Women's Hoops Takes On Defending National Champions Purdue

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 19, 2000

March 19, 2000

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The University of Oklahoma women's basketball team is making its first NCAA National Championship appearance under fourth-year Head Coach Sherri Coale. Coale, the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year, guided the Sooners (24-7) to a first round victory over BYU, 86-81, Saturday night.

Now, fifth seed Oklahoma takes on the fourth seed Purdue (23-7) Monday, March 20, at 7:05 p.m. (Central) in the second round of the NCAA East Regional. The two teams will square off inside the Mackey Arena on the Campus of Purdue University in West Fayetteville, Ind.

The action can be heard live on 1520 AM KOMA radio and on the internet at www.soonersports.com. The game will be televised by NCAA Productions and will be available on pay-per-view to Cox Communications digital subscribers. The cost would be $5.95 for all four games that night. The games would air on channels 601-608 (city) and 771-778 (suburbs).

The winner of Monday's game advances to the East Region Championship in Richmond, Vir., at Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University on Saturday and Monday, March 25 & 27.

This will be the first meeting between Oklahoma and Purdue. This season the two teams have faced North Texas. Both teams defeated the Lady Eagles. OU handed North Texas an 86-63 (+23) loss in Norman, while PU defeated UNT, 79-68 (+11), in Denton.

Oklahoma is ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press and No. 22 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls, while Purdue is No. 13 and No. 15 in the AP and USA Today polls, respectively.

Oklahoma advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship by defeating Mountain West Conference opponent Brigham Young, 86-81. The Sooners were led by senior All-American Phylesha Whaley and sophomore LaNeishea Caufield. Whaley produced a game and season-high 33 points, her sixth 30-point performance of her career. Whaley also became OU's all-time leading scorer on a pair of free throws with 6:48 left to play. Caufield recorded 22 of her 26 points after intermission and finished the game with seven rebounds. Oklahoma's backcourt of Stacey Dales and Sunny Hardeman had a solid game as each produced career highs in assists. Dales dished out 12 assists, while Hardeman produced seven on the evening. Dales' 12 ties for fifth best on OU's single game assists list. Combined the two guards only had four turnovers, two each. For the 10th game this season, freshman Caton Hill hauled down 10 or more rebounds. The Ada, Okla., native grabbed 11 boards, eight in the second half. She also tied Caufield, who's also from Ada, Okla., with a game-high three steals. As a team, Oklahoma outrebounded BYU, 36-31, and produced a better field goal percentage than the Cougars, .544 to .432. The Sooners also had 23 assists to BYU's 14.

Purdue is 10-3 and have won seven straight NCAA Tournament games inside the Mackey Arena. Purdue advanced to the second round with a 70-66 victory of No. 13 seed Dartmouth Saturday night. The Boilmakers had three players in double digits scoring, led by junior center Camille Copper's game high 21 points. PU's All-American Katie Douglas along with sophomore Kelly Komara had 12 points each. Purdue outrebounded Dartmouth, 49-31, but had 18 turnovers to UD's nine.



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