April 11, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. -- - Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale and her 2001-02 Sooners held their annual women's basketball awards banquet tonight at the Mary Jane Noble Practice Facility inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners welcomed a room full of fans to share in dinner, the awards ceremony and viewing of a 30-minute highlight tape celebrating OU's Big 12 regular season title, Big 12 Tournament crown, its first ever NCAA Regional title and NCAA Final Four appearance.
OU ended the season with the most wins (32) and fewest losses (4) in school history. The Sooners also became just the third team in NCAA Basketball Tournament history to have both its men's and women's programs competiting in the Final Four the same year. By the end of the season, OU earned its highest ranking ever of No. 2 in both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and Associated Press polls.
Two-time All-American Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) walked away with the team's most assists and a share of the Most Valuable Player Award. Dales, a two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, leaves OU as the Sooners' and league's all-time record holder in assists with 764. She averaged 5.0 assists and 17.0 points per game as a senior. The 6-0 guard was named to the Big 12, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Final Four All-Tournament teams.
Six awards were presented this evening. Dales, LaNeishea Caufield, Rosalind Ross, Shannon Selmon, Jamie Talbert and Jen Cunningham were honored as the 2001-02 Most Valuable Players.
Repeating as the Best Defensive Player of the Year in the NCAA, Caufield (Ada, Okla.) walked away with the team's Best Defender Award. The two-time All-Big 12 second teamer concluded her collegiate career with an OU-best 402 steals, which also ranks 12th among the NCAA all-time steals leaders. Her 2.7 thefts and 17.4 points per game each
ranked fourth best in the conference. Caufield, a Kodak District V All-American, also shot an impressive 86.8 percent from the free throw line, fifth best in the league.
Junior Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) repeated her Best Rebounder Award, collecting 250 boards this season. Hill, a third team All-Big 12 selection, has been the only Sooner the last two years who has collected 200-plus boards. She ended the year ranked ninth in the Big 12 in boards per game with 6.9 and 19th in scoring, averaging 12.6 points per contest. Hill was also voted to the NCAA All-West Regional team after averaging 12.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
This year's Most Improved Player award went to freshman Dionnah Jackson (St. Louis, Mo). Jackson was named to the All-Big 12 Tournament team after averaging 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and shooting 66.7 percent from the field. For the year, she contributed 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while playing in all 36 games. She also shot an impressive 51.8 percent from the field and 58.9 from beyond the three-point line.
Steve Calonkey, of Mr. Robert's Furniture, was the recipient of the Sooner Service Award.
Following is a list of tonight's award recipients.
Most Valuable Player Award: OU's Six Seniors -- Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield, Rosalind Ross, Jamie Talbert, Shannon Selmon, Jen Cunningham
Most Improved Player(s) Award: Dionnah Jackson
Best Defensive Player Award: LaNeishea Caufield
Best Rebounder Award: Caton Hill
Most Assists Award: Stacey Dales
Sooner Service Award: Steve Calonkey