No. 22 Oklahoma Faces No. 2 Tennessee for the first time in women's basketball history.

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 08, 2002

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Nov. 8, 2002

Norman, Okla. -- - Date: Sunday, November 10, 2002
Time: 3 p.m. EST
Site: Thompson-Boling Arena
Television: ESPN
Radio: KOMA (1520 AM)
Records: Oklahoma is 0-0 overall. Tennessee is 0-0 overall.
Series: First Meeting
Up Next: Solna (Sweden), Thursday, Nov. 14, 6 p.m., Lloyd Noble Center

Quickly:The opening weekend of college women's basketball will feature four of the top-25 teams in the country. No. 22 Oklahoma (32-4), No. 2 Tennessee (29-5), No. 7 Texas Tech (20-12) and No. 16 Louisiana Tech (25-5) will participate in the 11th annual State Farm Tip-Off Classic, hosted by Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday, Nov. 10. Oklahoma and Texas Tech participated in last year's State Farm Tip-Off Classic (in Durham, N.C.). OU and Tennessee also participated in the 2002 NCAA Final Four.

Louisiana Tech and Texas Tech open the day on ESPN2 with a 12 p.m. EST tip, followed by Oklahoma-Tennessee on ESPN at 3 p.m. EST.

Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Doris Burke (analyst) will call the action for the nationally televised audiences. Sooner fans may also listen to the broadcast by tuning to KOMA radio (1520 AM) where James Hale, play-by-play, and Tara DeGiusti, color, will call the action. In addition, the broadcast can be heard over the world wide web at

Series: First meeting. OU is 10-11 against teams from the Southeastern Conference.

TV: The OU-Tennessee game will be shown on ESPN while the Texas Tech-La. Tech game will be aired on ESPN2.

Radio: Sooner fans can listen to all of OU's games on KOMA (1520 AM) or on the internet at

Rankings: Oklahoma - No. 22 AP poll and No. 19 in USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll
Tennessee - No. 2 AP poll and No. 2 in USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll

Season Openers: Oklahoma is 15-13 in its season openers. OU defeated Purdue, 80-75, in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic season opener in Durham, N.C. last year. The Sooners are 4-2 in season openers under current coach Sherri Coale.

November 10 marks the earliest on OU women's basketball team has tipped off its season, previous mark was Nov. 11, 2001.

Coaches: Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987) enters her seventh season at the helm of the OU women's basketball program. The Healdton, Okla., native directed the Sooners to their first Final Four and national championship game appearance a year ago. Coale also has three Big 12 regular season titles under her belt and owns an overall record of 113-73. (For more information on Coale see page 3).

Pat Summitt (Tennessee Martin, 1974) is in her 29th year as head coach of the Lady Vols. Her career record stands at 788 wins and 158 losses, and she has led UT to six national championships. Summitt is a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Oklahoma 2001-02 Stats PPGRPG 10 FCaton Hill (6-1, Sr.) 12.66.9 22 CTheresa Schuknecht (6-3, Sr.)24.06.0 35 GDionnah Jackson (5-9, So.)7.34.9 0 GChelsi Welch (5-9, Fr.) 19.28.3 5 GMaria Villarroel (5-8, Jr.)24.45.1

Reserves (listed numerically)PPGRPG 4 GStephanie Luce (5-6, Jr. 0.80.4 11 G/FStephanie Simon (6-0, Sr.) 1.2 1.0 12 GLauren Shoush (5-11, So.) 1.31.3 14 CBeky Preston (6-3, Fr.) 18.010.0 31 FAntoinette Wadsworth (5-11, Fr.)16.09.0 33 G/FLaura Andrews (6-0, Fr.) 24.08.7 34 GErin Higgins (5-9, Fr. 14.03.1 51 GKate Scott (5-10, Sr.) 1.50.5

Tennessee 2001-02 Stats PPGRPG 13 FGwen Jackson (6-2, Sr.) 10.56.2 33 CAshley Robinson (6-5, Jr.)4.72.6 21 GLoree Moore (5-9, So.) 5.72.7 20 GKara Lawson (5-8, Sr.) 15.14.9 3 GTasha Butts (5-11, Jr.) 4.33.0

Reserves (listed numerically)PPGRPG 4 GLaToya Davis (6-0, Jr.) 3.91.9 5 GShanna Zolman (5-10, Fr.)33.89.0 25 FBrittany Jackson (6-0, So.)6.52.1 34 C/FCourtney McDaniel (6-1, Jr.3.33.0 43 FShyra Ely (6-2, So.) 9.35.4 50 CTye'Sha Fluker (6-5, Fr.)20.611.1

Connecticut, DePaul and North Carolina are possible common opponents between OU and Tennessee. The Sooners could meet the listed teams in the Hawaiian Airline Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii in late November. Texas Christian and Stanford are also common opponents between the two teams.

This year marks the second consecutive season that Oklahoma has been invited to participate in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic. The Sooners defeated Purdue, 80-75, in their first appearance in 2001. In that game, OU matched State-Farm single-game records for most three-pointers made by an individual (six by Rosalind Ross) and most three-pointers made by a team (10).

The first two Tip-Off Classics were held in Jackson, Tenn. Since the Tip-Off Classic has moved to on-campus sites, the home team for the event has a 5-2 record. The only two times that the host school has lost in the Tip-Off Classic were in 1997 when the event was played at the University of Illinois and in 1999 when Tennessee fell to Louisiana Tech.

In the Tip-Off Classic's 10-year history, there have been 22 different universities who have competed in the event.

With Oklahoma competing in its second Tip-Off Classic, there are now nine different schools that have competed in the Tip-Off Classic more than once.

All four of the teams in this year's Tip-Off Classic have played in the event before. This marks the first time that there has not been at least one team in the four-team field making its first appearance in the event.

Of the teams that have competed in the Tip-Off Classic more than once, only Stanford has posted a flawless Tip-Off Classic mark. Stanford is 2-0 with the Cardinals registering wins in both 1994 and 1996.

No team has appeared in more Tip-Off Classics than the Tennessee Lady Vols. Tennessee will be making its sixth appearance in the Tip-Off Classic. The Lady Vols are 3-2 in previous Tip-Off Classics. After winning its first three showings in the Tip-Off Classic, UT has lost the last two times it has been in the Tip-Off Classic, falling to Purdue in 1998 and Louisiana Tech in 1999.

Tennessee returns three starters and nine letterwinners from a team that produced an overall record of 29-5 and finished second in the Southeastern Conference with a record of 14-2. The Lady Vols were with the Sooners last March at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. UT lost to the defending national champions Connecticut, 79-56.

In UT's only exhibition action, the Lady Vols crushed 08 Stockholm, 116-50, on Sunday, Nov. 3 in front of 9,485 fans at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Eight players were in double digits in scoring.

UT has six national championships to its credit and has been a powerhouse since the beginning of NCAA Division I women's basketball.

Oklahoma returns six letterwinners and one starter from last year's NCAA Final Four team, including NCAA All-West Regional and All-Big 12 third teamer Caton Hill. Sophomore sensation Dionnah Jackson also returns for OU. Jackson earned Big 12 All-Tournament team honors as a freshman.

With its six letterwinners and one starter returning, Oklahoma returns 29.6 percent of its scoring, 35.6 percent of its rebounds and 36.5 percent of its assists from last year's NCAA runner-up team.

In the WBCA/Summerville preseason RPI poll Oklahoma is ranked 19th. This poll ranks strength of schedule for Division I women's basketball programs. Tennessee holds the top spot followed by Texas Tech. Big 12 Conference foes Oklahoma State (6) and Texas (9) also rank among the top 10. OU ended the 2002 season ranked third in the WBCA/Summerville RPI poll.

Oklahoma is 2-12 all-time against top 5 programs. The Sooners defeated then No. 4 Colorado, 74-69, on Feb. 28, 1993 and No. 3 Duke, 86-71, on March 29, 2002. OU went 3-0 vs. top 10 teams and 1-2 against top 5 teams a year ago. The two top 5 losses were to Connecticut.

Oklahoma has gone from 579 fans at its first exhibition game of the season in 2000 to a much improved 4,233 crowd in its first outing of the 2002-03 season.

Not only has exhibition attendance increased over the last three years, OU's season ticket sales have skyrocketed. For the 2002-03 campaign Oklahoma has already sold over 3,200 of its targeted 6,000 season tickets. Last year 3,091 season tickets were sold and 779 in 2001 and 636 in 2000.

Sooner fans also support the women's basketball team in postseason action. Norman, Okla., has been the only NCAA sub-regional site sold out for the past two years. OU hosted more than 11,200 fans last season and set the state record for largest crowd to witness a female sporting event in the state when 11,245 fans cheered the Sooners on to a 65-53 victory over Villanova in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year.

Of Oklahoma's top 27 attendance marks inside the Lloyd Noble Center, 23 have been established since OU Head Coach Sherri Coale's arrival in 1996-97. Six of OU's top-10 figures were set last season, including the top two.

Oklahoma enters the 2002-03 season with an Associated Press Preseason national ranking of No. 22. This mark extends OU's consecutive weeks in the AP top 25 to 50, dating back to Jan. 17, 2000. To view year-by-year rankings see page 9 of this release.

OU's first appearance under current Sooner coach Sherri Coale was Jan. 17, 2000. OU appeared among the AP Top 10 for the first time on Jan. 30, 2001.

Oklahoma starts the 2002-03 season as it ended the 2001-02 campaign, playing the No. 1 team in the nation (in some publications) in a nationally televised game on ESPN. OU ended last season against top-ranked and undefeated Connecticut in front of a sold out crowd (29,619) for the national title in San Antonio, Texas. The Sooners tip-off this year against Tennessee in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., on Nov. 10.

More than 20,000 fans are expected for Sunday's match-up between OU and Tennessee inside the Thompson-Boling Arena.



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