NORMAN -- After three classic battles last season, it is only appropriate that Baylor and Oklahoma’s first meeting of 2006-07 would be for first place in the Big 12. The defending Big 12 Champion Sooners (12-1, 2-0) visit the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, where they will take on the Lady Bears (15-1, 2-0) Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The game will be televised live by the Sooner Sports Network on KAUT UPN (Cox channel 16 in OKC) with the regular team of Bob Carpenter and Debbie Antonelli. Local fans can also catch the game on KOKC-1520 AM with Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti.
The Bears and Sooners are the only 2-0 teams in the Big 12. Every other Big 12 team, besides 1-0 Colorado, already has a loss through one week of play. Wednesday will mark the second consecutive meeting in which both teams are ranked in the top 10. The last meeting was a 72-61 triumph for the Sooners in the 2006 Big 12 Championship. This season Baylor is 1-0 against the top-10 and 2-1 against top-25 teams, while OU lost its only top-10 game to Ohio State and is 3-1 in top-25 matchups.
The focus on Wednesday will again be in the paint, where Sooner All-American Courtney Paris will square off with Baylor transfer Bernice Mosby. Paris, who’s numbers are up across the board this season, has averaged 26 points and 17 rebounds in three games against the Lady Bears. Mosby is as close to a straight swap for Sophia Young as Baylor could find. Mosby sat out last year after transferring from Florida. She spent her time guarding and learning from Young. This season she is averaging 17 points, nearly nine boards and has posted six double-doubles.
After Baylor, the Sooners will return home to play Texas Tech on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. The home game is sandwiched between four road games. The Big 12 south meeting will air live on Fox Sports Net.
Setting The Scene
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007
Location: Waco, Texas
Venue: Ferrell Center (10,284)
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Central
TV: Sooner Sports Network
TV Talent: Bob Carpenter & Debbie Antonelli
Find it on TV in your Market
Radio: KOKC 1520 AM, Sooner Sports Radio Network, Yahoo Radio!
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Radio Broadcast Info
Tickets: (800) BaylorU
Player To Watch
Coming off her best game of the season, Kendra Moore and the Sooners return to Waco where she played hero last season. At Baylor last year, Moore nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the final 17 seconds, including the game winner with 0.8 seconds to play. At Nebraska last Saturday Moore poured in 18 points, topping her previous season high by 12 points. Moore was 7-13 from the field with five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 25 minutes.
Recap - at Nebraska
(AP) - Courtney Paris shook off early foul trouble to score 19 points and Kendra Moore had a career-high 18 to lead eighth-ranked Oklahoma in a 77-69 come-from-behind victory over Nebraska on Saturday.
Oklahoma (12-1, 2-0 Big 12) won its 21st straight conference game and posted its 15th consecutive win away from Norman, Okla. Nebraska (13-3, 1-1) lost for the first time in eight games.
Paris, who played only nine minutes in the first half after committing two fouls, added 14 rebounds for her 41st straight double-double. The 6-foot-4 All-American also blocked six shots.
Chelsi Welch, who made all three of her 3-pointers, scored 14 points.
Kelsey Griffin had 22 points and Kiera Hardy 18 to lead Nebraska.
The Sooners, who trailed 43-35 early in the second half, took the lead for good, 55-53, when Paris scored inside with 8:57 left.
The Huskers had chances to tie or lead late. After Paris was called for traveling, Hardy missed a 3-pointer with 1:34 left. Paris got the rebound, and Leah Rush made a turnaround shot in the lane to make it 69-65.
Griffin’s two free throws with 59 seconds left pulled Nebraska to 69-67 and put the Devaney Center crowd on its feet.
But Paris, a 55-percent foul shooter, hit two free throws with 47 seconds left to make it 71-67. Paris then blocked a Kelsey Griffin shot underneath the basket, and Nebraska could get no closer.
The Huskers, who missed 16 of 17 3-pointers, shot just 31.4 percent from the field. Only one of Oklahoma’s 13 opponents has shot better than 40 percent.
Nebraska missed its first 12 3-point attempts and did not make a long range bucket until just inside the 10 minute mark of the second half.
Nebraska was the 12th team that OU has held below 40 percent shooting from the field this season.
Courtney Paris did not get her usual touches but she was effective when she did making 8-9 from the field for 19 points. She also notched her 41st consecutive double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Chelsi Welch came into the game ranked fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage at 48.8. She canned all three of her attempts today to improve to 52.2 (23-44) percent.
Welch’s point output of 14 marked the eighth time this season she has reached double figures. She fouled out at the 2:45 mark.
Kendra Moore had tied a season high with six points by halftime. She topped that in the second half with 12 points in route to a career high 18. Her previous career high was 14 at Baylor last season.
Ashley Paris had 4 points and 8 rebounds. She has cleared 25 boards in the last two games, which is a career best total over a two game span. She had a career high 17 in OU’s Big 12 opener against Kansas State.
Baylor is 15-1 and ranked No. 9 in both polls after losing two-time All-American Sophia Young at the end of 2005-06. The Bears only loss came to highly ranked Purdue in the Preseason WNIT Championship Game. Baylor has defeated Texas Tech at home and Kansas on the road in Big 12 play this season. The Lady Bears have impressive non-conference wins over LSU, BYU and UCLA.
Baylor is led by Kim Mulkey, who owns a 172-46 record in six seasons at Baylor. Mulkey has led the Lady Bears to five NCAA Tournaments, including a National Championship run in 2005.
The Lady Bears enter Wednesday in the midst of a 12-game winning streak. Baylor has had several close calls during that stretch including a four-point win over LSU, a two-point win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a pair of seven point wins over Texas Tech and Kansas to open Big 12 play.
This marks the third consecutive season that OU has traveled to Waco for the first meeting with Baylor. Last year was perhaps the most memorable. Kendra Moore scored the final eight points of the game, including a game winning 3-pointer with 0.8 second left, to propel OU to victory. The Sooners and Lady Bears then went to overtime in the second meeting when Krista Sanchez came off the bench to play hero with 11 crucial points in the victory. The final meeting of 2006 came in the Big 12 Championship where OU committed a record 32 turnovers but was still able to collect an 11 point win for the program’s third tourney title.
Baylor’s leading scorer Bernice Mosby reminds many of two-time All-American Sophia Young. Mosby is averaging 17 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. Point guard Angela Tisdale is second on the squad in scoring at 11.6 and freshman Danielle Wilson, who comes off the bench, is third at 10.4.
Baylor is third in the Big 12 in rebounding (44.7), first in blocked shots (8.1) and first in offensive rebounds (17.1), which has a lot to do with Wilson. Wilson is averaging 6.6 rebounds and a league high 3.3 blocks. One other area where Baylor stands out is in turnover margin, which they rank second at +5.94.
OU leads the all-time series with Baylor 18-8 and has won three straight in the series. The series has been streaky if nothing. OU has winning streaks in the series of four and 11. A win Wednesday would tie for the second longest streak against Baylor in program history. OU is 7-4 in Waco and 14-7 since the inception of the Big 12.
Sooners vs. Baylor
Career High Brown
15 points (3-11-06) Higgins
18 points (1-24-04) Moore
14 points (1-21-06) A. Paris
10 rebounds (2-12-06) C. Paris
32 points (2-12-06) Rush
26 points (1-16-05) Sanchez
11 points (2-12-06) Welch
18 points (2-12-03)
OU is 8-0 away from Norman this season and 6-0 in true road games.
If Leah Rush starts against Baylor, it will mark the 100th consecutive start for the Sooner senior. The OU record for consecutive starts is 133 by Stacey Dales (1999-02).
OU head coach Sherri Coale is one win away from her and the program’s 100th Big 12 win. Coale owns a career Big 12 record of 99-63 (.611).
OU is 3-1 against ranked foes in 2006-07 with wins over No. 20 DePaul, No. 21 UCLA and No. 25/22 New Mexico and a loss to No. 8 Ohio State.
OU is 44-59 (19-21 at home) all-time against ranked opponents. OU is 5-3 when ranked in the top-10 and facing another team ranked in the top-10.
OU is averaging 80.8 points and 19.1 assists. Both numbers are up from last season when OU averaged 76.3 points and 16.8 assists.
OU has held eight of its last nine opponents under 10 assists. The stretch began with seven straight under 10 and was snapped by Kansas State. The last nine opponents have averaged just 7.7 assists, with a low of five by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and a high of 14 by Kansas State
Historic Defensive Stretch
OU has held 12 of 13 opponents, including its first nine opponents, below 40 percent shooting this season. The previous record for consecutive opponents held below 40 percent was seven and set in 1984-85. OU has held its last three opponents under 40 percent shooting.
OU also held South Carolina, Arkansas Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado below 30 percent in consecutive outings. That is another record streak. OU had held two straight opponent below 30 percent on eight occasions in OU history. The Sooners have held five of their last seven opponents below 30 percent, including New Mexico (.262) and K-State (.286) in back-to-back outing recently.
OU is first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at .315. Only Ohio State (.450) has shot over 40 percent against OU this season. The lowest mark was a .224 by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado. Last season 24 of 36 opponents failed to reach the 40 percent mark against OU.
The Winning Streaks
OU has won a Big 12 record 21 straight games against conference teams (including last year’s postseason championship) and 19 straight regular season games - 16 last year, one in 2004-05 - against conference foes. The Sooners have also won nine straight Big 12 home games and 10 straight Big 12 road games. The previous record for consecutive wins was 16 by the 2000-01 OU team.
OU has won 15 straight regular season games away from Norman, which is one shy of tying the Big 12 record of 16. The streak includes true road games and games at neutral
sites. OU set that mark with 16 straight wins from December 2000 to December 2001.
OU has won 13 straight regular season true road games, which is a Big 12 record. The previous record was 11 games and was set by OU from December 2000 to December 2001.
Paris & Putbacks
24 (71-294) percent of Courtney Paris’ points this season have come after she pulled down an offensive rebound. Of that total, 30 have come after her own miss, 36 have come after her teammates’ misses and five have come at the free throw line after being fouled after an offensive board.
Paris vs. Ranked Teams
Below is comparison of Courtney Paris’ career averages against what she has done in 15 meetings with ranked teams and what she has done against ranked teams this season:
The Double-Double Streak Over 40 | Paris' Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in 41 straight games. The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005. The streak will be 401 days old when OU takes the court next.
The Half Double-Double
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 14 occasions (6 first half, 8 second half). She has achieved the mark against UCLA (second half), Tulsa (first half) and in both halves against New Mexico this season.
Last year her four first half double-dips came against BYU, Texas (second meeting), UCLA and SMU. Her second half double-doubles were against New Mexico (twice), Illinois, Michigan State, Texas (first meeting) and Baylor (second meeting). As usual, Paris shines in the brightest spotlight with eight of these double-doubles coming against ranked teams. Paris’ career high for points in a half is 23 (Michigan State, 12-21-05, and New Mexico, 12/30/06). Her career high for rebounds in a half is 14 set against Baylor in second frame of the 2006 Big 12 Championship.
Double Figure Twins
Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris have scored in double figures in the same game on 12 occasions, including five times this season. The 12 occasions account for all 12 double figures games of Ashley’s career. Additionally, the twins have posted a double-double in the same game on five occasions, including once this season. OU is 11-1 when the low post twins reach 10 or more points and 5-0 when they both record a double-double.
Big 12 History
All-time, OU has a 99-63 (.609) Big 12 record under head coach Sherri Coale. The Sooners have won four regular season titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006) and three Big 12 Championships (2002, 2004, 2006). The Sooners were picked by the coaches to win the 2006-07 regular season title.
Since the 1999-00 season, OU has won 75 percent of its regular season Big 12 games for a record of 86-28. That winning percentage is the best in the Big 12 during that time frame.
OU’s all-time record in regular season Big 12 play ranks fourth among member schools. The Sooners trail No. 1 Texas Tech (119-43), Texas (104-57) and Iowa State (101-61). Coale has the third most Big 12 wins among active coaches trailing Jody Conradt of Texas and Bill Fennelly of Iowa State.
Last season Oklahoma became the first team in Big 12 history to run the table to a perfect 16-0 record in league play. Then OU won three straight Big 12 Championship games to go 19-0 against the league this in 2005-06. The overall record is a Big 12 record.
This season marks the fourth time OU has started 2-0. A win against Baylor would mark the fourth time OU has started 3-0.
Overall, OU is 54-26 (.675) in Big 12 games played at the Lloyd Noble Center and 45-37 (.549) in conference road contests.
Higgins Heating Up
Erin Higgins began the season in a slump from 3-point land. The OU all-time leader in 3-pointer made just 20 percent of her attempts in the first eight games and had just one multiple trey game during that span.
She has found her stroke in the last five games, shooting 50 percent and making 11 of 22 attempts. She has tallied 37 points over that span after having 25 combined in the first eight games.
On the season Higgins is shooting 31.6 percent from 3-point range.
3-Point Threats Everywhere
While Erin Higgins is the most recognizable 3-point shooter on the OU roster, she hasn’t been the most proficient this season. In fact, OU has three of the top four 3-point shooters in the league. Chelsi Welch (52.3) ranks second, Leah Rush (51.9 percent) ranks third and Jenna Plumley (48 percent) would rank fourth if she had one more make. Welch is also seventh in the Big 12 in makes per game at 1.87. As a team OU is third in the league with a 3-point percentage of 38.8, while ranking fifth in attempts.
What Brown Can Do For OU
Britney Brown has picked up where she left off last season, as one of the Big 12 best point guards. Brown is sixth in the league in assists (4.31) and third in assist-to-tunover ratio at 1.81.
Time to Talk About Rush
Leah Rush, the nation’s Most Underrated Player last season, is playing some of the best basketball of her career according to the OU coaching staff.
Rush is third on the OU team in scoring at 10 points per game and is posting career highs in 3-point percentage (51.9), field goal percentage (.533) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.15).
She ranks third in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage and ninth in field goal percentage.
Rush Keeps Moving up the Charts
During the New Mexico game senior Leah Rush surpassed Jo Mosely for 13th place on the OU career scoring list. Rush currently has 1,235 points and is 68 shy of No. 12 Angie Alexander with 1,302. Rush began the season ranked No. 18 on the OU career scoring list.
Welch Off To Strong Start
Chelsi Welch is off to a fast start to her senior season. Most recently she became the 21st member of the OU 1,000 point club when she scored 14 points against Ohio State on Dec. 20.
The 5-10 guard has scored in double-figures in eight games this season, while tallying eight points in three others. She posted a season high 23 points in the season opener against DePaul. Last season, Welch scored in double-figures on four occasions during the non-conference schedule and 16 times total.
She appears to be picking up where she left off last year, when she scored in double figures in 14 of the final 24 games. She also dialed up her shooting percentage during that stretch and finished 11th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage during conference action. At the end of the year, Welch ranked No. 2 in conference-only games in 3-point percentage with a 44.9 mark.
This year, Welch ranks seventh in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at .540, which is the highest mark among guards. She is also second in 3-point percentage at .523.
1,000 Point Club Membership | OU 1,000 Point Scorers
Three current Sooners - Leah Rush, Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch - are in the OU 1,000 point club. Rush reached the career milestone against Baylor on Feb. 12, 2006. Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch both reached it against Ohio State on Dec. 20, 2006. It marks the third time that OU has had three 1,000 point scorers on the same team. The other instances were 1994-95 (Angi Guffy, Mandy Wade and Etta Maytubby) and 2001-02 (Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield, Caton Hill). Only 11 known NCAA Division I teams have had four players with the 1,000 career points.
Erin Higgins is also closing in on the 1,000 career points and should, based on her career scoring average, reach the milestone this season: