Dec. 3, 2001
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Oklahoma Women's Basketball Game Notes
AT SMU-- Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001-- 7 P.M.
KOMA-AM Radio (1520)
OKLAHOMA TRAVELS TO TEXAS
Oklahoma is set to play its first true road game of the season. The third-ranked Sooners (7-0) will face SMU in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Moody Coliseum at 7 p.m. OU has played seven games this season, five on neutral courts and two at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. SMU will play its fourth of a five game homestand when hosting the Sooners on Wednesday. Oklahoma looks to continue its winning streak while SMU hopes to bounce back from a two point loss to Tennessee-Chattanooga.
The game will be broadcast live on KOMA-AM (1520) and on the Internet at www.soonersports.com. Brian Brinkley will provide the play-by-play and Tara DeGiusti will be the color analyst for the women's basketball radio network.
Following Wednesday's game, Oklahoma returns to the Lloyd Noble Center to host Montana State, a member of the Big Sky Conference, at 1 p.m., followed by the OU men's team hosting Louisiana Tech at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Admission for the women's game is $8 for reserved seating and $6 for general seating while children under 12 are admitted for $3. Admission is free to OU students with a valid I.D.
This is the seventh meeting between OU and SMU. After a three-year absence, the two teams renew its rivalry last season with OU winning, 101-71, in Norman, Okla. However, the Mustangs hold a slim all-time series advantage of 4-3 when facing the Sooners. Prior to the 2000 contest, SMU had won two straight against Oklahoma. OU's Sherri Coale is 1-1 all-time vs. SMU.
In OU's three games it has won against SMU, the Sooners margin of victory has been 22 points, while SMU margin of victory in its four wins is just 7.5 points.
With a 7-0 record Oklahoma is off to its best start since the 1986-87 team won its first seven games. The Sooners look to surpass that mark on Wednesday and edge toward the program's all-time best start of 10-straight wins set by the 1984-85 team.
OU continues to hold its No. 3 ranking in the AP poll and No. 4 slot in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. With seven wins under its belt, OU's margin of victory has been 23.0 points. In addition, the 46-point win over Butler on Nov. 24, ranks fifth among the Sooners' largest road/neutral site wins.
This year's success has come in a variety of ways as numerous individuals have stepped up to lead the Sooners. In all seven games, a different starter has paced the team in scoring at least once. The Sooners have four players averaging double digits in scoring and six players playing 25-plus minutes per game. OU has outscored its opponents 566-405 while holding a slim 39.7-36.9 edge on the glass.
Leading the Sooners in scoring is a pair of preseason Naismith Player of the Year candidates in LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada). Caufield boasts a team-best and ranks seventh in the Big 12 Conference with 16.6 points. The senior also tops the team and ranks eighth in the league with 2.4 steals per game. After having stellar games last week, Dales now ranks second on the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg and leads the team, along with freshman Dionnah Jackson (St. Louis, Mo.), with 3.9 assists per game, 11th best in the league. Junior forward Caton Hill's (Ada, Okla.) 14.3 points ranks third best on the team and her 6.6 rebounds is a Sooner best. Senior Rosalind Ross (Milwaukee, Wis.) also contributes 10-or-more points per game. She's one of OU's most consistent player who averages 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per outing.
SMU is 3-3 on the season with a recent loss to Tennessee-Chattanooga in the championship game of the SMU Hoops for the Cure Tournament in Dallas. Prior to the loss, SMU slipped by Western Illinois, 57-54, and Utah, 49-48, in the Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs opened their season with a 56-53 win over Georgia Southern before losing consecutive games to South Florida, 79-64, and North Texas, 72-53.
The Mustangs have two players averaging 10-or-more points and six players playing 20-or-more minutes per outing. Junior center Kaci Alexander leads SMU with 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. She also is shooting 62.0 percent from the field, hitting 31-of-50 shots. In addition, sophomore forward Tyesha Glover contributes 10.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest.
SMU is predicated to repeat its third place finish in the Western Athletic Conference according to a preseason WAC Coaches' Poll. The Mustangs established a 11-5 league record a year ago and an overall mark of 17-12. Louisiana Tech, who enters the WAC this season, was preseason conference favorites.
Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987) has become one of the most talked about and respected head coaches in NCAA Division I Women's College Basketball. She has taken a 5-22 program (1996-97) and turned it into a nationally-ranked 28-6 program in five short seasons. Coale was named the eighth head women's basketball coach in OU history on April 6, 1996. 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. Oklahoma has compiled an overall record of 53-14 and a 28-4 mark in conference play the past two seasons. Since Coale's arrival, OU is 88-69.
Rhonda Rompola (SMU, 1983) is in his 11th season as the head coach of SMU's women's basketball program. She has produced an overall record of 197-106 while at SMU. She also has guided the Mustangs to six of the last seven NCAA Tournaments, including second round appearances the last two years. Rompola was named the 2000 WAC Coach of the Year by the Dallas Morning News after leading SMU to the WAC Tournament title. She took over the coaching duties at her alma mater in 1991-92 but had served as assistant coach at SMU for seven seasons prior to her promotion. As a player, Rompola was as an All-American forward during the 1981-82 season and remains SMU's all-time record hold in five statistical categories.
DALES TABBED AS BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Big 12 Conference named Oklahoma's Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) as the Women's Basketball Player of the Week after having stellar performances last week. Dales led the third-ranked Sooners to a pair of home wins against Texas Christian, 76-60, and Wichita State, 89-68. The 6-0 senior guard averaged 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.0 steals and shot 61.9 percent from the field (13-of-21). OU is one of eight teams ranked in AP's top 25 to boast a flawless record, 7-0.
Oklahoma has won 11-straight non-conference regular season games dating back to Dec. 18, 2000. Southwest Missouri State was the last team to defeat the Sooners in regular season non-conference action.
SOONER'S TRIPLE THREAT
Oklahoma's trio of senior All-Americans Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) and LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and junior All-Big 12 second teamer Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) has made up 56.0 percent of Oklahoma's scoring this season.
The most points that the trio has been responsible for in a single game was 67 in OU's win over Colorado, 89-69, in Boulder, Colo., to open the Big 12 Conference schedule last year (Jan. 3, 2001). This year, they have combined for a season-high 56 points, 63% of the team's total points (89), against Wichita State on Nov. 29.
ROSS STEPS UP FOR SOONERS
Senior Rosalind Ross (Milwaukee, Wis.) has been the most consistent contributor to OU's early success this year. She's a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul line; she scored a game- and career-high 24-points against No. 11/9 Purdue; and she leads the team in three-pointers made. Ross' contributions to the team has her ranked among the Big 12 best in four categories, including most 3-point field goals made (2nd/2.4), 3-point field goals percentage (9th/.436) and scoring (27th/11.4 ppg).
DALES CAPTURES BIG 12 AND OU ASSIST RECORDS
With five assists against TCU on Tuesday, Nov. 27, senior All-American Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) became OU's and the Big 12 Conference's all-time assists leader. She passed former Sooner Sharee Mitchum's 601 career assists (1992-95) and Texas Tech's Melinda Schmucker, who dished out 603 assists from 1997-2000. To date, the Canadian has 615 career assists.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Lloyd Noble Center has become a safe haven for the Sooners as they sport an impressive 38-6 record (.864 winning percentage) inside the building over the last four seasons, including this year.
Since OU Head Coach Coale's arrival in 1996-97, OU is 44-21 at home (.677 winning percentage).