Women's Basketball Hosts Illinois

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 13, 2001

Dec. 13, 2001

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Oklahoma Women's Basketball Game Notes Vs. Illinois
Sunday, Dec. 16, 2001
3:30 P.M.--Lloyd Noble Center--Norman, Okla.
KMGL Radio (104.1 FM)--ESPN2

Third-ranked Oklahoma (9-0) and Illinois (5-2) will participate in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge that will be televised by ESPN2 on Sunday, Dec. 16, inside the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. Calling the action for the nationally televised game will be Beth Mowins, play-by-play, and Doris Burke, analyst.

Sooner fans may also listen to the broadcast by tuning to KMGL-FM (104.1) where Jim Byers, play-by-play, and Tara DeGiusti, color, will call the action. In addition, the broadcast can be heard over the world wide web at www.soonersports.com.

Admission for the women's game is $8 for reserved seating and $6 for general admission seating while children under 12 are admitted for $3. Admission is free to OU students with a valid I.D.

Following Sunday's game, the Sooners head east to challenge top-ranked Connecticut (10-0) in a game that will also be shown live on ESPN2 on Saturday, Dec. 22, in Hartford, Conn., at 3:30 p.m. CST.

Sunday marks the first meeting between Oklahoma and Illinois. OU holds an all-time record of 6-3 when playing teams from the Big Ten Conference. Most recently OU defeated Purdue, 80-75, in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Durham, N.C., on Nov. 11, 2001.

Oklahoma (9-0) is coming off a 24-point victory over Montana State where senior guard LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) scored a career-high 33 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field (.867 percentage). She also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Following Caufield in the scoring column was senior guard Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada), who had 13 points. Junior forward Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) added 11 and senior forward Jamie Talbert (Elkhart, Kan.) had 10 points. As a team, OU shot 58.6 percent from the field, while Montana State hit 41.0 percent. The Sooners outrebounded the Bobcats 35 to 26 and held a 22-13 advantage in the assist category. However, both teams had 26 turnovers.

This year's success has come in a variety of ways for OU as numerous individuals have stepped up to lead the Sooners. A different starter has paced the team in scoring at least once this season, however, Caufield has had the hot hand in the last five games. OU could be the only school to have all five starters averaging 10-plus points per game. Caufield tops the chart with 19.4 ppg, while Dales averages 15.6, Hill contributes 13.0, followed by Rosalind Ross' (Milwaukee, Wis.) 11.2 and Talbert's 10.3 points per game. Hill, Talbert, Ross and Dales each average five-plus rebounds per game, while Caufield is pretty much automatic at the free throw line hitting 46-of-52 attempts (.885 percent). She also led the team in thefts with 2.6 steals per outing. Dales is the team leader in assists, dishing out 4.6 per game.

Illinois is on a two-game winning streak with recent victories over Pepperdine, 77-71, and Illinois State, 75-57. The Fighting Illini lost to DePaul, 69-62, on Dec. 4 and opened its season with a 73-62 loss to Clemson on Nov. 19.

Sophomore Iveta Marcauskaite has been Illinois' top scorer in four of the team's seven games. She sports a team-best 15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The 6-4 center from Siauliai, Lithuania, also tops the team in field goal percentage, shooting 58.1 percent (43-of-74). Sophomore Cindy Dallas and junior Shavonna Hunter also contribute 10-plus points per game with 13.1 and 12.4, respectively. Hunter tops the team in assists, distrubiting 4.1 per game while senior Dawn Vana averages 4.0 assists per game.

Illinois returned 10 letterwinners and three starters from a team that went 17-16 a year ago and finished sixth in the Big Ten with a 9-7 mark. UI's 16 losses last season were the most under current Head Coach Theresa Grentz and the most since the 1994-95 team went 10-17.

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 90-69.

Theresa Grentz (Immaculata, 1974) is in her seventh season with Illinois and her 27th overall as a head coach. Grentz is one of the most well known and respected individuals in the coaching profession. She became UI's all-time winningest coach in 1999, was named head coach of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and helped Immaculata College win the first ever AIAW national title in 1972. She was also a part of the 1973 and 1974 national championship teams as a player. Prior to Illinois, Grentz was the head coach at Rutgers for 19 years and St. Joseph's for two years.

Oklahoma (9-0) is one of only eight teams among the nation's elite to boast a perfect record. Big 12 foes Iowa State (6-0) and Baylor (9-0) are also among the undefeated.

Oklahoma is one win shy of matching the program's all-time best start. The 1984-85 team won its first 10 games. However, the Sooners are off to their best performance under OU Coach Sherri Coale.

Senior LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) is four free throws shy of tying Phyleshea Whaley's all-time school record of 552 made free throws. Caufield has hit 23 straight free throws, including going 16-of-16 last week against SMU and Montana State.

The 5-9 guard also wants to own the conference's all-time free throw made, attempted and percentage records before graduating. She's currently nine shy of OSU's Jennifer Crow's 557 mark for most made free throws, 52 shy of Whaley's 710 free throw attempted mark, and needs to better Colorado's La Shena Grahma's .844 career free throw percentage (103-of-154).

Caufield has made 548 free throws out of 658 attempted for a solid .833 accuracy. For the season, she's 46-of-52 from the charity stripe for a .885 accuracy.

Last weekend, she also moved up to the No. 3 spot on OU's all-time scoring list. She has scored total of 1,685 points in her career. The school record is 2,187 points held by Whaley (1997-2000).

Oklahoma has won 13 straight non-conference regular season games dating back to Dec. 16, 2000. Southwest Missouri State was the last team to defeat the Sooners in regular season non-conference action.

Shannon Selmon and Stephanie Simon have been wearing different jersey numbers for the last two home games. Selmon will suit up in No. 43, while Simon will wear No. 14 due to their jerseys being stolen from the team's locker room.

The Lloyd Noble Center has become a safe haven for the Sooners as they sport an impressive 36-6 record (.857 winning percentage) inside the building over the last three seasons. This year, OU is a perfect 3-0 at home and has not lost a game in the facility since Iowa State handed the Sooners an 81-79 buzzer beater loss on Jan. 6, 2001.

Sooner Coach Sherri Coale is 45-21 at home (.682 winning percentage), while the program is 195-76 (.720 winning percentage) overall.

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.) have produced 58.0 percent of Oklahoma's scoring this season.

For the last four games and five total this year, Dales, Caufield and Hill have accounted for more than 60 percent of the team's total points. The trio combined for a season-high 68 percent of the team's 75 points against Tulsa on Nov. 18.

The most points that the trio has ever been responsible for in a single game was 67 of OU's 89 points (75.3 percent) against Colorado, in Boulder last year (Jan. 3, 2001). Oklahoma won 89-69.

Naismith Player of the Year candidate LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) has scored 64.0 percent of her points in the paint this season. The 5-9 guard isn't shy about mixing it up with opponent's post players. She has scored 175 points this season, 46 from the free throw line, and 82 points have come in the paint or off layups.

Oklahoma's 2001 consensus All-American Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) accounts for 24.4 percent of the Sooners points this season. The 6-0 guard has dished out 41 asssists and scored 140 points this season. She averages 15.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

The Big 12 Conference named LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and Iowa State's Lindsey Wilson as the league's Co-Women's Basketball Player of the Week after having stellar performances last week. Caufield led the Sooners to a pair of wins against SMU, 91-70, and Montana State, 86-62. She averaged 29.5 points per game and shot 72.4 percent from the field, hitting 21-of-29 attempts. The 5-9 senior guard also nailed 16-of-16 free throws for the week improving her streak to 23 straight free throws made. Caufield added seven assists, six steals and 11 rebounds to her totals while playing 35 minutes per outing.

Senior Rosalind Ross (Milwaukee, Wis./Northeastern Oklahoma A&M JC) seems to enjoy playing on ESPN/ESPN2. In Oklahoma's four appearances on national television, Ross has averaged 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

This year, she led OU to an 80-75 win over No. 11/9 Purdue on ESPN2 in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 11. Ross had career highs of 24 points, 11 rebounds, 10 defensive, and six made threes against the Boilermakers.

Oklahoma is ranked 15th in the first unofficial NCAA Division I Women's Basketball home attendance survey, which is compiled by the University of Wisconsin Women's Sports Information Office. The Sooners are averaging 3,866 fans per game. Topping the chart is Tennessee's 13,722, followed by Texas Tech's 13,077 and Connecticut's 12,116 fans per game.

This year's January schedule is no joking matter for the Oklahoma women's basketball team. The Sooners will face five top 25 teams plus host Oklahoma State in Bedlam in their first six games of Big 12 action. OU tips off the New Year against No. 13/12 Colorado (8-2) on Jan. 2, followed by No. 12/14 Texas Tech (4-2) in Lubbock, OSU (4-3) on Jan. 9, at No. 9/11 Baylor (9-0) on Jan. 12, at No. 5/6 Iowa State (6-0) on Jan. 15 and host No. 19/18 Texas (6-1) on Jan. 19.

Even though Oklahoma likes a fast-paced offense, the Sooners know the importance of good solid defensive pressure. The Sooners are averaging 82.6 points per game while holding their opponents to just 59.7 ppg.

OU has held six of its nine opponents to less than 40 percent from the field, including an opponent-low 28.3 percent by ORU on Nov. 17. The Sooners have also outrebounded six of their nine foes.

Oklahoma has already established a program best. The Sooners have sold 3,022 season tickets, compared to last year's 720. OU fans packed the Lloyd Noble Center during the Sooners run in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. More than 10,000 fans attended each of OU's last three home games. Oklahoma was the only home site that announced sellout crowds for the NCAA sub-regionals last year.

Oklahoma entered the 2001-02 season with its highest ranking ever at No. 4 in the Associated Press and No. 5 USA Today/ ESPN Coaches Polls. The Sooners ended the 2001 season with a program best ranking of No. 7 in the AP and No. 10 in the coaches poll.

OU has been ranked in 36 straight polls. 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. The Sooners' highest ranking previously had been 11th for the week of Jan. 12, 1986.

Freshman Dionnah Jackson (St. Louis, Mo.) sports a team best and ranks sixth in the Big 12 Conference with a 1.8 assists/turnover ratio. She has dished out 31 assists to only 17 turnovers this season. Her season high for assists is eight against Tulsa on Nov. 18.

The Parkway West High graduate also ranks among the league's best in steals (9th/2.1) and assists (13th/3.4). She leads the league's freshman class in thefts, ranks second in assists and ninth in scoring (6.4 ppg).

Oklahoma Naismith Player of the Year candidates LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) have been named to the 2002 Women's Basketball Senior CLASS Players to Watch List as announced by The Kansas City Club. The Senior CLASS Award - acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School - will be presented to the most outstanding senior in NCAA Division I basketball for both men and women. The award honors the loyalty of senior student-athletes who have remained committed to their university while also maintaining great achievement on the court and in the classroom.

Dales and Caufield are two of the 30 female players nominated. Ten players will be selected by the national media, basketball coaches and fans committee in February and those names will appear on the official ballot.

The first award recipients will be honored at the Tribute Gala, a black-tie awards dinner held at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, April 20, 2002.

Oklahoma's Sherri Coale and Stacy Hansmeyer were inducted into the Norman High School Sports Hall of Fame Friday night at halftime of the Norman and Norman North basketball game.

Coach Coale served as an English teacher and head coach for the girls basketball program for seven years. She took a below average program and turned it into a state powerhouse in a short amount of time. Following her first season (1989-90), Coale never had a losing record and produced 20-plus wins her final four seasons, including a 53-2 record her last two years (1994-96). By the time she left for the University of Oklahoma in 1996, Coale had directed NHS to two Class 6A state championships and produced a seven-year record of 147-40.

Hansmeyer was a part of two NHS state championship teams (1993, 1996), four teams that participated in the state tournament and four 23-plus win seasons. She also help produced a four year record of 101-10 (.910 winning percentage). After averaging 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game her senior season (1995-1996), she was named to the USA Today honorable mention and Parade Magazine third team All-America teams. Following her successful prep career, she spent four amazing seasons as a member of the Univeristy of Connecticut's women's basketball program, a program that won the national title in 2000.



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