Big 12 Title on the Line Wednesday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 28, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- At least a share of the Big 12 Regular Season Championship will be on the line Wednesday night at 8 p.m., when the No. 12 Oklahoma women’s basketball team (22-4, 12-3) hosts No. 16 Baylor (24-5, 11-4) in the regular season finale at the Lloyd Noble Center. 
General admission tickets are available at the low costs of $8 for adults and $5 for children.

The title tilt will be broadcast to a near-national audience by Fox Sports Net with Kevin Eschenfelder and Brenda VanLangen calling the action. The game will also be carried live by the Sooner Sports Radio Network and all of its affiliates, including flagship station KOKC-1520 AM.  Brian Brinkley and Tara DeGiusti will team up on the radio broadcast. The audio broadcast can also be purchased for a minimal cost through Yahoo! Radio.

Tickets | Notes | News Wire | Gameday Central

Oklahoma has won four straight games to put itself in position to claim a second consecutive Big 12 Regular Season Championship.  If the Sooners beat Baylor on Wednesday night and Texas A&M wins against Texas in College Station, the two squads will share the title and both receive trophies.  In that scenario, OU would enter the 2007 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship as a No. 2 seed.  If both OU and Texas A&M lose, the regular season title will be shared by the Sooners, Aggies and Baylor.  If OU wins and Texas A&M loses, the outright title is coming to Norman and if OU loses and A&M wins, the outright title will go to College Station.

Oklahoma has won four - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 - Big 12 Regular Season Championships and was a part of a shared title in 2000. The title has only been shared one other time, in 2004 by Texas and Kansas State.

Baylor is coming off a 63-58 home loss to Texas A&M on Sunday.  The Lady Bears led by four at halftime but were eventually doomed by 0-12 shooting from 3-point range.  Senior Bernice Mosby led Baylor with 24 points and nine boards.

OU is guaranteed a first round bye in the Big 12 Championship, which debuts at Oklahoma City’s Cox Center from March 6-8 & 10.  The Sooners will be a top three seed in the tourney, but will not know their standing until after Wednesday’s game.

Setting The Scene
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007
Location: Norman, Okla.
Venue: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
Tipoff: 8 p.m. Central
TV: Fox Sports Net (Cox channel 37 in OKC)
TV Talent: Kevin Eschenfelder & Brenda VanLangen
FSN Clearances
Radio: Sooner Sports Radio Network & Yahoo! Radio (subscription)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Radio Broadcast Info
Tickets:  (800) 456-GoOU ($8 adults, $5 children)
Promotions: Fan Appreciation Night, 3-point cards (5,000)

Player To Watch
Courtney Paris has always saved her best for Baylor.  In four career games against the Lady Bears, Paris has averaged 27.5 points and 18 rebounds.  She comes into Wednesday night on a roll too.  Paris averaged 32.5 points and 17 rebounds while shooting 68.4 percent from the field in two Sooner wins last week.  She became just the second player in OU history to score 30 or more points in back-to-back games with 32 and 33 point outbursts last week. Paris has reached 30 points twice against Baylor.

Big 12 Tickets
The Oklahoma Athletics Ticket Office has small number of Phillips 66 Women’s Big 12 Championship all-session tickets up for public sale.

Reserved all-session tickets are $80. 

Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last and may be purchased in person at the Athletics Ticket Office or by calling (800) 456-GoOU or (405) 325-2424. 

Recap - OU 72, Missouri 57
(AP) - Courtney Paris scored 33 points and set Oklahoma’s career mark for offensive rebounds, and the 13th-ranked Sooners beat Missouri 72-57 on Sunday.

Paris pulled down 21 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, to record her 54th consecutive double-double.

The Sooners (22-4, 12-3 Big 12) used an 8-0 run to pull away in the second half after Missouri (17-11, 5-10) had cut a 13-point deficit to 57-51 on Marchele Campbell’s 3-pointer from the left wing.

Paris put back her own miss to start the run, and Leah Rush added back-to-back baskets before another layup by Paris stretched the Sooners’ lead to 65-51.

Paris’ 314th offensive rebound of her career also came during that stretch, although it was one of the few times she didn’t immediately bank the ball right back into the basket. Phylesha Whaley, Oklahoma’s career leader in scoring, held the old mark for offensive rebounds with 313 between 1997 and 2000.

Paris again put back her own miss to extend Oklahoma’s lead to 69-53, and Sooners coach Sherri Coale called timeout at her next chance to insert a lineup full of seniors, who were honored after the game.

Rush added 12 points for Oklahoma, which matched a season-high with 13 steals.

EeTisha Riddle led Missouri with 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting, but was held below her 17.8-point average in conference games that ranked only behind Paris’ 23.4-point average.

With the win, Oklahoma kept pace with No. 16 Texas A&M in the Big 12 title race. The Aggies won at Baylor on Sunday to knock the Bears from a three-way tie for first place. Oklahoma hosts Baylor on Wednesday.

Paris, who yielded her starting spot to the seniors and came off the bench for the first time in her career, hit back-to-back layups to end a 12-2 run that gave Oklahoma an 18-7 lead midway through the first half.

Paris and twin sister Ashley scored the Sooners’ final nine points of the first half, and they took a 32-25 lead into the break.

The Sooners then opened the second half strong, going up 44-31 after Erin Higgins’ 3-pointer from the left corner.

Postgame Notes
Oklahoma started seniors Kendra Moore, Britney Brown, Chelsi Welch, Krista Sanchez and Leah Rush ... The Senior Day lineup snaps consecutive start streaks for Courtney Paris (61) and Erin Higgins (18) ... OU has won a program record 41 straight games against unranked teams at home ... The streak dates back to a loss to SMU on Dec. 21, 2002 ... OU has also won 17 straight against the Big 12 North ...  Sunday’s attendance of 11, 510 is the sixth largest crowd in history ... Jenna Plumley had four steals for the third time in the last five games ... Oklahoma tied a season high with 13 steals for the second time this season ... The previous time was against Iowa State (1-24-07) ... Courtney Paris had five defensive rebounds in the first half moving her to No. 2 on the OU career record list ... She now has 638 total defensive rebounds, moving her past Dionnah Jackson (2002-05) who had 626 ... Caton Hill (2000-04) holds the No. 1 spot with 745 ... Courtney Paris scored 33 points; making it the first time in her career she has had back-to-back 30+ point games ... She had 32 points against Kansas last Wednesday ... It is the 10th time in her career and the fifth time this season she has scored 30+ points ... Courtney Paris had 21 rebounds marking the eighth time in her career and third time this season she has had 20 or more rebounds.

Previewing Baylor
Baylor is  24-5 and is ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll.  The Bears losses this season have come to Purdue, Texas A&M (twice), Nebraska and OU.  At 11-4, Baylor is in third place in the Big 12 standings, one game behind OU and Texas A&M.  If they beast OU and A&M loses on Wednesday, they will share the regular season title with those two teams.

Baylor is led by Kim Mulkey, who owns a 181-50 (.783) record in six seasons at Baylor.  Mulkey has led the Lady Bears to four NCAA Tournaments, including a National Championship run in 2005.

The Lady Bears are coming off a 63-58 loss to Texas A&M in Waco.  Baylor lost despite 24 points and nine rebounds from Baylor forward Bernice Mosby.  A second half surge led by A&M’s Danielle Gant and Takia Starks, coupled with an 0-12 night from 3-point range, doomed Baylor.

OU traveled to Baylor for its third conference game of the season on Jan. 10.  OU trailed by eight  at halftime before outscoring Mulkey’s squad 49-28 in the second half.  The final margin was 76-63 with Courtney Paris contributing 32 and Chelsi Welch and Leah Rush each scoring 13.

Last  year OU and Baylor produced three classic games.  In Waco, Kendra Moore scored the final eight points of the game, including a game winning 3-pointer with 0.8 second left, to propel OU to victory.  The Sooners and Lady Bears then went to overtime in the second meeting when Krista Sanchez came off the bench to played hero with 11 crucial points in the victory.  The final meeting of 2006 came in the Big 12 Championship where OU committed a record 32 turnovers but was still able to collect an 11-point win for the program’s third tourney title.

Baylor’s leading scorer Bernice Mosby reminds many of two-time All-American Sophia Young.  Mosby is averaging 18.1 points and 9.5 per game. Point guard Angela Tisdale is second on the squad in scoring at 11.4 and Jessica Morrow is third at 9.0

OU leads the all-time series with Baylor 19-8 and has won four straight in the series.  The series has been streaky if nothing.  All of OU s wins against Baylor have come during streaks - two four games and one 11-gamer.  Baylor’s wins in the series have come during two four-game streaks.  OU is 8-4 all-time against Baylor in Norman but has lost two of the last three at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Pregame Lay-Ups
Below is OU’s RPI by the NCAA and predictor website College Basketball News, Jeff Sagarin and College RPI.  The numbers in parentheses are strength of schedule.

NCAA - 15
CBN - 13 (38)
Sagarin - 12 (20)
College RPI - 14 (33)

Sherri Coale currently has 109 Big 12 regular season wins, which is second among active coaches.  She trails league leader and Texas head coach Jody Conradt (111).

OU is 45-61 (19-22 at home) all-time against ranked opponents.  This season OU is 4-3 against ranked teams with wins over UCLA, Baylor, DePaul and New Mexico.

OU is 41-33 (17-11 at home) when it is ranked and facing a ranked team. 

Courtney Paris’ double-double streak is at 54 games, which is the longest known streak in men’s or women’s basketball  Division I basketball.  She’ll need to extend her streak onto a professional career if she ever hopes to catch Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA record and the longest known basketball record of 227 consecutive double-doubles.

OU has won 32 of 38 games away from Norman over the last two seasons.  The Sooners are 21-4 at home during the same time span.

Big 12 Update
Oklahoma tied for first place in the Big 12 standings with Texas A&M.  Both teams have 12-3 league records.  OU can claim a share of the regular season championship and a No. 2 seed with a win over Baylor on Wednesday.  A loss to Baylor would make OU the No. 3 seed in conference tournament.  OU needs a win Wednesday and a A&M loss to Texas to win the regular season title outright and claim the No. 1 seed.

On the Milestone Verge...
Courtney Paris is 45 points shy of passing Etta Maytubby (1,451) and breaking into the OU career scoring top-10.  Paris, who already owns the OU career offensive rebound record, is 108 shy of the defensive rebound record and 119 shy of the total rebound record.  The sophomore is also 35 blocks shy of the OU career block record.

Leah Rush (1,350 points) is four points shy of passing No. 12 Tami Rogers (1,353 points) on the OU career scoring list.

Chelsi Welch (1,123) is 26 points shy of passing No. 18 Mandy Wade  (1,148 points) on the OU career scoring list.

Paris Wins 16th Big 12 Player of the Week
Courtney Paris won her fourth Big 12 Player of the Week award of the 2006-07 season on Monday and raised her career total for weekly Big 12 awards to 16 (nine rookie of the week awards).  For the first time in her career and the second time in OU history, Paris scored 30-plus points in back-to-back games while leading the Sooners to a pair of wins over Kansas and Missouri last week. The 6-4 center averaged 32.5 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks while shooting 68.4 percent (26-38) from the field.

Paris began her week at Kansas with 32 points on 12-17 shooting.  She also tallied 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in the six-point win over the Jayhawks. During the game she became the first player in OU and Big 12 history with 1,300 career points, 900 career rebounds, 200 career blocks and 100 career assists. 

Against Missouri, Paris had 33 points and 21 rebounds to extend her double-double streak to 54 games. She made 14-21 shots from the field, 5-7 at the free throw line and blocked three shots.  It marks the fifth time this season the Piedmont, Calif., native has scored 30 or more points and the third time in 2006-07 she has collected 20 or more rebounds.

Back-to-Back 30 Point Games
Courtney Paris became just the second player in 33 years of Oklahoma women’s basketball to score 30 or more points in back-to-back games with a 32-point outburst against Kansas and 33 against Missouri.  The only other player to accomplish the feat was Phylesha Whaley.  Whaley had 30 against Texas Tech on Feb. 11, 1998 and 36 in the next game against Nebraska on Feb. 14, 1998.

Frosh to the Rescue
OU head coach Sherri Coale wanted to infuse energy and shake up her team after losing three of four Big 12 games recently.  The result was the addition of freshman point guard Jenna Plumley and freshman forward Amanda Thompson to the starting lineup against Texas on Feb. 12.  The duo ignited a 20-point win over their Red River Rivals and helped OU clinch a 70-67 win at Texas Tech.

Plumley is averaging just 3.7 points and 1.6 assists on the season but she has cranked up her output in the last five games, when she has received her most significant minutes of the season.  She is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 steals during that span. 

Thompson has been garnering meaningful minutes all season but has really contributed over the last five games.  She is averaging 6.5 points, 5.8 boards and 2.3 assists during that stretch.

Plumley Named Rookie of the Week
Oklahoma freshman point guard Jenna Plumley was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Feb. 19. In the first two starts of her career, Plumley averaged 16.5 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 4.5 three-pointers in wins over Texas  (F10) and Texas Tech (F17). Plumley broke or reset 12 career single game highs in the two contests. 

Historic Defensive Stretch
OU has held 21 of 26 opponents, including its first nine opponents, below 40 percent shooting this season.  The previous record for consecutive opponents held below 40 percent was seven and set in 1984-85. 
The Sooners have held six opponents under 30 percent shooting.  Earlier in the season, OU also held South Carolina, Arkansas Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado below 30 percent in consecutive outings. That streak is an OU record.  OU has held two straight opponents below 30 percent on eight occasions in the program history.

OU is first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at .342.  Only Ohio State (.450), Texas Tech (.443), Texas (.435) , Texas A&M (.475) and Kansas (41.3) have shot over 40 percent against OU this season.  The lowest mark was .224 by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado. Last season 24 of 36 opponents failed to reach the 40 percent mark against OU.

3-Point Threats Everywhere
While Erin Higgins is the most recognizable 3-point shooter on the OU roster, she hasn’t been the most efficient this season.  In fact, OU has two of the top four long range shooters in the league.  Chelsi Welch (42.9) leads the Big 12 in 3-point percentage.  Leah Rush (41.2) would rank fourth if she had the necessary 26 makes. Britney Brown (34.5) and Jenna Plumley (38.6) are both shooting over 34 percent.  As a team, OU ranks third in the Big 12 and 39th nationally with a 3-point percentage of 35.0.

1,000 Point Club Membership | OU 1,000 Point Scorers
Three current Sooners - Leah Rush, Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch - are in the OU 1,000 point club.  Rush reached the career milestone against Baylor on Feb. 12, 2006.  Courtney Paris and Chelsi Welch both reached it against Ohio State on Dec. 20, 2006.  It marks the third time that OU has had three 1,000 point scorers on the same team.  The other instances were 1994-95 (Angi Guffy, Mandy Wade and Etta Maytubby) and 2001-02 (Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield, Caton Hill). Only 11 known NCAA Division I teams have had four players with 1,000 career points.

Erin Higgins is also closing in on the 1,000 career points and could reach the milestone by the end of the season.  Below is her projection, in terms of games needed to get to 1,000:

 Player  Points  Average   Projected Games
 Erin Higgins  946  7.4  7 Games

100,000 Fans
For the first time in program history, the OU women’s basketball team has reached a season attendance total in excess of 100,000 fans.  114,672 fans have turned out for 11 home contests this season, which averages out to 10,425, which is an OU record and the fourth best mark nationally. OU also sold a record 6,526 season tickets this year.

Last year, OU had an average attendance of 7,630 over 13 contests.  They played in front of 99,188 fans and fell just short of the 1000,000 mark.

59 Double-Doubles, 54 Straight | Every Paris Double-Double
Courtney Paris has 59 career double-doubles in 61 career games.  She has recorded a double-double in 54 straight games.  The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005.  The streak will be 450 days old when OU takes the court next.

54 Straight Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris has collected a double-double in 54 straight games.  It is the longest known double-double streak in  the history of NCAA Division I women’s basketball and is 14 longer than the longest stretch on the men’s basketball side. 

Double-Double Reference | The 411 on CP3
Largely due to the numbers put up by Courtney Paris, the NCAA is currently researching the national records for career double-doubles and consecutive double-doubles in women’s basketball. 

Since those records do not currently exist, the only comparison on the collegiate level is to the men’s side.  Below are the top five consecutive double-double streaks in men’s basketball history and the top five career double-double marks.

Double-Double Streaks
Courtney Paris 54 12-5-05-Present
Men's Record
1. Billy Cunnigham, N. Carolina 40 12/5/62-2/22/64
2. Jerry Lucas, Ohio State  38 1/23/60-3/11/61
3. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 33 12/31/58-1/2/60
4. Mel Counts, Oregon State 30 3/23/63-3/10/64
5. Lew Alcindor, UCLA 28 12/27/67-12/6/68
    Benoit Benjamin, Creighton 28 3/15/84-2/16/85

Career Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris 59 2006-P
Men's Record Seasons Total
1. Tim Duncan, Wake Forest 4 87
2. Ralph Sampson, Virginia 4 84
3. Derrick Coleman, Syracuse 4 83
4. Malik Rose, Drexel 4 80
5. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 3 79

Career Double-Double Record
Courtney Paris claimed the OU career double-double record on Feb. 10 when she reached 55 against Texas A&M.  Paris needed 58 career games to break the record.  OU legend Molly McGuire accumulated her total of 54 in 115 career games.  The Big 12 record is 61 by Sophia Young of Baylor, which is certainly within Paris’ reach this season.  The NCAA does not keep track of women’s career double-doubles, but is currently researching the mark.

Countdown to 1,500 & 1, 000
Courtney Paris is quickly approaching 1,500 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.  She is 93 points shy of 1,500 and 47 rebounds shy of 1,000.  Based on her career scoring average of 22.7, it should take Paris four games to reach 1,500 points.  Her career rebound average is 15.4, which puts her approximately three games away from reaching 1,000.  Molly McGuire (2,147 points, 1,071 rebounds) and Caton Hill (1,653 points, 1,052 rebounds) are the only players in OU history with at least 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds.  Only five players - Sophia Young, Stacy Stephens, Angie Welle, Kendra Wecker and Hill - have eclipsed 1,000 career points and rebounds in Big 12 history.

The Half Double-Double | Paris' Big Games
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 21 occasions (9 first half, 12 second half).  She has 11 single half double-doubles this season: UCLA (second half), Tulsa (first half), Texas Tech (first half, first meeting) Colorado (second half), Baylor (second half), Texas (second half), Oklahoma State (second half), Texas Tech (first half, second meeting), Missouri (second half)  and in both halves against New Mexico.

Last year her four first half double-dips came against BYU, Texas (second meeting), UCLA and SMU.  Her second half double-doubles were against New Mexico (twice), Illinois, Michigan State, Texas (first meeting) and Baylor (second meeting).  As usual, Paris shines in the brightest spotlight with 10 of these double-doubles coming against ranked teams.  Paris’ career high for points in a half is 23 (Michigan State, 12-21-05, New Mexico, 12/30/06 and Oklahoma State, 2/4/07).  Her career high for rebounds in a half is 14 (Baylor, 3/11/06, Kansas State, 1/3/07, & Missouri, 2/25/07).

Paris Leads NCAA
For the second consecutive season, Courtney Paris appears among the NCAA statistical leaders more than any player in the country.  Paris ranks in the top 10 in four categories: double-doubles, points, rebounds and blocks.  She is also 16th in field goal percentage.  No other player in the NCAA ranks in the top 10 in more than two categories.  Below are Paris’ rank and stats:



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CP3 in NCAA Rankings Rank Stat
Double-Doubles 1 26
Points Per Game 3 23.8
Rebounds Per Game 2 15.9
Blocks 4 3.46
Field Goal Percentage 11 .585