: KOMA (1520 AM) - will be joined in progress following the completion of the men's game at 7 p.m.
Live on the Internet: www.soonersports.com
TV: None

TONIGHT'S GAME
After taking the week off to focus on finals, the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team (7-2) returns to the court riding a six-game winning streak heading into tonight's game against Denver (3-3).

The Sooners are coming off an impressive 102-72 win over Arkansas-Little Rock last Saturday. OU also picked up two road wins that week by defeating Stephen F. Austin, 61-47, and TCU, 94-74.

Denver returns home after posting a 2-1 record in three games on the road. DU picked up a win over Wright State Wednesday night after losing to Old Dominion, 71-49, on Dec. 12. The Pioneers defeated Radford, 61-49, on Dec. 9. Tonight's game is the fifth of seven games Denver will play in December.

Saturday's game can be heard live on the University of Oklahoma website (www.soonersports.com) and it will be joined in progress on the Sooner Basketball Radio Network (KOMA 1520 AM) following the completion of the men's game which starts at 7 p.m. Ed Murray (play-by-play) and Jenny Bramer (analyst) will call the action. The men's basketball team host Georgia Southern Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Probable Starters Oklahoma

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPGOthers
F34Phylesha Whaley5-10Sr.9-919.18.384% FT
F10Caton Hill6-1Fr.9-911.96.91st D-Reb. (41)
G20LaNeishea Caufield5-9So.9-913.04.73.1 spg
G21Stacey Dales6-0So.9-911.95.46.6 apg
G13Sunny Hardeman5-7Jr.9-66.42.04.0 apg

Off the bench (listed numerically)

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPG
C00Desiree Taylor6-1Jr.9-34.73.0
G23Jadrea Seeley6-2Fr.9-08.61.4
F40Shannon Selmon6-1So.9-01.81.4

Denver

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPG
F20Candy Benson6-2Sr.7-75.64.6
F43Martha Dibella6-0So.6-28.03.8
C45Michaela Pavlickova6-3Jr.7-712.68.7
G22Melissa Garcia5-6So.7-712.42.9
G35Ashley Atkinson5-10Fr.7-710.13.7

Off the bench (listed numerically)

Pos.No.PlayersHt.Yr.GP-GSPPGRPG
C42Bethie Younger6-1Jr.4-24.52.5
G11Lika Black5-7Fr.7-05.31.3

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Denver enters its second season of NCAA Division I competition and its first year as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. This year, the Pioneers have an overall record of 4-3 and are 1-1 in the Magness Arena. Denver opened its 1999-2000 season at home with wins over Colorado, 71-69, and UNLV, 74-65. Michaela Pavlickova, a senior, and Melissa Garcia, a sophomore, top the returnees for the Pioneers. Pavlickova, a 6-3 center, averages 12.5 ppg and a team-high 8.8 rebounds per outing. Garcia is the team leader in scoring averaging 13.2 per contest. Pavlickova represented the Czech Republic at the World University Games this past summer. Joining the Pioneers' program this season and making an immediate impact on the team are Bethie Younger, a transfer from Auburn, and freshmen guards Ashley Atkinson and Lika Black. Atkinson is one of three DU players who average double figures in scoring with 11.0 ppg, ranking her third on the team. Younger is the team's fourth ranked scorer (7.8), while Black is fifth (5.2). Black, Garcia and Pavlickova have started each of DU's seven games. DU ended the 1998-99 season winning nine of its last 12 games and ranked 14th in scoring defense among NCAA Division I programs, restricting opponents to 58.9 points per game. Pavlickova ended last season ranked sixth in the nation in blocked shots with 2.8 per game (75 total).

1999-2000 DENVER ROSTER

No.PlayerPos.Ht.Cl.Hometown/High School
11Lika BlackG5-7Fr.San Diego, Calif. (Mt. Carmel HS)
12Natalie RyanC6-2Sr.Rockhampton, Australia (Concordia (CA) Univ.)
20Candy BensonF6-2Sr.Wilton, Conn. (Wilton HS)
22Melissa GarciaG5-6So.Thornton, Colo. (Thornton HS)
23Heather FloydG5-7Sr.Fullerton, Calif. (Fullerton HS)
34Jamie RhoadsG5-10Jr.Midland, Texas (Lee HS)
35Ashley AtkinsonG5-10Fr.Springfield, Mo. (Kickapoo HS)
42Bethie YoungerC6-1Jr.Tomball, Texas (Auburn University)
43Martha DibellaF/C6-0So.Littleton, Colo. (Arapahoe HS)
44Kellie CarwellF/C6-3Fr.Villa Park, Ill. (Timothy Christian HS)
45Michaela PavlickovaC6-3Jr.Prague, Czech Republic (Boulder HS (CO))
55Misty StatonF/C6-2Fr.Mangum, Okla. (Duke HS)

Head Coach: Pam Tanner (Illinois State, 1989/Tennessee, 1992)
Assistants: Tracy Tripp, Ellen Grosso, Dee Dee Dominguez

TEAM COMPARISONS

OUCATEGORYDU
80.0Points63.7
39.6Rebounds38.3
.477FG%.360
.3173pt. FG%.391
.733FT%.620
19.2Assists14.3
11.1Steals>11.1

THE SERIES This is the second meeting between the two schools. In the first game Oklahoma came away with an 80-52 win in Norman. In that game, three Sooners scored 10 or more points. Desiree Taylor led the way with a career high 20 points, followed by Phylesha Whaley's 16 and Stacey Dales' 12. Whaley and Taylor each had a team-high seven rebounds, while Dales had five boards.

NEXT UP Oklahoma returns home on Dec. 21 and Dec. 29 to host San Diego and top-ranked Connecticut. OU's game with UConn will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Network at 7 p.m.

OKLAHOMA SOONERS
Oklahoma enters Saturday's game with a 7-2 overall record and records of 4-0 at home, 3-0 on the road and 0-2 on neutral courts.

On a six-game winning streak, Head Coach Sherri Coale and the Sooners are excited about the opportunity to extend their perfect 3-0 road performance before returning home on Dec. 21 and 29 to host San Diego and top-ranked Connecticut at the Lloyd Noble Center, a place where OU is 4-0 this season and 12-3 in its last 15 home games.

OU has not lost a game since dropping a 74-64 decision to Tennessee Tech in the Hawaiian Regent Tournament on Nov. 21. Oklahoma's most recent victories have been over Arkansas-Little Rock, 102-72, Stephen F. Austin, 61-47, and TCU, 94-74.

Senior forward Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) continues to lead a balanced Sooner attack that features four players averaging in double figures through the first nine games. Whaley, who scored a season-high 26 points against Tennessee Tech, is averaging 19.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore guards LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) have been consistent for OU, averaging 13.0 and 11.9 points, respectively. In addition, Dales leads the team in assists with 6.6 followed by junior guard Sunny Hardeman (Norman, Okla.) with 4.0 assists per game. Freshman forward Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) has contributed 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds through the first nine games.

The Sooners opened their 1999-2000 home schedule by hosting the Bertha Teague Classic last week. Oklahoma picked up back-to-back wins over Oral Roberts and Tulsa to become the only team in the tournament to go undefeated. The Sooners also defeated Sam Houston State, 97-60, at the Lloyd Noble Center on Dec. 2.

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 80.0 points and 39.6 rebounds per game. The Sooners are shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 31.7 from three-point land and 73.3 percent from the charity stripe. OU has dominated the offensive glass, pulling down 136 offensive rebounds to its opponents' 86. The team also holds the overall advantage in rebounds, 356-277, and steals, 100-76.

SUNNY DAYS ARE AHEAD
Since junior guard Sunny Hardeman (Norman, Okla.) earned her first start of the season and her seventh starts as a Sooner. Oklahoma has won six-consecutive games. Hardeman was among the starting five for the first time against ORU on Nov. 28. In that game, she dished out a career-high six assists and shot a season best 4-of-4 from the free throw line. The following night, 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 6.4 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and is hitting 40 percent or better from the field and free throw line. She's 87.5 percent from the charity stripe (7-8). For the last six games, she averages 7.2 points, 5.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and plays 30.3 minutes per game.

SOONERS ARE UNDEFEATED WHEN ...

  • Oklahoma shoots better than 50 percent from the field (6-0)
  • Oklahoma holds its opponent to worse than 50 percent from the field (7-0)
  • Oklahoma shoots and makes more free throws (6-0)
  • Oklahoma has more total rebounds, more defensive boards, more assists (7-0)
  • Oklahoma's bench outscores the opponent's subs (4-0)
  • Oklahoma is undefeated when playing in the month of December (4-0)

OU'S SUBS COME TO PLAY
Oklahoma's subs have outscored its opponents four 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.

TEAM AND PLAYER NOTES

  • Oklahoma has not lost a true road game this season. The Sooners' two losses were on a neutral court at Hawaii.
  • Even though some say Oklahoma is not shooting the ball well, the Sooners have earned a better field goal percentage than seven of their nine opponents. Arizona and Tennessee Tech are the only two teams to outshoot and beat OU this year.
  • The last time an Oklahoma team won six games in a row was in 1993-94. Ten teams have met this mark a total of 12 times. The 1986-87 and 1984-85 teams did it twice in one year.
  • The last team to open the season with a 7-2 or better record was in 1991-92 (7-2). During the Maura McHugh coaching era the Sooners had five seasons to where they started the year off with 7-2 or better records.
  • Oklahoma is one of three teams in the Big 12 Conference that has won its last six 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.

BIG 12 TEAM NOTES

  • Texas Tech, Missouri and Oklahoma are in the midst of six-game win streaks. Texas Tech remains undefeated on the season with a 6-0 mark. Mizzou is 7-1 and has rolled off six wins after a seven-point loss to Arkansas on Nov. 22. OU began the season 1-2 at the Hawaii Tournament and has been on a tear since then to improve its record to 7-2.
  • In addition to Missouri, Kansas and Texas A&M also have only one loss on the season.
  • Texas Tech (12,378) and Iowa State (10,139) are both averaging over 10,000 fans per home game. In addition, both have already set records for single game home attendance this season with 15,050 at Tech's game against LSU and 13,271 at the Iowa vs. Iowa State game this past Saturday.
  • In the latest NCAA stats, three Big 12 teams (5. Texas A&M (84.7), 6. Nebraska (81.2), 7. Missouri (82.6)) were ranked in the top 10 in scoring. In addition, Iowa State (81.1) and Oklahoma (80.0) are averaging 80 points or better per game. Individually, Texas' Edwina Brown was ranked 10th in scoring and currently averages 22.5 points per outing.

MAKING THE MOVE
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 1,673 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 (466) and attempted (603) and offensive rebounds (252).

Against Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 11, Whaley set the school record for most consecutive games started with 92. She tied the mark at TCU on Dec. 7.

The 5-10 power forward continues to lead the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 19.1 points and 8.3 boards per game.

POLL VOTES
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 SET TO APPEAR IN 10 REGULAR SEASON TV GAMES
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.

INJURY REPORT
The Oklahoma women's basketball team is injury free heading into Saturday's game with Denver.

DALES A CONSISTENT THREAT FOR OPPONENTS
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 seven of eight game this year.

REUNITED ONCE AGAIN
Appearing on Oklahoma's roster and among the Sooners' starting five are two natives of Ada, Okla., in sophomore LaNeishea Caufield and freshman Caton Hill. The duo renew their days as teammates as the pair played high school basketball together for one season at Ada High. Hill joined the Ada program following her sophomore year at Lansing High in Kansas. The two teamed up to produce a 27-1 record in 1997-98.

This season, Caufield and Hill make up 31.1 percent of Oklahoma's scoring and 29.2 percent of the team's rebounds. Hill leads the team in defensive boards with 41, while Caufield is the team leader in steals with 28. From the field, Caufield is hitting 46.8 and Hill is making 52.4 percent of her shots.

LEADING THE PACK
For the first time in her young collegiate career, freshman Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) paced the Sooners with 17 points against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 5. Hill also grabbed nine boards and added three assists vs. the Ladyjacks.

In addition, the 6-1 forward recorded her second double-double of the season as she had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the triumph over Tulsa, 93-70, on Nov. 29. Her first collegiate double-double came the night before against Oral Roberts when she scored 12 points and grabbed 11 boards. Both performances were in the Bertha Teague Classic at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

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.

POTENTIAL WNBA
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 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. As of Dec. 12, Whaley ranked among the league's best in four categories: first in offensive rebounds (4.44), third in points (19.11), and eighth in free throw percentage (.838) and rebounds (8.8).

Whaley also ranks 45th in the nation in scoring.

CAUFIELD CONTINUES SUCCESS
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 13.0 points per game. She also is the team leader in steals, swiping 3.1 per game, and ranks third in assists with 2.7 per game.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION
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.

SEELEY IS SILK
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 6-1 guard has scored in double figures four times, with her best being 16 points against Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 11. Seeley comes off the bench to average 8.2 points per game, ranking her fifth on the team in scoring.

TAYLOR IS OU'S SIXTH MAN

Junior Desiree Taylor (Richardson, Texas) has responded well to coming OU's sixth man for the past six games. Taylor had started for the Sooners for 32 consecutive games until Nov. 28 when teammate and roommate Sunny Hardeman was inserted into the starting lineup. Taylor has now scored in five on the team's nine games after being held scoreless in the first three outings. Against Arkansas-Little Rock, the forward/center matched her career-high 20 points, hitting 7-of-12 shots. She also dished out a career-best five assists and grabbed a season-best seven rebounds.

SOONERS FINISH 2-0 IN EXHIBITIONS
Oklahoma completed a perfect 2-0 exhibition slate this year with a 91-52 win over Norrkoping Proderm of Sweden on Nov. 8 and a 83-69 victory over Club Gija Marijampole of Lithuania on Nov. 13.

Four players averaged double figures in scoring. Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) scored a 17.5 clip followed by LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) (16.5), Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) (11.0) and Jadrea Seeley (Bethel, Okla.) (11.0).

SUMMERTIME FUN
Standouts Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas), Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) and LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) were among an elite group of players selected to participate in organized basketball tours, tournaments and trials last summer.

Whaley was one of only 12 players named to the Big 12 All-Stars team that toured Europe last August. The team competed in six games, accumulating a record of 5-1 behind Whaley's team-leading 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Dales gained valuable experience by playing on the Canadian National team that won a silver medal at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in August. The Brockville, Ontario, native averaged 4.6 points, 2.7 assists and 19.4 minutes per game, coming off the bench for the Canadians.

Caufield was invited to try out for the USA Women's Basketball World University Games squad. She was one of 43 players asked to showcase her talent during the six-day trial in Colorado Springs, Colo. In addition to trying out for the 12-member squad, Caufield participated in five seminars that focused on life skills covering various subjects including life after basketball and setting career goals. The 5-9 guard participated in five practice sessions, a three-on-three tournament and a four-team round robin tournament.