No. 22 OU Hits the Road to Face No. 25 DePaul
MONDAY'S GAME BASICS
The No. 22/21 Sooners hit the road for the first time during the 2017-18 season on Monday as they face No. 25/20 DePaul. Monday's matchup marks the first-meeting between the two teams since 2014 and the first regular-season contest since 2006.
ON THE AIR
The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network with Brian Brinkley and McKenna Treece calling the action.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Monday's matchup marks the third meeting between OU and DePaul in series history with the teams splitting the two previous contests. In their last matchup, the Sooners and Blue Demons set the NCAA Tournament record for most combined points in a postseason game (204) as DePaul edged OU, 104-100, in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
• The Sooners won their season opener over Belmont, 96-73, by limiting one of the nation's best 3-point shooting percentage teams from a year ago to a .241 clip (7-of-29) from deep. OU will need a simiilar performance against DePaul after the Blue Demons finished the 2016-17 season ranked fifth in Division I with 327 3-pointers made. OU and DePaul are one of 11 teams in Division I to make 200-plus 3-pointers in each of the last seven seasons.
• OU's starting five all scored in double figures in Friday's victory to over Belmont. It marked the first time since Jan. 2, 2013 against West Virginia that all five OU starters scored in double figures. Senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis recorded her 11th career double-double with 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting, while pulling down 12 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
• The Sooners completed the 2016-17 season with a 23-10 overall record (13-5 Big 12; third place) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament (No. 6 seed) for the 18th consecutive year. The Sooners return three starters from last year's squad: graduate student guard Maddie Manning (12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg); senior guard Gabbi Ortiz (8.9 ppg, 3.7 apg) and senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis (11.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg).
• The Sooners enter the 2017-18 season ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll. The Sooners check in at No. 21 in the USA Today Preseason Poll. OU is No. 22 in the Associated Press Poll. The Sooners have been ranked in the AP Poll for 39 consecutive weeks (tied for the 10th-longest active streak in the country).
• For the first time since the 2005-06 season, OU will play six or more non-conference games away from home.
• The Sooners will travel to each time zone in the continental U.S. to play a game this season: West Virginia (Eastern), multiple games starting with Monday night's matchup at DePaul (Central), Colorado State (Mountain) and Oregon (Pacific).
LaNesia Williams scored 10 points against Belmont in her first start since 2015.
GAME ONE RECAP: BELMONT
• On the night when Courtney Paris' No. 3 was raised to the rafters, Vionise Pierre-Louis paid her tribute with a double-double as No. 22/21 Oklahoma defeated Belmont, 96-73, in its season opener at Lloyd Noble Center. Pierre-Louis had game-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds to earn 11th career double-double, Maddie Manning scored 17 and LaNesia Williams had 10 as the Sooners led wire-to-wire in the victory over the Bruins. The Sooners dominated the paint, outscoring Belmont by a 58-28 margin, while recording 22 second-chance points. OU committed just nine turnovers in the win.
• Both teams took the same number of shots, but OU made 10 more, shooting 50 percent from the field on the night while holding Belmont to just 36 percent. The victory gave OU its 19th win in its last 20 home openers at Lloyd Noble Center, while improving to 29-15 all-time in season-opening games.
• DePaul returns nine letterwinners from last year's team that finished its season with a 27-8 record after falling to Mississippi State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Demons are led by Doug Bruno, in his 32nd season as head coach. Under Bruno, the Blue Demons have appeared in 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
• Junior Ashton Millender leads returners with 12.8 points per game. Senior Amarah Coleman returns after averaging 11.2 points per game and leading the Blue Demon in steals during the 2016-17 season. Senior Lauren Prochaska led the Big East and ranked 22nd in Divison I in assists to turnover-ratio.
OU returns home to face SMU on Friday at 7 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Friday's game will be the first matchup between the Sooners and Mustangs since Nov. 13, 2006.