Dec. 21, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
• On the game:
“I was proud of our effort.  We were a little bit cold early, but we kept playing hard and creating opportunities for easy baskets.  I thought the beginning of the second half, the first four minutes, were about as well as we possibly could play.  We executed; we made open shots; we forced Tulsa to turn it over and took advantage of it.  We were good about not fouling, disciplining ourselves there early not to foul.  All in all, it’s great to be able to put everyone on the floor and get significant minutes for everybody in this last game before the holiday break.”

• On forward Nyeshia Stevenson’s gifts as a bench player:
“She’s just been terrific, and I think the biggest thing is that she has embraced her role coming off the bench and being able to effect the game.  She is just a walking, talking reflection of how important that first guy off of the bench can be and what an intricate role bench players can play in your team’s performance.  She has sparked us and led us in scoring on a number of occasions coming off of the bench and she’s just using her gifts.  She’d probably tell you I haven’t said that enough in three years -- she is using her gifts. “

• On the motivation the comeback against California has given the team:
“I think it’s really hard to put a disclaimer on what that game means or could mean at this point.  I do think that in special seasons, there is always that moment, that turning point, and you don’t always know it when you’re in the middle of it.  But most of the time when you get beyond it, you look back and you go, ‘that was the deal.’  I think we’ll draw from that 27-point comeback for a long time in a lot of different ways.  I think there is some momentum.  I think we would have loved to have played them three days later, not have finals week and all of the other things going on in our world.  I still think they capitalized on it by the performance today, and hopefully it will carry on throughout the break.”

Oklahoma Junior Guard Nyeshia Stevenson
• On her game:
“I think that is what it is, using my gifts. Coach (Coale) has been nagging on me, ‘use your gifts, use your gifts.’ So I guess I have finially got it and am starting to do the easy things.”

Oklahoma Senior Forward Ashley Paris
• On the post players game:
“I think that we watched some film on transition during the week and in the Cal game in the first half, we didn’t really run well and their bigs were our running us. So Coach just talked to us about picking it up and getting down the court. I tried to focus on that and with a guard like Danielle (Robinson) its very easy to get eight points if you run.”

Oklahoma Sophomore Guard Danielle Robinson
• On team’s effort:
“For me, I have to push the ball even more because I know that they are making a greater effort to run the floor. Ashley (Paris) has been runing the floor extremely well this year and I think that is what contributes to my assists. So I think there is a consious effort to make note of it and be aware of it.”

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Tulsa Head Coach Charlene Thomas-Swinson
• On the game:
“We knew everything we were going to be faced with, in a No. 6 Oklahoma ball club. They definitely did not fall short of what we expected. I think the one thing that I thought they did very well was running the floor in transition. They run the floor better than I had seen them in the games we had the opportunity to scout. From a team’s moral standpoint you want to be able to try and be as competitive as you can against a ball club like Oklahoma. I tell you what, Courtney Paris’ presence and Ashley Paris running the floor was huge. You knew you were in a world of hurt when you see Coutney Paris go behind the back at half court and playing the ball with guard tendencies. I tried to work as hard as I could to keep the morale up of our players, and we tried to fight back. But again it was too little too late.”

• On the play of Larrissa Williams against the Paris twins:
“She started playing hesitant. In the end, when you play against an All-American, you want to be able to have a measuring stick to see if she can take it to her. She took it to her early and it wore her down. Again -- the physical play in the post -- she got to the point where she was getting the ball in but she was kicking it back out instead of truly looking for her opportunities to score the ball. It becomes a struggle for us when she is not trying to score the basketball.”

• On the fast play of Danielle Robinson:
“My hats off to Danielle. She has definitly upped her level of play, in reference to being a floor leader and running the offense. She has stepped up big. It is one of the things we wanted to try and slow down because of her quickness. Knowing that Whitney Hand, a 3-point shooter, and (Nyeshia) Stevenson were on the court we wanted to try to pack the floor.”

• On the production Tulsa received from their bench:
“That was one of the more encouraging things. To be able to get 17 points from our bench. Also, Savannah Hamilton coming in and knocking down open shots that she had. As well as Tiffany Cousinard coming in the game in the post and being able to give us something. Of course she ends up fouling out,  but I couldn’t say anything from that standpoint. I was very pleased to how aggresive she played. She was not playing passive ball.”