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Next Test Comes From ISU Wednesday
January 24, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 6 Oklahoma women’s basketball team (16-1, 6-0) will play its third conference game in five days when Iowa State  (15-4, 3-3) comes to the Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.  General Admission tickets remain at the low cost of $8 for adults and $5 for children.

The game will be broadcast by the Sooner Sports Network with Bob Carpenter and Debbie Antonelli calling the action.  It will air live on KAUT-UPN (Cox channel 16) in the Oklahoma City market and on Cox channel 3 in Tulsa.  The game will also be webcast on SoonerSports.com’s premium site the O-Zone. It will also air on Sooner Sports Radio flagship station KOKC-1520 AM with the regular team of Brian Brinkley and Tara Degiusti. 

 Game Notes | News Wire | Gameday Central | Season Stats

No one can blame the Sooners if they are little weary from the busiest stretch of the season.  OU has played three games since Jan. 17, including the double OT win over Texas Tech on Monday.  OU will have a 48-hour turnaround before hitting the court against ISU and then a two-day layoff before hosting No. 21 Texas A&M at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The packed schedule is a result of the postponement of the Tech game from Jan. 14 to Jan. 22.

On Monday night it was the clutch work of  Kendra Moore, who scored 13 points in the two overtimes, and Erin Higgins, who nailed a trey to send the game into overtime, that saved the Sooners 25-game Big 12 winning streak. Courtney Paris had her usual production of 22 points and 17 rebounds to collect her 50th career and 45th consecutive double-double.

Iowa State has won two straight Big 12 games after falling at home to Oklahoma State on Jan. 13, in what ISU head coach Bill Fennelly labeled as one of the most disappointing losses of his career.  Credit the Cyclones, who have responded with an 11-point win over Texas and a 27-point win over Kansas.

The Sooners close the current three-game home stand with the annual “WhiteOUt” game against No. 21 Texas A&M at 11.a.m. on Saturday.   Tickets still remain and fans are encouraged to purchase them in advance by calling (800) 456-GoOU.

Pregame Multi-Media Center
  Free 2006 Highlights: Higgins Downs Cyclones in Tourney
  Free 2006 Highlights: OU Wins in Ames For First Time in Coale Era
  Moore All-Access #5: Reliving Texas Tech Heroics
  O-Zone Highlights: OU wins 2OT Thriller Over Texas Tech   Moore All-Access #4: Sherri vs. Colton, One-on-One
  Moore All-Access #3: CP3 Works on Free Throws With Coale
  Des Moines Register: ISU Faces Huge Roadblock
  The Oklahoman: Coale not stirred by close games
  SoonerSports.com: Instant Classic Reairs Friday at 11 a.m.
  Tulsa World: Bull's Eye Set on Sooners 

Player To Watch
Erin Higgins is the most prolific 3-point shooter in Oklahoma history. She may also be the most clutch shooter. On Monday night, it was an Erin Higgins trey, on a play that was designed to go to Chelsi Welch, that sent the OU-Tech game into a first overtime.  The heroics are a familiar sight for Iowa State, who was victimized by Higgins in the Big 12 Championship Quarterfinals last year when the guard hit trey with 49 seconds left to seal the comeback. She hit eight 3’s in two games vs. ISU last season.

Setting The Scene
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007
Location: Norman, Okla.
Venue: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Central
TV: Sooners Sports Network (KAUT-UPN Cox channel 16 in OKC)
TV Talent: Bob Carpenter and Debbie Antonelli
CLICK HERE - Find it on TV in your Market
Radio: KOKC1520 AM (Flagship Station) & Yahoo Radio! (Subscription)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Radio Broadcast Info
Tickets:  (800) 456-GoOU

The White OUt is Back
The Oklahoma Athletics Department is bringing back the popular WhiteOUt the Lloyd Noble Center’ promotion for the contest  between the Oklahoma women’s basketball team and Texas A&M on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m.  The event sold out last season and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. The game will air in front of a near-national audience on Fox Sports Net.

Tickets are going fast, don't miss your chance
to be part of the 2007 WhiteOUt on Saturday.

 Watch Free Highlights of 2006 WhiteOUt

A free OU “Cheer Like a Champion” white t-shirt will be placed in every seat in the Lloyd Noble Center.  Fans are encouraged to wear the t-shirt during the match up of top-20 teams. Last season, OU and Baylor battled into overtime in front of a program record crowd of 12,112 during the WhiteOUt promotion.

Recap - Texas Tech
(AP)
- Backup point guard Kendra Moore scored 13 of her career-high 20 points in extra time to help No. 6 Oklahoma hold on and beat Texas Tech 86-81 in double overtime on Monday night.

Courtney Paris recorded her 45th straight double-double, finishing with 22 points and 17 rebounds for Oklahoma (16-1, 6-0 Big 12), which extended its winning streak against conference opponents to 25 games.

But during the overtimes, Moore became the Sooners’ go-to player. With the game tied 81-81, it was Paris handing the ball off to Moore on a pick-and-roll and Moore slicing through the lane for a layup with 34.4 seconds left.

At the other end, Oklahoma’s starting point guard, Britney Brown, stole the basketball from Texas Tech’s Jordan Murphree as she rose to shoot. Brown hit two free throws with 11 seconds left - her first points of the game - and added another free throw in the final second to seal the win.

Five players scored in double figures for Texas Tech (12-8, 3-3), led by Alesha Robertson, who finished with 20. Six-foot-6 Patrice Edwards added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Raiders.

It was Oklahoma’s first double-overtime game since Dec. 21, 2000, when the Sooners beat San Diego. Texas Tech played its last two-overtime game on Feb. 23, 2000, a win over Texas.

Oklahoma struggled with turnovers for much of the game, finishing with 21, and never led by more than eight points. Paris went just 9-of-24 from the field, sitting out nine minutes of the second half. She did not score in the game’s final 14 minutes and missed five shots in the overtime periods.

The Sooners led by six with three minutes left in regulation, but Texas Tech rallied to go ahead 67-63 with 44.2 seconds left, and Oklahoma needed a 3-pointer by Erin Higgins with 7.6 seconds left to forge a 68-68 tie.

The Lady Raiders fell behind by three points early in the first overtime but took a 75-73 lead on a 16-foot jumper by Dabbs with 1:16 left. Moore tied it seconds later on a drive at the other end.

After a Paris miss, Texas Tech had another chance to win, but she altered a jumper by Dabbs and the ball went out of bounds with eight-tenths of a second left. Paris stole the ensuing inbounds pass and her heave from 70 feet hit the rim and bounced away.

Oklahoma outrebounded Texas Tech 49-35. Welch added 15 points for the Sooners, while Ashley Paris had 10.

The game was delayed for eight days because of weather and was the Sooners’ first at home Jan. 3. Oklahoma is in the midst of a strech during which it will play five games in 12 days

Postgame Notes
It was the fourth double overtime game in Sooner history.  OU is 6-3 in overtime under Sherri Coale, 2-2 in double OT all-time and 4-1 in OT at home under Coale. 
OU is off to the best 17-game start in program history.  OU opened the 1986-87 and 2001-02 at 14-1, which were the previous highs until this season.
Kendra Moore scored a career high 20 points.  Her previous best was 18 against Nebraska on Jan. 6, 2007. 
Courtney Paris had the 50th double-double of her career by halftime with 16 points and 11 rebounds.  The Sooner needed just 53 games to reach the half-century mark in double-doubles.  She has also collected a double-double in 45 straight games. Only three other players (Sophia Young, Angie Welle and Kendra Wecker) in Big 12 history and one in OU history (Molly McGuire) have recorded 50 career double-doubles.

Previewing Iowa State
Iowa State is 15-4 overall and 3-3 in Big 12 play. The Cyclones enter conference play with a 12-1 record but went 1-3 to start conference play.  ISU has responded to the skid with back-to-back double figure wins over Iowa State and Kansas.

Bill Fennelly is in his 12th season with ISU and owns a 248-167 record with the Cyclones. Fennelly and OU head coach Sherri Coale are currently tied for second among active coaches for league wins with 103 apiece.  They both trail Texas’ Jody Conradt, who has 106.

Last season, OU went to Iowa State and won for the first time during the Big 12 era.  OU has won the last two games against ISU, including a thriller in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals last season, but is just 3-9 against them since the start of Big 12 play in 1997. The last meeting in Norman occurred in 2005 and was won by ISU 73-60.

Iowa State is led by point guard Lyndsey Medders, who is averaging 13.3 points and 6.5 assists, in addition to making 35 percent of her 3-point attempts.  ISU leads the Big 12 with 144 treys as a team and Medders is  among four that have made at least 19.  ISU is shooting 34 percent from long range.

Also in double figures offensively are 6-4 sophomore center Nicky Wieben (12.6) and junior forward Toccara Ross (11.7).  The top three-point threat, in terms of percentage, are Megan Ronhovde (35.1) and Alison Lacey (35.2).

As a team Iowa State is among the conference leaders in free throw percentage (72.8), rebounding margin (+11.7), assists (16.5), defensive rebounds (29.95) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.04).

OU leads the all-time series with Iowa State 28-17, but the majority of those wins came prior to 1996.  OU has only lost at home to ISU four times in 19 games.

Courtney Paris, Leah Rush, Chelsi Welch and Erin Higgins all have a career averages in double figures against ISU.  Paris is tops at 26.5 points and 14.5 rebounds, which was boosted by a 36 point outing in last year’s Big 12 Championships.  Erin Higgins was 8-17 from three-point range against the Cyclones last season.  She hit five treys at Hilton Coliseum during the regular season.

Sooners vs. Iowa St. PTS REB Career High
Brown   3 1.5 9 points (3-8-06)
Higgins  11.5 2.5 16 points (1-29-05)
Moore 2 2.8 4 points (1-4-06)
A. Paris    6 7.5 13 rebounds (1-4-06)
C. Paris   25.5 15.5 36 rebounds (3-8-06)
Rush    11.3 7 14 (twice, last 1-4-06)
Sanchez    -- -- --
Welch    10.5 4.5 23 points (1-4-06)

Pregame Lay-Ups
OU moved up to No. 8 in the lastest round of RPI numbers released by the NCAA. The NCAA will announce the RPI rankings on NCAASports.com on a weekly basis for the remainder of the season.

Sherri Coale need one home win for 100 career victories at the Lloyd Noble Center. Her career home record is 99-35 (.739).

Bill Fennelly and Sherri Coale will both be playing for Big 12 win number 104.  The winner will be alone at No. 2 among the winningest active coaches in the Big 12.  Texas’ Jody Condradt is tops at 106.

OU is 49-1 when it is ranked in the top-10 and the opponent is not ranked.  The lone loss came to Washington in the 2001 Sweet 16.

OU has an average scoring margin of +12.8 in Big 12 games this season, which includes four double digit wins.  The Sooners have played four of six league games on the road.

  OU is averaging 80.6 points and 17.6 assists.  Both numbers are up from last season when OU averaged 76.3 points and 16.8 assists.

Paris Leads NCAA | Paris' Big Games
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 five categories: double-doubles, points, rebounds, blocks and 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:

50 Double-Doubles, 45 Straight | Paris' Double-Doubles
Courtney Paris has 50 career double-doubles in 53 career games.  She has recorded a double-double in 45 straight games.  The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005.  The streak will be 412 days old when OU takes the court next.

The Half Double-Double
Courtney Paris has recorded a double-double in a single half on 17 occasions (7 first half, 10 second half).  She has seven single half double-doubles this season: UCLA (second half), Tulsa (first half), Texas Tech (first half) Colorado (second half), Baylor (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, and New Mexico, 12/30/06).  Her career high for rebounds in a half is 14 (Baylor (3/11/06 & Kansas State 1/3/07).

Paris & Putbacks
22 (85-392) percent of Courtney Paris’ points this season have come after she pulled down an offensive rebound.  Of that total, 34 have come after her own miss, 44 have come after her teammates’ misses and seven have come at the free throw line after being fouled after an offensive board.

Forget The Hack-A-Shaq
Opponents might rethink the idea of employing the hack-a-Shaq defense on Courtney Paris at the end of games.  The Sooner center shot 71 (27-38) from the free throw line in the final four minutes of games last season.  She is 9-of 16 in that scenario this season and owns a career percentage of 68 (36-53) percent.  Below are more number breakdowns for Paris at the charity stripe in the final four minutes of games.

  2006-07  Career
Home   0-0 12-16 (.750)
Road  9-15 18-26 (.692)
Neutral 0-1 6-11 (.545)
Total    9-16 (.562) 36-53 (.679)

Double Figure Twins
Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris have scored in double figures in the same game on 14 occasions, including seven times this season. The 14 occasions account for every double figure game of Ashley’s career.  Additionally, the twins have posted a double-double in the same game on five occasions, including once this season.  OU is 13-1 when the low post twins reach 10 or more points and 5-0 when they both record a double-double.

Historic Defensive Stretch
OU has held 15 of 17 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, all in the last 10 games.  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.

OU is first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at .328.  Only Ohio State (.450) and Texas Tech (.443) have shot over 40 percent against OU this season.  The lowest mark was a .224 by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Northern Colorado. Last season 24 of 36 opponents failed to reach the 40 percent mark against OU.

The Winning Streaks
OU has won a Big 12 record 25 straight games against conference teams (including last year’s postseason championship) and 23 straight regular season games  - 16 last year, one in 2004-05 - against conference foes.  The Sooners have also won nine straight Big 12 home games and 13 straight Big 12 road games.  The previous record for consecutive wins was 16 by the 2000-01 OU team.

OU has won 18 straight regular season games away from Norman, which is a Big 12 record.  The streak includes true road games and games at neutral sites. OU broke its own Big 12 record established with 16 straight wins from December 2000 to December 2001.

OU has won 16 straight regular season true road games, which is a Big 12 record.  The previous record was 11 games and was set by OU from December 2000 to December 2001.

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 the 1,000 career points.

Erin Higgins is also closing in on the 1,000 career points and should, based on her career scoring average, reach the milestone this season:

 Player  Points  Average   Projected Games
 Erin Higgins  898  7.7  14 Games

Giving Moore
Kendra Moore has cranked up her game to an unseen level so far during Big 12 play. The Sooner senior point guard has come off the bench to average 10.3 points since the start of Big 12 play.  The Ardmore native has scored 62 of her season total of 78 points since the start of Big 12 play.

Pink OUt Planned for Texas
The OU Athletics Department will also a hold a “Pack The Place Pink Night” for the Feb. 12 Red River Rivalry match up with Texas on ESPN2. In an effort to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection, free pink t-shirts will be placed in every seat and again fans are encouraged to put them on when they arrive. Both staffs will join in the promotion and wear pink item of attire on gameday.

Fans are encouraged to donate to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation when they enter the arena. Volunteers will be available on the concourse to take donations. 

Higgins Heating Up
Erin Higgins began the season in a slump from 3-point land.  The OU all-time leader in 3-pointer made just 20 percent of her attempts in the first eight games and had just one multiple trey game during that span.

She has found her stroke in the last nine games, shooting 42 percent and making 16 of 38 attempts.  She has tallied  56 points over that span after having 25 combined in the first eight games. On the season Higgins is shooting 31.5 percent from 3-point range.

Big 12 History
All-time, OU has a 103-63 (.620) Big 12 record under head coach Sherri Coale.  The Sooners have won four regular season titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006) and three Big 12 Championships (2002, 2004, 2006).  The Sooners were picked by the coaches to win the 2006-07 regular season title.

Since the 1999-00 season, OU has won 76 percent of its regular season Big 12 games for a record of 89-28.  That winning percentage is the best in the Big 12 during that time frame.

OU’s all-time record in regular season Big 12 play ranks fourth among member schools.  The Sooners trail No. 1 Texas Tech (121-44), Texas (106-57) and Iowa State (103-62).  Coale is currently tied for second with the third most Big 12 wins among active coaches with Iowa State’s Bill Fennely (103).  They both trail Jody Conradt (106) of Texas.

Last season Oklahoma became the first team in Big 12 history to run the table to a perfect 16-0 record in league play. Then OU won three straight Big 12 Championship games to go 19-0 against the league this in 2005-06.  The overall record is a Big 12 record.

This season marks the third time OU has started 5-0.  Only two other Sooner teams (1999-00, 2005-06) have started conference play 5-0.

Overall, OU is 54-26 (.675) in Big 12 games played at the Lloyd Noble Center and 48-37 (.565) in conference road contests.

3-Point Threats Everywhere
While Erin Higgins is the most recognizable 3-point shooter on the OU roster, she hasn’t been the most proficient this season.  In fact, OU has three of the top seven long range shooters in the league.  Chelsi Welch (49.1) is second in the Big 12, Leah Rush (45.7) ranks fifth and Jenna Plumley (42.4) would rank seventh if she had the necessary makes. Welch is also ninth in the Big 12 in makes per game at 1.65.  As a team OU ranks second in the Big 12 and 18th nationally with a 3-point percentage of 37.5.

Time to Talk About Rush
Leah Rush, the nation’s Most Underrated Player last season, is playing some of the best basketball of her career.  Rush is third on the OU team in scoring at 10.2 points per game and is posting career highs in 3-point percentage (45.7), field goal percentage (52.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.13). She ranks fifth in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage and sixth in field goal percentage.

Welch Off To Strong Start
Chelsi Welch is putting together a stellar senior campaign. The season has been highlighted by her addition to the OU 1,000 point club, which she reached with 14 points against Ohio State on Dec. 20.

The 5-10 guard has scored in double-figures in 10 games this season, while tallying at least eight points in four others.  She posted a season high 23 points in the season opener against DePaul.  Last season, Welch scored in double-figures on four occasions during the non-conference schedule and 16 times total.

This year, Welch ranks 12th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at .508, which is the highest mark among guards.  She is also second in the league with a 3-point percentage at .491.

She appears to be picking up where she left off last year, when she scored in double figures in 14 of the final 24 games.  She also dialed up her shooting percentage during that stretch and finished 11th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage during conference action. At the end of the year, Welch ranked No. 2 in conference-only games in 3-point percentage with a 44.9 mark.

Team Effort
A team effort is behind the Sooners success this season. No stat, or perhaps lack of stats, is more indicative of that than the fact that no OU player ranks among the Big 12 leaders in minutes played for the all games or Big 12 games.  Courtney Paris is averaging a team high 29.1 minutes per game, which is two shy of cracking the top-10.

Coale, ou win 100th big 12 game
OU head coach Sherri Coale, who has been at the helm for the entire Big 12 era, won her and the program’s 100th Big 12 game at Baylor on Jan. 10, 2007.  Coale, who currently has 103 Big 12 wins, is tied for second with

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