Showdown Sunday at the LNC

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 16, 2013
 Preseason WNIT: No. 5 Louisvillle at No. 11 Oklahoma | Sunday, Nov. 17 | 3 p.m. CT
 Live Webcast  CBS Sports Network
 Thad Anderson & Ceal Barry
 Radio  KOKC 1520 AM/KREF 1400 AM
 Toby Rowland & Colton Coale
 Postgame Media
 Buy Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office | 1-800-456-4668
 Live Stats
 Pregame Info  Game Notes (PDF)

NORMAN, Okla. -- It the second time Oklahoma and Louisville have met. It’s the second time a lot is on the line.

The No. 11 Sooners host the No. 5 Cardinals Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Preseason WNIT Championship Game at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.  Louisville shocked the women’s basketball world with a win over Baylor in the Oklahoma City Regional to advance to the Final Four, which is exactly the place these teams last met.

Nyeshia Stevenson’s 3-point attempt rimmed out as the buzzer sounded in Louisville’s 61-59 victory in the 2009 national semifinal.  That matchup ushered in two of the rising powerhouses of college basketball.  Now they meet again with another trophy awaiting the victory.

“They’re very, very experienced. They’re physical. They’re athletic,” OU head coach Sherri Coale said of Louisville. “They know who they are and played towards their strengths. They have a lot of movement on offense, a lot of aggression.”

Louisville dominated rebounding in its 88-67 Preseason WNIT Semifinal win over No. 14 LSU, grabbing 45 to its opponent’s 33.

“They attack the offensive glass and our inability to stop that was exposed Friday versus Gonzaga. We’ve got to improve on that quickly.”

Conversely, Gonzaga hung around with Oklahoma in the Sooners’ 82-78 win thanks to 19 offensive rebounds that translated to 19 second-chance points. Oklahoma then survived losing its starting point guard Morgan Hook to an ankle injury and winning the game at the free-throw line in the final minute.

“The good is our collective resolve to have that kind of play from a mental standpoint this early in the year. It’s huge. For us to hold it together for the final few minutes of the game with our starting point guard on the bench was huge. Weather all kinds of foul trouble and not really get damaged in the product that we put on the floor or with our momentum or mentality. Everything just stayed even-keeled. I think that speaks volumes about our team’s maturity.”

Maturity proved to step in quickly after the game as well.

“They were obviously very attentive to blocking out the next day in practice. They were very accountable of one another, where we, as coaches, didn’t have to do it. They are better at defense than they think; they realize it’s just not finishing possessions. They are pretty focused.”

For OU, the tables are turned as an opponent with Final Four experience comes into the Lloyd Noble Center as the favorite.  In the past few years, the Sooners took everyone’s best shot. Now they have to give there’s.

“I don’t think they can get too hyped this time of year. For our guys, honestly, I don’t know how much they look at it like that team was in the Final Four. They sort of draw a curtain and see it as a new year. I think it is more about how we see ourselves than how we see Louisville.”

See you Sunday at 3 p.m.

 Projected Starting Lineups
10 Morgan Hook
5-10 | SR | Lowell, Ark.
      23 Shoni Schimmel
5-10 | SR | Mission, Ore.
 10.0 4.0 7.0   9.3 4.0 6.7 
3  Aaryn Ellenberg
5-7 | SR | Las Vegas, Nev.
       21 Bria Smith 
5-10 | JR | Massapequa, N.Y.
19.7   3.7 2.0   11.3 4.7 2.3
 24 Sharane Campbell 
5-10 | JR | Spencer, Okla.
Antonita Slaughter
6-1 | SR | Louisville, Ky.
15.7  5.7  0.3     13.5 5.0 0.0 
1 Nicole Kornet 
6-1 | SO | Lantana, Texas
      31 Asia Taylor
6-1 | SR | Columbus, Ohio
3.7  5.7   0.3   7.0 7.0 1.0
4  Nicole Griffin 
6-6 | SR | Milwaukee, Wis.
       00 Sara Hammond
6-2 | JR | Mt. Vernon, Ky.
10.0  8.3  0.3    3.5 3.5  1.0

Cheer on the OU Women’s Basketball team as they play in the Preseason WNIT Championship Game Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. As a thank you for your fan support, head coach Sherri Coale is sharing her secret code with you for $3 tickets* to the game!

All tickets include a collectable OU Basketball Bobblehead with purchase!

To purchase your tickets please follow the steps below:

1. Scroll over the TICKETS header at and select ORDER ONLINE.
2. Click the ENTER PROMO CODE link on the top part of the screen.
3. Enter “SECRETSALE” in the promotional code box.

Please add to your safe e-mail list as all tickets will be sent to your e-mail as a print at home option.

To claim your bobblehead on game day present your ticket at the OU Marketing table located in the South Concourse between sections S4 and S6. Bobbleheads will be available for pick up starting one and a half hours before tip off through the start of halftime.

Don’t miss out on this secret sale as tickets are limited and are going fast! Deadline to order is Saturday, Nov. 16, at midnight!

*Tickets are subject to availability.

• Oklahoma was voted the Big 12’s preseason favorite, earning five of 10 first-place votes by coaches. Aaryn Ellenberg was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team and is on watch lists for the Wade, Wooden and Naismith Awards.

• Senior Morgan Hook suffered an ankle sprain late in OU’s win over Gonzaga on Nov. 17. Hook suffered a dislocated thumb (right hand) and missed the first exhibition game. Redshirt freshman Maddie Manning’s season ended a second-consecutive year with a torn ACL (left knee).
• The Sooners advanced to their 10th NCAA Regional Semifinal game, and sixth in the last eight seasons, with a 78-73 first-round win over Central Michigan and 85-72 second-round win over UCLA. OU competed in its 16th NCAA Tournament, and 14th consecutive, the nation’s seventh longest active streak and 13th longest in history. Oklahoma was a No. 6 seed for the third consecutive year.
• OU suffered season-ending injuries to four players, including three starters before conference play began in 2012-13. OU added two volleyball players to its roster at mid-semester. Still the Sooners advanced to their 10th Sweet 16 Appearance in program history, the ninth under Sherri Coale.
• Aaryn Ellenberg set OU’s single-season record for 3-pointers made with 115 as a junior. Ellenberg made two 3-pointers against West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament to match and then pass Erin Higgins (2003-07) for Oklahoma’s career record, now 296. Now a senior, Ellenberg is chasing the NCAA record of 392 set by Kansas State’s Laurie Koehn.
• In 2012-13, the Sooners were 19-0 when leading at halftime; 4-12 when tied or trailing; 23-1 when their field goal percentage is higher than their opponent’s; and 20-1 when holding their opponent to 40 percent or lower field goal shooting.

Oklahoma is in its third Preseason WNIT Championship game in four appearances in the tournament. OU last finished runner-up in the 2008 Preseason WNIT when it lost to North Carolina, 80-79, at the buzzer in Norman.

1994-95: Lost in first round, at Montana, 76-64
2005-06: Runner-up, lost at No. 7 Connecticut, 82-62
2008-09: Runner-up, lost vs. No. 4 North Carolina, 80-79

First Round      Preseason WNIT     First Round
Oklahoma           Louisville
Stetson  Oklahoma        Louisville Loyola Chicago
Wichita State  Wichita State        Quinnipac Quinnipac
IPFW  Second Round  Semifinal  Championship  Semifinal  Second Round North Carolina A&T
Tennessee-Martin    Oklahoma vs. Gonzaga  Oklahoma vs. Louisville Louisville vs. LSU    St. Joseph's
Georgia State  UT Martin        St. Joseph's Mount St. Mary's
Gonzaga   Gonzaga        LSU LSU
Idaho           Stephen F. Austin



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