Sooners and No. 20 Blue Demons Clash on Sunday
SUNDAY'S GAME BASICS
Oklahoma hosts No. 20/17 DePaul on Sunday in its second matchup against a ranked opponent this season. The meeting marks the second straight season OU (3-5) has faced a ranked non-conference opponent inside Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners defeated then No. 16 USF, 79-74, at home last season.
Sunday's matchup will be the third meeting between OU and DePaul in the last 13 months. The Sooners and Blue Demons (6-3) played an overtime thriller last season in Chicago as DePaul topped OU, 111-108. Both teams met in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament with OU falling to the Blue Demons, 90-79.
ON THE AIR
Sunday's game will be televised on the Fox Sports Southwest with Chad McKee (play-by-play), Dan Hughes (analyst) and Jessica Coody (sideline) on the call. The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KREF 99.3 FM/1400 AM in Norman; TuneIn Radio App) with Brian Brinkley calling the action.
Tickets are available for $8 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. OU students will be admitted free with a valid school I.D.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• For the third time in 391 days, Oklahoma will face DePaul as the Sooners host the Blue Demons on Sunday inside Lloyd Noble Center. The only opponent OU has faced more during that time span is TCU (three meetings last season). Sunday's matchup will be the first meeting between the two teams in Norman since 2006.
• The Sooners have scored at least 100 points against DePaul in three of the four meetings with the Blue Demons. OU fell in overtime, 111-108, last season in Chicago to the Blue Demons in one of the highest scoring games in the country. In a rematch, DePaul edged the Sooners, 90-79, in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
• Oklahoma's top six scorers are in their first or second year of Division I basketball. Four of the six are freshmen. Freshman guard Taylor Robertson ranks second nationally among Division I freshmen with 18.4 points per game this season. Robertson, along with freshmen Madi Williams (13.4) and Jessi Murcer (13.0) all rank inside the top 15 in the Big 12 in points per game.
• Freshman guard Taylor Robertson has knocked down 37 3-pointers, which is the second-most treys hit by a single player in the country this season. She also ranks second nationally with 4.68 3-pointers per contest. The freshman has scored at least 20 points in four of OU's eight games this year and already ranks ninth on the Sooners' freshman record list for 3-pointers made in a single-season. The McPherson, Kan., native was named Big 12 Freshman of the Week on Monday for the third time this season after averaging 25.0 points per game against New Mexico and Auburn.
• Freshman guard/forward Madi Williams is one of three Big 12 players to average a double-double so far this season. Williams is averaging 13.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest through eight games this year. Williams is sixth nationally in rebounding among freshmen.
PREVIEWING CENTRAL ARKANSAS
• DePaul, the preseason favorite to win the Big East title, enters Sunday's game with a 6-3 overall record after defeating Northwestern, 76-60, on Wednesday. All three of the Blue Demons' losses have come to ranked opponents (No. 1 UConn, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 14 Syracuse).
• The Blue Demons lead the nation in three-pointers per game, averaging 13.4 made treys per contest. DePaul ranks second in Division I in free throw percentage (.838) and 17th nationally in scoring offense (84.1 points per game).
• Senior guard Ashton Millender leads the Blue Demons in scoring at 14.3 points per game and ranks sixth among Division I players with 31 3-pointers made this season. Junior forward Chante Stonewall is averaging 14.0 points per contest and 7.3 rebounds per game.
• The Blue Demons are led by head coach Doug Bruno, who has a 674-337 record at DePaul. Bruno has led DePaul to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Shaina Pellington scored 16 of her team-high 18 points in the second half during Wednesday's victory over Central Arkansas.
GAME EIGHT RECAP: CENTRAL ARKANSAS
• Oklahoma defeated Central Arkansas, 65-52, Wednesday inside Lloyd Noble Center. Sophomore guard Shaina Pellington led the Sooners with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The sophomore scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half to propel OU to its eighth straight home win dating back to last season.
• Freshman guard Jessi Murcer poured in 10 points in the fourth quarter and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to help the Sooners pull away late from Central Arkansas. Murcer finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. Freshman forward Madi Williams added 12 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes of action, while Taylor Robertson scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
• The Sooners led by one at halftime but relied on Pellington and Murcer in the second half. Pellington scored 12 of her 18 points in the third quarter, knocking down 5-of-6 from the field in the frame. Murcer scored 10 points in the final 3:35 against the Sugar Bears to help OU pull away late.
• OU posted a .464 field goal percentage and limited Central Arkansas to a .310 clip from the floor. The Sooners limited Central Arkansas to just 2-for-15 (.133) shooting from beyond the arc. On the glass, OU outrebounded UCA by a 43-37 margin as Mandy Simpson led the Sooners with eight rebounds. Ijeoma Odimgbe also chipped in seven rebounds and finished with a career-high four blocks.
• Taylor Robertson has quickly made her mark as one of the top 3-point shooters in the country so far this season. She has also won Big 12 Freshman of the Week three times in the first four weeks of the season.
• Through eight games, Robertson has four 20-point scoring games. The freshman finished with a career-high 27 points at Auburn last Sunday. Robertson knocked down seven 3-pointers in back-to-back games at New Mexico and Auburn, the first Sooner to accomplish that feat. She has scored at least 10 points in each games this season.
• Robertson made at least two 3-pointers in seven straight games to start the season, the second-best streak in school history (Aaryn Ellenberg made multiple 3-pointers in nine straight games to begin the 2010-11 season). Robertson ranks second nationally in 3-pointers per game (4.6) and in 3-point field goals made (37).
• Robertson's eight 3-pointers against WKU in the Sooners' season opener set an OU single-game record for a freshman, besting the previous mark of seven held by Morgan Hook (Stephen F. Austin, 2010-11) and Derica Wyatt (UT-Arlington, 2013-14). Robertson's eight treys were one shy of tying the OU single-game record. The McPherson, Kan., native is just one of OU six players to make eight or more 3-pointers in a single game since 2000.
• Robertson already ranks ninth all-time on OU's freshman record list with 37 made 3-pointers. Ellenberg holds the OU freshman record with 94 treys in 2010-11.
OFFENSE SHOWS PROMISE
• Freshman guard/forward Madi Williams has made an immediate impact for the Sooners offensively and on the glass. She has recorded 10 rebounds in four games and is averaging a double-double so far this season with 13.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. The Fort Worth, Texas, product ranks sixth nationally among Division I freshmen in rebounds per game.
• Williams recorded her second double-double of the season at Auburn last Sunday, finishing with 10 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Williams has four games with at least 10-plus rebounds this year. The freshman is tied for third in the Big 12 with 10.4 rebounds per game this season.
The Sooners will have a 10-day break before hosting No. 1/1 UConn on Wednesday, Dec. 19 inside Lloyd Noble Center. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. OU and UConn are meeting in Norman for the first time since 2012.