Dec. 31, 2001
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OKLAHOMA OPENS BIG 12 PLAY BY FACING FIVE TOP 25 TEAMS
The day after the Oklahoma football team plays in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, the third-ranked OU women's basketball team (10-1) host No. 16/14 Colorado (10-3) on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2002, at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., at 7 p.m. Wednesday's game is the Big 12 opener for both programs. OU will face five top 25 teams plus host Oklahoma State in Bedlam in their first six games of Big 12 action.
Following the Colorado game, OU travels to No. 9/11 Texas Tech (8-2) on Jan. 5, host OSU (7-5) on Jan. 9, journey to No. 7/8 Baylor (12-0) on Jan. 12, at No. 4/4 Iowa State (12-0) on Jan. 15 and host No. 21/20 Texas (8-2) on Jan. 19.
Sooner fans may listen to the broadcast by tuning to KOMA-AM (1520) where Brian Brinkley will call play-by-play and Tara DeGiusti serve as the color analyst for the OU radio network. In addition, the broadcast can be heard over the world wide web at www.soonersports.com.
Wednesday is the 44th meeting between the two teams. Colorado enters the contest holding a solid 31-12 edge over the Sooners. However, the Buffs have lost their last three games when playing the Sooners including a shoot-out during the 2001 Big 12 Tournament semifinal game that resulted in an 102-93 victory for OU in Kansas City.
In that game, Oklahoma established two Big 12 Tournament records and 18 OU Big 12 Tournament records. OU set the record for most points scored with 102 points and most three-pointers made with 14 treys. Caton Hill also established an OU tournament record for most points and rebounds with her game highs of 23 points and 11 boards. Rosalind Ross and Sunny Hardeman also improved the Sooners' record for most 3s made in a single tournament game with five each. In addition, junior Stacey Dales dished out an OU tournament best nine assists.
Oklahoma (10-1) saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end when its non-conference schedule concluded with an 86-72 loss to top-ranked Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Conn., on Dec. 22. The Sooners enjoyed a five-day Christmas break before returning to practice on Dec. 27.
OU is healthy and ready to tip-off its 2002 Big 12 schedule as Oklahoma has four players averaging 10-plus points per game and six players playing at least 25 minutes per contest. The Sooners are lead by senior All-America candidates LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada). Caufield leads the team with 20.2 ppg and 2.3 steals per game. She also sports an impressive 91.0 free throw accuracy (61-of-67), hitting her last 38 attempts. Dales tops the Sooners with 5.0 assists per game. Dales' 15.6 points per game follows Caufield in the scoring category. She also ranks second on the team in steals (2.1 pg) and field goal percentage (54.6%). Junior Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) and senior Rosalind Ross' (Milwaukee, Wis.) have contributed 12.9 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. Freshman Dionnah Jackson (St. Louis, Mo.) comes off the bench to bring a steady present to the floor as she averages 6.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apg and 2.0 spg. Senior Jamie Talbert's (Elkhart, Kan.) top all Sooners with 6.0 rebounds per game and boast a team-best 55.7 field goal percentage.
As a team, Oklahoma has shot 47.8 percent from the field, 71.2 percent from the foul line and 39.1 percent from the arc. The Sooners have also outrebounded their opponents, 38.8-35.5, and dished out 189-125 more assists.
Colorado is coming off of a solid 86-72 win on No. 22 LSU Saturday night at the Triple Crown Sports Classic hosted by Big 12 member Texas Tech in Lubbock. That win marked the first victory over a top 25 program this season for the Buffs.
The Buffs own an overall record of 10-3, won four straight games and opens its league schedule against the Sooners Wednesday. The two games that CU has lost have been at the hands of then No. 3 Vanderbilt (72-51) and No. 15 and state rival Colorado State (81-69). Colorado is lead by seniors Mandy Nightingale and Jenny Roulier. The Buffs backcourt average 27.7 and 7.5 points per game, respectively.
Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987) has become one of the most talked about and respected head coaches in NCAA Division I Women's College Basketball. She has taken a 5-22 program (1996-97) and turned it into a nationally-ranked 28-6 program in five short seasons. Coale was named the eighth head women's basketball coach in OU history on April 6, 1996. The Big 12 Coach of the Year for the past two seasons has directed the Sooners to the program's first back-to-back Big 12 regular season titles and NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Oklahoma has compiled an overall record of 53-14 and a 28-4 mark in conference play the past two seasons. Since Coale's arrival, OU is 91-70.
Ceal Barry (Kentucky, 1977) is one of the most well known people in the state of Colorado. Barry has been the head coach for the University of Colorado women's basketball program for 19 years and was an assistant coach for the 1996 gold medal winning U.S. Olympic team. Prior to accepting her current position in 1983, she served a four-year tenure as the University of Cincinnati's head coach (1980-1983). Barry has guided 10 teams to 20-plus win seasons and nine teams to post season action at Colorado. Four CU teams have also won conference titles, all in the Big Eight. Recently Barry coached the 2001 Big 12 All-Stars to a perfect 8-0 record and was a finalist for the 2001 Naismith Coach of the Year, so was Oklahoma's Sherri Coale. She was named the 1995 Big Eight Coach of the Year after going through the conference untouched with a 14-0 record and an impressive 30-3 overall mark.
SOONERS IN BIG 12 OPENERS
Oklahoma is 4-1 in Big 12 Conference openers. The Sooners made a statement a year ago when they handed Colorado an 89-69 loss on its home court, while the OU football team was winning a national championship in Miami.
ANOTHER SOLID BACKCOURT BATTLE
For the second consecutive game, the Oklahoma backcourt of senior All-American candidates Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) and LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) will face another solid duo in Colorado's Mandy Nightingale and Jenny Roulier. The Sooners' backcourt contributes 35.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 4.4 steals per game while the Buffs account for 27.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Dales and Caufield have a hand in 51.9 percentage of the team's points while Nightingale and Roulier contributes 44.9 percent of CU's points
SUMMER TEAMMATES FACE OFF
U.S. Basketball named OU junior Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) and Colorado's senior Jenny Roulier to the 12-team roster that assisted in winning a gold medal at World University Games in Beijing, China.
Senior LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) along with Mandy Nightingale, Sabrina Scott of Colorado went to Austria and Germany with the Big 12 All-Stars. CU's Head Coach Ceal Barry directed the 12-member roster to an 8-0 record.
OKLAHOMAN RETURNS HOME FOR FINAL GAME AGAINST SOONERS
Sapulpa, Oklahoma, native Mandy Nightingale, a starting point guard for Colorado, will play Oklahoma for the final time inside the Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Nightingale is 1-3 when playing the Sooners. She averages 11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game when facing her home state.
SOONERS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS
Oklahoma is 18-73 went playing top 25 teams. The Sooners are 2-39 when facing teams ranked in the top 10 and 1-12 against teams among the top five.
SOONERS' TRIPLE THREAT
Oklahoma's trio of senior All-Americans Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) and LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) and junior All-Big 12 second teamer Caton Hill (Ada, Okla.) have produced 59.0 percent of Oklahoma's scoring this season.
In five of the last six games, Dales, Caufield and Hill have accounted for more than 60 percent of the team's total points. The trio combined for a season-high 69 percent of the team's 91 points against Illinois on Dec. 16, 2001.
The most points that the trio has ever been responsible for in a single game was 75 percent against Colorado, in Boulder last year (Jan. 3, 2001) to open Big 12 play. They scored 67 of OU's 89 points in OU's 89-69 win over the Buffs. In that game, Hill produced game highs of 25 points and 15 rebounds, while teammates Caufield and Dales contributed 22 and 20 points, respectively. Dales also shot an impressive 90.0 percent from the field, hitting nine of 10 shots, in 25 minutes of action.
CAUFIELD HEADING FOR NCAA RECORD
Senior LaNeishea Caufield (Ada, Okla.) has currently made 38 consecutive free throws. Earlier this season, she claimed Oklahoma's and the Big 12 Conference's record for most made free throws in a career. She also improved her own school record for most consecutive made free throws with 38 against Connecticut.
The Oklahoman strives to match the NCAA record of 60 straight free throws made by Ginny Boyle of Richmond (Va.) in 1992. Boyle also holds the NCAA career record for most consecutive free throws made with 66 in 1991-1992.