Preview: OU & Ole Miss in Sweet 16

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 25, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- Making its second consecutive and sixth overall appearance in the Sweet 16, the No. 3 seed and ninth-ranked Oklahoma women’s basketball team (28-4) will face No. 7 seed Ole Miss (23-10) Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Central in Dayton, Ohio.  OU and Ole Miss are joined in the Dayton Regional by No. 1 seed  Tennessee and No. 13 seed Marist, who will square off in Dayton at 11 a.m. Central.

OU’s game will be nationally broadcast in high definition by ESPN2-HD with Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Debbie Antonelli (color) and Heather Cox (sideline) calling the action from Dayton Arena.  The game will also be carried by flagship station KOKC-1520 AM and throughout the Sooner Sports Radio Network with the regular team of Brian Brinkley (play-by-play) and Tara DeGiusti (color).

Ole Miss upset defending national champion Maryland, 89-78, on Tuesday night in Hartford, Conn.  Senior guard Armintie Price led the Rebels with 28 points, 7 rebounds and a 10-11 effort at the free throw line.  Fellow senior Ashley Awkward also poured in 22 points.  It is the first time the Rebels have advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1992.

Notes | News Wire | Gameday Central | NCAA Central

OU rolls into the Sweet 16 off arguably its best defensive performance of the season.  The Sooners held Marquette to 13 field goals and 21.3 percent shooting from the field.  The stout effort led to the 78-47 win, which was the third largest margin of victory for OU in NCAA Tournament history.

OU is 1-4 all-time in the Sweet 16.  The lone victory came in 2002 over Texas Tech in Boise.  An OU win would advance them to the Elite Eight where it would face Tennessee or Marist.  The game will air nationally on ESPN or ESPN2 at 6 or 8 p.m. Central.

Setting The Scene
Event: 2007 NCAA Tournament
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Venue: Dayton Arena (13,455)
Tipoff:  2:30 p.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. Central)
TV Talent: Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli & Heather Cox
Radio: Sooner Sports Radio Network & Yahoo! Radio (subscription)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley & Tara DeGiusti
Radio Broadcast Info
Tickets:  (937) 229-4433
OU Ticket Will Call: South entrance, game days only

Other Ticket Information
The OU ticket office will call will be located at the south entrance. It will only be open on game days.
Due to a larger than expected General will call ticket purchases, the Dayton ticket office will open its will call windows on Saturday during the open practice sessions at Dayton Arena.  Only tickets purchased through the Dayton ticket office will be available at this time.  Fans are encouraged to pick up their tickets on Saturday to avoid longer than usual lines. Tickets purchases through OU will not be available on Saturday.

Player To Watch
One area the Sooners have a numbers advantage against Ole Miss is in the height of their post players.  The Sooners front line is led by Courtney Paris, who stands 6-4.  Fellow low block players Ashley Paris (6-3), Leah Rush (6-1) and Amanda Thompson (6-0) give OU one of the most physical lineups in America.  No one is more physical or consistent than Courtney though.  The Sooner sophomore is averaging 23.3 points (3rd in NCAA), 15.8 rebounds (2nd in NCAA), 3.4 blocks (4th in NCAA) and has recorded a NCAA record 60 consecutive double-doubles.

700 - 500 - 100

Last season Courtney Paris became the first player in NCAA history to score 700 points, clear 500 rebounds and block 100 shots in a single season. 

This season she duplicated that feat when she reached 500 rebounds against Marquette.  Paris has 744 points, 506 rebounds and 109 blocks this season.  She needed 32 games to accomplish the feat this season.  Last year it took her 33 games.

NCAA Record #7
It’s that time of year, when the regular season wraps up and Courtney Paris accumulates NCAA records.  The Sooner sophomore reached 1,000 career rebounds in the second half against Baylor on Thursday, March 8.  She needed 65 career games to reach 1,000.  Her pace to 1,000 career boards is the fastest in NCAA history, besting the previous best of 71 games by Drake’s Wanda Ford by six games.

NCAA Record #8
Courtney Paris became the fast player in NCAA history to 1,500 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, when she reached the milestone in her 67th game against SE Missouri on March 17, 2007. 

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 during the Big 12 era.

NCAA Records #9 & 10
Courtney Paris’ rebound total of 1,045 over the last two season is the most in any two year period in NCAA history.  She is also the only player in NCAA history to collect 500 boards in both her freshman and sophomore season.  She is the second player in NCAA history to post two 500 rebound seasons.

OU in the NCAA Tournament
The Oklahoma women’s basketball team is making its eighth straight and 10th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  It is the second time OU has been a No. 3 seed.  The other instance was in 2004, when OU reached the second round before losing to Stanford.  OU has the longest active NCAA Tournament streak in the Big 12.  OU is 17-9 in the NCAA Tournament.  OU has reached six Sweet 16s, five under the current 64-team format.  OU is 1-5 in the Sweet 16.  The Sooners have reached the Elite 8, Final Four and National Championship Game on one occasion, all during the 2002 season.  OU is 14-7 under Sherri Coale in NCAA Tourney.

If Oklahoma Wins...
It will advance to the Elite Eight for the second time in program history. The other instance was in 2002, when OU reached the national title game.
It will play the winner of No. 1 Tennessee and No. 13 Marist on Tuesday night at either 7 or 9 p.m. Eastern.  OU is 0-2 all-time against Tennessee and 1-0 against Marist.  OU has never faced UT in the NCAA Tourney.  The Sooners one win versus Marist came in the 2004 NCAA Tournament in Tempe, Ariz.
It will own a 2-1 record all-time against Ole Miss and improve to 2-0 against the SEC this season.
It will extend its winning streak to 11 games, which is the longest since a 19-game streak that stretched into the NCAA Tournament last season.

Pregame Lay Ups
OU is shooting 40 percent (40-100) from 3-point range over the last six games, which includes a 10-17 effort in the first round against Southeast Missouri State.

Courtney Paris is only player with two double-doubles in 2007 NCAA Tournament action.  32 players have

Leah Rush
recorded one double-double.

OU has held its first two opponents to 27.6 shooting . That is the second best mark in the NCAA Tourney.  Over the last five games, OU opponents have shot just 31.3 percent from the floor.

OU has won 37 of 43 games away from Norman over the last two seasons.

Leah Rush is averaging 12.6 points in OU’s five postseason games  this year.   Her two highest totals of the year - 19 and 18 - came in win-or-go home action against Southeast Missouri (M17) and Iowa State respectively (M10).  She has reached double-figures in four of those contests.  The forward’s season average is 9.8 points.

OU is 49-61 all-time against ranked opponents.  This season OU is 7-3 against ranked teams with wins over UCLA, Baylor (three times), DePaul, Marquette and New Mexico.  OU is 43-33 all-time when it is ranked and facing a ranked team.   OU is 4-0 against teams receiving votes this season.  Ole Miss received votes in the final AP Poll.

OU head coach Sherri Coale is 14-7 against ranked teams in postseason play, which includes Big 12 Tournament and NCAA Tournament action.  Prior to Coale’s arrival at OU 11 years ago, the Sooners were just 1-11 all-time against ranked teams in postseason contests.

Plumley’s Emergence
Jenna Plumley emerged for OU when Sherri Coale decided to shake up her lineup by starting the freshman point guard 10 games ago (Feb. 12 vs. Texas). Since Plumley entered the starting five, OU has won 10 straight by an average of 14.6 points.

Plumley is averaging 10.5 points, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range and 46 percent from the field over that span.  Those numbers more than double her season averages of 5.2 points and 2.0 assists.

Plumley has made 24 three-pointers in the last 10 games and has increased her season total to 37, which is third on the team.  Plumley has played just 498 minutes this season, which is eighth on the team.

Plumley has dished out seven or more assists on three occasions this season - all in the last 10 games.  No other player on OU’s squad has dished seven or more on multiple occasions.

Plumley and Chelsi Welch are also the only players not named Courtney Paris that have scored 20-plus points on multiple occasions this season.  Plumley has done it three times during the current winning streak, Welch has done it twice this season.  Courtney Paris has led OU in scoring in 28 games this season, Plumley has three times and Leah Rush once.

Plumley’s Signature Games
Feb. 12 vs. Texas - 11 points, 8 assists, 5 steals
Feb. 17 vs. Texas Tech - 22 points, 6 three-pointers
Feb. 25 vs. Missouri - 6 assists, 4 steals
Feb. 28 vs. No. 16 Baylor - 7 assists, 3 steals
March 7 vs. Texas - 13 points,  5 assists, 4 3-pointers
March 8 vs.  No. 18 Baylor - 24 points, 9-10 FTs
March 10 vs. Iowa State - 6 steals, 5 in the first half
March 17 vs. SE Missouri - 20 points, 7 assists, 6 threes

Closing Books on Big 12 Regular Season
Oklahoma won its fifth Big 12 Regular Season Championship (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007).  Thanks to a 13-3 record, OU shared the title with Texas A&M.  It marked the second time the Sooners have shared a league title. The other time was in 2000, when it was shared with Iowa State and Texas Tech.  It marks the fifth time OU has won 13 or more Big 12 games.

During Big 12 play, OU led all teams in 10 of 19 statistical categories: scoring (74.2), scoring margin (+10.4), field goal percentage (.444), field goal percentage defense (.359), rebounding offense (46.9), rebounding defense (34.4), rebounding margin (+12.4), assists (14.3), offensive rebounds (16.5), and defensive rebounds (30.4).  The Sooners broke conference only Big 12 records for total rebounds (750), offensive rebounds (264), defensive rebounds (486) and rebounding margin (+12.4).

On an individual basis Courtney Paris led all players in eight categories:  scoring (24.3), points (389), rebounding (16.5), total rebounds (264), blocks per game (3.75), total blocks (60), offensive rebounds (98) and defensive rebounds (166).   Paris broke the conference only Big 12 records for rebounds (264), defensive rebounds (166), offensive rebounds (98), free throw attempts (146) and blocks (60).

Previewing No. 7 Seed Ole Miss
Ole Miss is 23-10 on the season and is making its third NCAA Tournament appearance under fourth year head coach Carol Ross.  The Rebels went 9-5 in SEC play and finished in fifth place in the standings.  The SEC sent five teams to the tournament and four of those squads are still alive (Tennessee, LSU and Georgia).  

Carol Ross owns a 75-49 record since taking over the Rebels  in 2003-04.  Prior to arrival in Oxford, Ross spent 11 seasons at the helm of the Florida women’s basketball program.

The Rebels entered the tournament having lost four of their last seven games, but have been impressive in both tourney wins. 

Ole Miss had an eight point lead at halftime over TCU in the first round and extended that to 14 points by the end of the game.  The Rebels forced the Horned Frogs into 23 turnovers. 

In the second round, the Rebels turned in arguably their best defensive performance of the year.  They led by as many as 23 points in the first half and held a 47-30 advantage at intermission.  Ole Miss had 15 steals and forced Maryland into 29 turnovers.  The Rebels scored 42 points off the Terps’ giveaways.

Mississippi’s defense helps create its offense, which is sixth in the country at 77. 8 points per game.  Easy buckets off of turnovers fuel the Rebel offense, which is only shooting 41.3 percent from the field, 26.9 percent from 3-point range and 62.6 percent at the free throw line.

The Rebels are third in the country in steals (13.7) and own a turnover margin of +8.6.  They have forced 816 turnovers this season, an average of 24.7 per game, while only committing 532 or 16.1 per outing.

Everything starts with senior gaurd Armintie Price.  Price leads the team in scoring (18.5), steals (3.7), assists (4.8) and rebounding (8.9).  She leads the country in steals per game and is among the NCAA top 50 in scoring, assists and rebounding.  She is the fifth player in NCAA history to record over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists and 300 steals joining Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Sophia Young.

Senior guard Ashley Awkward is second on the team in scoring at 12. 5 points per game.  She is also second with 90 assists.  Freshman guard Alliesha Easley, who was injured near the end of the Maryland game, is the only other player in double-digits offensively.  Easley is averaging 11.2 points and has made a team high 28 three-pointers.

Ole Miss only starts two players that stand 6-0 or taller. - 6-1 forward Denetra Forrest and 6-1 forward Jada Mincy.  Reserve center Shawn Goff stands 6-3 and is the only player taller than 6-1 that has played in the tourney.  The lack of inside height didn’t hurt Ole Miss against Maryland, which is the top rebounding team in the country.  The Terps outrebounded the Rebels 46-29, including 22-10 on the offensive glass, but it was a non-factor in the game. 

OU is 11-13 all-time against the Southeastern Conference.  The Sooners have faced one SEC team this season, South Carolina, whom they defeated 78-51 in Columbia.  OU and Ole Miss have split two all-time meetings.  The Sooners won in Noman in 1997 and lost in Oxford in 1998.  OU has faced a SEC team in the NCAA Tournament on one occasion.  That instance was in its first tourney in 1986 when OU defeated Vanderbilt, 86-67, in Norman.

Ross & Paris
Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross and OU’s Courtney Paris are very familiar with each other.  Ross was an assistant coach on the USA U19 National Team during the summer of 2005. Courtney Paris led that team in rebounding and was third in scoring.  The U19 team won a gold medal in Tunis, Tunisia with a perfect 8-0 record. The team also earned USA Basketball Team of the Year honors.  Paris finished the tourney with averages of 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.  She finished third among all FIBA competitors with a .662 shooting percentage. 

Courtney Paris' NCAA Records
Single Season Rebounds - 539 (2005-06)
Freshman Single Season - 539 (2005-06)
Freshman Single Season -  119 (2005-06)
Fastest to 1,000 Career Rebounds - 66 games
Fastest to 1,500 points & 1,000 rebounds - 67 games
Only player in NCAA history to have 700 Points, 500 Rebounds and 100 Blocks in a season
Only player to have 700, 500, 100 in consecutive season
Only player to reach 1,000 rebounds during sophomore season
Highest two season rebound total (1,043) in NCAA history
First Freshman to lead NCAA in Rebounding (2005-06)

65 Double-Doubles, 60 Straight | Every Paris Double-Double
Courtney Paris has 65 career double-doubles in 68 career games.  She has recorded a double-double in 60 straight games.  The streak began against UCLA on Dec. 5, 2005.  The streak will be 482 days old when OU takes the court next.

60 Straight Double-Doubles | The 411 on CP3
Courtney Paris has collected a double-double in 60 straight games.  It is the longest known double-double streak in  the history of NCAA Division I women’s basketball and is 20 longer than the best stretch on the men’s basketball side. 

Double-Double Reference
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 60 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 65 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

Breaking Her Own Records
Courtney Paris is within striking distance of breaking her own OU single season records for points per game, points, field goals attempts, rebounds, rebounds per game and blocks.  The complete list of single season chart climbers is on page 8.

Climbing The NCAA Charts
Courtney Paris’ current season rebound average of 15.8 is the 11th best mark in NCAA history.  The record is 18.5 rpg by Rosina Pearson of Bethune Cookman in 1984-85. 

Paris’ 506 rebounds is the fifth best total in NCAA history.  It trails her own record of 539 set as freshman last season.  CP3 could reach her own mark if OU advances far enough in the tourney, which is impressive considering OU has played three less games this season than it had at the start of the NCAA tourney last year.

NCAA Single Season Rebound Record
1. Courtney Paris, Oklahoma (2006) - 539
2. Wanda Ford, Drake (1985) - 534
3. Lachelle Lyles, SE Missouri (2007) - 527
4T. Wanda Ford, Drake (1986)- 506
4T. TCourtney Paris, Oklahoma (2007) - 506

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 15th 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 32
Points Per Game 3 23.2
Rebounds Per Game 2 15.8
Blocks 4 3.4
Field Goal Percentage 15 .569