Women's Basketball Wraps Up Preseason With Southwestern Oklahoma State

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 05, 2001

Nov. 5, 2001

Weekly Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Oklahoma vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State
Women's Basketball Exhibition Game #2
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2001 o 7 P.M. o Admission Free

The highly-ranked Oklahoma women's basketball team wraps up its 2001-02 preseason exhibition schedule against Southwestern Oklahoma State on Tuesday, Nov. 6, inside the Howard McCasland Field House at 7 p.m. Tuesday's game will be broadcast on KOMA radio (1520 AM) with Brian Brinkley calling play-by-play and Tara DeGiusti adding color. Admission is free.

Oklahoma played its first game in the Field House since the 1977-78 season last Thursday when OU defeated Oklahoma Christian, 90-62.

Following Tuesday's exhibition game against Southwestern Oklahoma State, Oklahoma heads East to open its 2001-02 regular season on Nov. 11. This opening date matches the earlies an OU women's basketball team has tip-off its season. The 1994-95 team also began play on Nov. 11, against Montana in the Preseason WNIT.

Four of the top teams in the nation, Oklahoma (28-6), Texas Tech (25-7), Purdue (31-7) and Duke (30-4), will be participating in the prestigious State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Durham, N.C., hosted by Duke University, on Sunday, Nov. 11. Each are coming off of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and returns a wealth of experience from last year's teams. The double header will air live on ESPN2 with Doris Burke and Pam Ward calling the action.

In the 1970s, the two teams played each other a total of five times with Southwestern Oklahoma State winning three of those five games. Oklahoma won the last two games, in 1978 and 1979, by a margin of 37 points.

2001-02 SOONERS
For the first time in Head Coach Sherri Coale's tenure, she has a veteran and experienced basketball team. Coale returns four starters and 11 letterwinners from a team that produced a program-best 28-6 mark (.824 winning percentage) and won its second straight Big 12 Conference regular season title. OU also made its first back-to-back appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16.

The Sooners topped the Big 12 last season by scoring an impressive 81.9 points per contest. Look for that to continue as OU returns its top five scores in Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada), LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.), Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.), Rosalind Ross (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Jamie Talbert (Elkhart, Kan.). Dales led the team with 16.0 points and a Big 12-best 7.3 assists. She also led the conference in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.77 ratio. Caufield averaged 15.8 ppg plus a team- and Big 12-best 4.0 steals per outing. Caufield topped the nation in total thefts with 135 and finished tied for second in the NCAA in steals per game. Together, Dales and Caufield possibily make up the best backcourt in the Big 12, if not the nation. Hill also returns to the roster as she nearly averaged a double-double with 13.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg. Hill is also a threat from the outside as she shot 45.8 percent from the arc. Ross was named to the 2001 Big 12 All-Tournament team after averaging a team-best 14.3 ppg and nailing 12-of-24 attempted three-pointers. For the year, she was credited with 8.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg and shot 39.7 percent from the arc. Talbert stepped up her production after teammate Jen Cunningham suffered an ACL injury on Jan. 28. She ended the year averaging 7.4 ppg and 4.6 rebounds.

Southwestern Oklahoma State is predicted to finish sixth in the Lone Star Conference this year. Under the direction of first year Head Coach Shelly Pond, the Lady Bulldogs produced an overall record 9-17 and failed to make the LSC Tournament. This year, Pond has added eight newcomers to the mix of her six returning letterwinners.

SWOSU returns its top three scorers in junior Andrea Mauldin, junior Ashlee Hamar and senior Chezelle Griffith. Mauldin topped the team with 14.9 points per game, followed by Hamar's 12.5 ppg and 10.2 ppg by Griffith. Griffith grabbed a team-best 9.3 rebounds per game, while Hamar and Mauldin each averaged 3.7 boards per contest.

Following Tuesday's game, the Lady Bulldogs open the 2001-02 regular season with six-straight road games. SWOSU tips-off the year as one of four teams participating in the TexAnn Classic on Nov. 16-17, in Stephenville, Texas.

Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987) enters her sixth year at the helm of the OU women's basketball program. The Big 12 Coach of the Year for the past two seasons has directed the Sooners to the program's first back-to-back Big 12 regular season titles and NCAA Sweet 16 appearances (2000, 2001). Oklahoma has compiled an overall record of 53-14 and a 28-4 mark in the Big 12 Conference over the past two years. Since Coale's arrival OU is 81-69. (For more information on Coale see page 3).

Shelly Pond enters her second season as head coach for Southwestern Oklahoma State. The Lady Bulldogs earned a 9-17 record in Pond's first season.

In its first game in the Howard McCasland Field House since the 1977-78 season, Oklahoma defeated local rival Oklahoma Christian, 90-62, in its first exhibition game of the season last Thursday. OU was led by forwards Caton Hill and Jamie Talbert, who scored 20 and 15 points, respectively. Talbert, a senior, also grabbed a team-high six rebounds, followed by Hill's five. The Sooners started off slow in the first half, however, they built a comfortable 50-29 lead at halftime and cruised to the victory.

On the game, OU shot 48.8 percent from the field (38-of-79), but just 42.9 percent from the free throw line (3-of-7). The Sooners had an impressive 28 assists and an incredible 26 steals on the night. OU's all-time record for steals in a single game is 28, set vs. Missouri in 1995.

Oklahoma Christian was led by Sarah Reese, who scored 15 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. Elizabeth Mullins and Ali Griffin added 12 points apiece. The 5-3 Griffin played in all but two minutes of the game and had seven assists. OC shot 56.5 percent (26-of-46) from the field on the night.

Oklahoma is now 9-4 in exhibition play over the past five years. OU defeated Oklahoma Christian, 90-62, last week and handed the Lady Eagles a 94-61 loss a year ago. For the 1990s, OU went 9-7 in preseason action and boasts a 3-0 start in the 21st century.

This year's 2001-2002 team captains will be seniors Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario) and Shannon Selmon (Norman, Okla.) plus junior Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.). Dales is a four-time team captain, while Hill and Selmon will serve their first season as a team tri-captain.

OU will be without the aid of senior center Jen Cunningham (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) for the 2001-02 season due to suffering a career-ending ACL injury in mid-October.

Sooner Shannon Selmon (Norman, Okla.), a senior forward, will also be sidelined for two more weeks. Selmon underwent authorscopic surgery to remove the osteochondral defect on her talus in her right foot on Thurs., October, 25.

Oklahoma welcomes the addition of four talented freshman and one transfer to its 2001-02 roster. Sooner coach Sherri Coale's first set of commitments came from Dionnah Jackson (St. Louis, Mo.) and Antoinette Wadsworth (Grand Prairie, Texas). Coale later added Theresa Schuknecht (Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada) of Southern Nazarene and Arizona State University, Lauren Shoush (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Lindsay Casey (Longview, Texas) to the team.

The Sooners will play a school record 12 games on television, including two ESPN2 games and one on ESPN. As part of the Big 12 Conference package, OU will appear four times on the FoxSports Network, the most of any Big 12 school. In addition, Sooner Sports Properties will air five games, the most in history.

Senior guards Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) and LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) have been selected as preseason candidates for the 2001-02 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.

Dales and Caufield, Oklahoma's top returning scorers, becomes OU's first Naismith Player of the Year candidates. Dales, the 2001 Big 12 Player of the Year, averaged 16.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals and a Big 12-leading 7.3 assists a game as a junior. Her mark for assists ranked among the NCAA's top 10. She also became Oklahoma's first consensus All-American earning first team honors on the Kodak, Associated Press, Women's Basketball Journal and Women's Basketball News Service list. She is one of only two players named to the 2001 Kodak All-American first team who's returning to the court this season. LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State is the other.

Caufield ended last season by leading the nation in total steals with 135. The Defensive All-American also led the Big 12 and tied for second in the NCAA for most thefts per game with 4.0. Caufield is a two-time Big 12 second teamer who averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and shot an impressive 83.9 percent from the foul line a year ago.

Caufield and Dales have started all 96 games at Oklahoma. The duo led the Sooners to an overall record of 28-6, a program best, and its second straight Big 12 Conference regular season title and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2000-01.

Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti will handle play-by-play and color analyst duties for the Oklahoma women's basketball radio broadcast network this season. The duo replaces Ed Murray and Jenny Bramer.

Oklahoma was picked to defend its 2000-01 Big 12 regular season championship in the 2001-02 Big 12 Women's Basketball preseason poll voted on by the league's head coaches. The Sooners garnered eight first-place votes and tallied 117 points.

In addition, Oklahoma's Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) was picked to repeat as Big 12 Player of the Year. The 6-0 senior guard led the conference in assists last year with 7.29 per game and assist/turnover ratio with a 1.77 ratio. She was eighth in the league in scoring (16.0 ppg) and eighth in steals (2.41 spg) while being named a consensus All-American. Dales was a member of the Canadian National Team that competed in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and in the COPABA Tournament of the Americas in Sao Luis, Brazil, in September, 2001.

For the first time in school history women's basketball fans will have the opportunity to purchase reserved seating for all home games at the newly renovated Lloyd Noble Center for the upcoming season. Of OU's 27 scheduled games, 12 will take place in Norman starting Nov. 27. Season tickets are on sale now at the OU Athletic Ticket Office. To purchase your season tickets call 405-325-2424 or 800-456-4668.

Season tickets are on sale for $48 for reserved and $36 for general admission. To date, OU has sold more than 2,225 season tickets compared to last year's 779.



Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications and Tyler Media, LLC.


Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.