March 17, 2000

Sooners tip off at 6 p.m. (EST) inside the Purdue Mackey Arena Saturday in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The University of Oklahoma women's basketball team makes its first NCAA Championship appearance since 1995 on Saturday, March 18 when the No. 5 seed Sooners face the No. 12 seed Brigham Young in the NCAA East Region first round action at the Mackey Arena on the Campus of Purdue University.

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale and Sooners will face the Cougars at 5:00 p.m. (Central Time) Saturday afternoon in Lafayette, Ind. The action can be heard live on 1400 AM KNOR and 1490 AM KOKC radio and on the internet at www.soonersports.com. The game will not be televised. Host Purdue, a five seed, and Dartmouth, a 13 seed, will tip-off 30 minutes following the conclusion of the OU/BYU opening game.

Saturday's winners will square off in the East Region second round action on Monday, March 20 at the Mackey Arena in an 7:05 p.m. (Central) contest will be televised by NCAA Productions. The game will be available on pay-per-view to Cox Communications digital subscribers. The cost would be $5.95 for all four games that night. The games would air on channels 601-608 (city) and 771-778 (suburbs).

The winner of Monday's game advances to the East Region Championship in Richmond, Vir., at Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University on Saturday and Monday, March 25 & 27.

Oklahoma (23-7) is coming off a disappointing showing at the 2000 Big 12 Tournament, after earning its first ever first round bye. The Sooners were eliminated from tournament action in the quarterfinals with a 71-68 loss to Red River rival Texas in Kansas City, Mo.

BYU (22-8) finished the Mountain West Conference Tournament in second place, losing to Utah, 61-47. Oklahoma and BYU have met two times previously, with the last meeting in 1990. The all-time series is tied at one a piece. The only common opponent between the two teams this year was Nebraska. Both teams defeated the Cornhuskers.

OU is led by senior All-American Phylesha Whaley and sophomore guards Stacey Dales and LaNeishea Caufield. The trio average double digits in scoring with Kodak All-American finalist Whaley leading the way with 20.6 points a game, followed by second team All-Big 12 selections Caufield's 14.5 and Dales' 12.8 ppg. In the most recent NCAA statistics, Whaley ranked 14th nationally in scoring and Caufield ranked 24th for best free throw percentage, shooting 84.7 percent (155-of-183)

As a team, the Sooners rank No. 8 nationally in field goal percentage (48.0), No. 17 in rebounding margin (+6.7) and No. 12 in scoring (78.9).

Other leading scorers include freshmen Caton Hill and Jadrea Seeley with 9.7 and 7.7 points per game, respectively. Hill also ranks second on the team in rebounds with 7.3 boards per game.