OU Closes Exhibition Season Tuesday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 05, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 3 Oklahoma women’s basketball team closes the exhibition season on Tuesday night at 7 pm., when it faces Missouri Western State at the Lloyd Noble Center. 

General admission single game tickets remain at $8 for adults and $5 for children.  No admission will be charged to OU students with a valid student I.D.  

Fans who cannot make it to the arena can follow the action through a free live webcast on SoonerSports.com, which will also carry the radio broadcast.  The radio team of Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti can be heard solely on the internet until 8 p.m., when the game will be picked up mid-broadcast by KOKC (1520 AM).

Missouri Western is a rare Division II opponent for the Sooners and should present a different challenge than Lake Truck, which was composed of former Division I players and fringe WNBA players.  MWSU went 19-10 last season and split 16 games in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play.  The Griffons return starters Tiffany Davis, Tera Peterson, Jill Johnson and Inga Buzoka.

 Game Notes PDF | Live on SoonerSports.com | Live Stats 

Expect OU head coach Sherri Coale to stick to the same game plan that she employed against Lake Truck on Tuesday.  Coale will run her seniors out early in each half and then give her freshmen and reserves an extended look.  The freshmen turned the most heads against Lake Truck.  Nyeshia Stevenson (eight points, eight rebounds) and Amanda Thompson (six points, four assists) flashed the most skills and athleticism of the Sooner rookies.

OU will host the State Farm Tip-Off Classic to open the regular season on Nov. 12.  Oklahoma will play No. 19 DePaul at 2:30 p.m. Central.  No. 9 Georagia and No. 11 Rutgers will play at Noon. Both games will air live on ESPN2.  The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, which is one of the host organizations, will announce its 2007 inductees during halftime of the OU game.

Setting The Scene
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006
Location: Norman, Okla.
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Central
Venue: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
TV: None
Webcast: SoonerSports.com
Radio: Yahoo! Radio and KOKC (1520 AM)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley (Play-by-Play) & Tara DeGiusti
Tickets:  (800) 456-GoOU

Player To Watch
Nyeshia Stevenson, who has been labeled as an underrated recruit since signing day last November, made plenty of noise in her Sooner debut against Lake Truck.  The Little Rock, Ark., native scored eight points on 3-4 from the field and 2-2 at the free throw line.  The 5-9 forward had eight rebounds (six defensive) three assists and two steals in 17 minutes of action.

Preseason Success
* Oklahoma is 14-0 in exhibition games since 2000.
* OU broke a one year old exhibition attendance record with a crowd of 7,642 for the Lake Truck game.  The previous mark of 5,342 was set in its exhibition game against Oklahoma Christian last season.

Experimental Rules
The NCAA Rules Committee is enforcing two experimental rules
during all Division I women’s basketball exhibition games and sanctioned events, including the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.

The 3-point line has been moved back nine inches (20 feet, 6 inches from rim) and is marked by a three-inch line. Players can shoot a legal 3-pointer from beyond or on top of that line, but the shot will be worth two points if any portion of the foot crosses the inside of the line.

The second experimental rule is the 10-second backcourt rule that
is utilized in men’s game. Teams have 10 seconds to get the ball across half court after a made basket or change in possession.

Experimental Effect?
You would not have known the 3-point line was moved back in OU’s exhibition opener against Lake Truck. The Sooners were 8-18 from long range, good for 44 percent.  Erin Higgins, who has an affinity for long range 3’s, was 4-of-4 from deep.  Freshman Jenna Plumley was 2-5, Chelsi Welch was 1-3 and Carolyn Winchester made her only attempt.

No back court violations were called on either team, although neither employed full court pressure.

Season Ticket Update
As of Monday, Oct.  30, Oklahoma has sold 6,200 season tickets, which includes selling out the entire lower bowl (5,000) as reserved season tickets.  The spike in sales is an increase of 35 percent over last season’s 4,013.  The current total does not include the 300 seats in the lower bowl that are held for students, which were routinely filled during the 2005-06 season.

General admission season ticket sales remain strong and fans are encouraged to purchase those tickets prior to the start of the season.  GA Season Tickets cost $95. 

Group and single game ticket sales are also on sale.  Single game GA tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. The lone exception is the State Farm Tip-Off Classic (two games for one price), which costs $10 for adults and $5 for chidlren.

 Buy Tickets |  2006-07 Schedule | WBB News Wire

Last season OU set numerous attendance records including season ticket sales (4,013), average attendance (7,630) and single game attendance (12,112 vs. Baylor on Feb. 12).

Fans can purchase season tickets by calling the OU Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU or by visiting SoonerSports.com.

For the second consecutive season Britney Brown, Erin Higgins and Leah Rush will serve as team captains for Oklahoma.  The captains were voted on and selected by their teammates.

Add An Inch
Abi Olajuwon has grown an inch since her senior year of high school and now stands 6-4.  The media guide lists her at 6-3.

Looking Back At Lake Truck
(AP) In her first time on the court as a sophomore, Courtney Paris needed a little lift from a freshman.

Paris finished with 19 points and nine rebounds as Oklahoma opened exhibition play with an 88-56 win against Lake Truck on Wednesday night.

Paris didn’t make her first field goal until more than 11 minutes into the game when freshman Nyeshia Stevenson drove the right baseline and set her up for a layup.

Paris followed that layup with another basket off a second Stevenson assist and blocked three shots as Oklahoma opened a 29-14 lead with a 10-0 run that included two 3-pointers by Erin Higgins.

Paris was 7-for-8 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Higgins scored all 12 of her points in the first half, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range as the Sooners built a 43-24 halftime lead. It was her first action since surgery to repair a microfracture in her left knee. She didn’t play in the second half.

All 14 players on Oklahoma’s roster scored at least one point. The team’s five freshmen combined to score 30 points, led by Stevenson’s eight, in 74 minutes of playing time.

Paris’ twin sister, Ashley, had 10 rebounds to lead all players.

Oklahoma, ranked No. 3 in the preseason coaches poll, returns all five of its starters from last season’s team that went undefeated in Big 12 play and won the conference tournament before losing in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Ke-Ke Tardy, who formerly played at LSU, scored 12 points to lead Lake Truck.

Game Notes
The game was close at 16-14 with 10:08 to play in the first half and then the Sooners went on a 17-2 run over the next 4:43.  The run was ignited by a lineup that featured freshmen Jenna Plumley and Nyeshia Stevenson.  It was the first court time either player had seen in their young careers.

During that 17-2 stretch Stevenson had four rebounds and Courtney Paris had four blocks.

Sherri Coale put all five freshmen together on the floor for 2 minutes and 35 seconds in the second half.  The rookies outscored Lake Truck 9-3 during that span with every player but Amanda Thompson contributing a basket.  The five also registered one block, one steal and no turnovers while not missing a shot during that span.

The freshmen showed their promise as they accounted for 34 percent (30-of-88) of the points, 64 percent (14-of-22) of the assists and 33 percent (15-of-45) of the rebounds.

The Sooners had 20 assists to Lake Truck’s 10 and dominated on blocked shots 10-3.




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