March 11, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma seniors Stacey Dales and LaNeishea Caufield have been named finalists for the 2002 Division I Kodak Women's All-America Basketball Team announced today by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and The Eastman Kodak Company. WBCA member coaches in each of the eight WBCA geographical districts voted on the teams. The Division I Kodak Women's All-America Basketball Team will be announced in San Antonio on March 28, 2002.
Dales and Caufield, also Naismith Player of the Year finalists, will leave Oklahoma with its best four-year run in school history. They are four-year letterwinners and starters who have worked together to produce a program-best 95-31 mark (.754 winning percentage). They have won three consecutive Big 12 regular season titles, the 2002 Big 12 Tournament crown and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 the last two seasons. The only other four-year span that comes close to this type of success was from 1983-87. OU went 87-34, won a Big Eight title and appeared in one NCAA Regional.
This year, Dales and Caufield have had phenomenal senior campaigns as they have led OU to a Big 12 regular season and tournament titles and Oklahoma's first ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The fourth-ranked Sooners sport an impressive 27-3 overall record heading into this week's national championship play. Together they account for 34.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 4.6 steals per game this year.
Dales, a 2001 Kodak All-American, recently repeated as Big 12 Player of the Year after leading Oklahoma to a league best 14-2 record. The Canadian tops the team with 17.3 points and 5.0 assists per game. She also averaged 22.3 ppg, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 steals and shot 60.5 percent from the field and 52.9 percentage from behind the arc during OU's Big 12 Tournament title run that earned her most valuable player honors Saturday. In addition, Dales was just named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-America Women's Basketball team and was chosen the Verizon Academic All-America Team Member of the Year.
"I'm very thrilled for the opportunity to be named a Kodak All-American," said Dales. "I think it says a lot about our team to have two players as finalists for All-America honors. I'm flattered that we have been chosen as two of the top six players in our district and I would love to repeat as a Kodak All-American.
"Oklahoma has an awesome team and we're the players we are because of the people who surround us. We are surrounded by great players and great coaches and as a result LaNeishea and I have been able to prosper at the University of Oklahoma in the past four years."
Caufield, one of the top defenders in the nation, is right there with Dales in scoring as she averages 17.1 points per game and pockets a team-best 2.8 steals per game. The Oklahoman also has paced the Sooners in scoring 13 times this season including nine 20-plus point performances. The three-time All-Big 12 second teamer also averages 5.0 rebounds and nails 86.7 percent of her free throws, an OU school record.
"We have one of the best backcourts in the nation," said Caufield. "I'm very proud to be a finalist and excited to be among this group of elite basketball players. It's a real honor to receive this individual attention but I would rather win a national championship."