Rules Changes for Next Season The NCAA announced Thursday its Playing Rules Oversight Panel had approved several recommended rules changes for college basketball.
The women's 3-point line will move back a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches next season, the same distance the men have used since 2008-09. In both the men's and women's games, the terminology for fouls will be changed to match the NBA. Intentional fouls will now be called Flagrant 1 and flagrant fouls will be called Flagrant 2. The NCAA has also approved adding an arc three feet from the basket, inside which a defender cannot take a charge.
Women's teams will also test a 10-second half-court rule in exhibition games next season.
The men's and women's basketball rules committees recommended the changes earlier this month.
Tuesday, May 24
Women's Hoops Scores Perfect in APR The NCAA released the multi-year Academic Progress Rates for Division I teams Tuesday afternoon and the OU women's basketball team's four-year APR (from 2007-2010) received the highest possible score of 1,000. OU was among 14 of 343 Division I women's basketball programs to achieve the mark, and one of two -- the other being DePaul -- ranked in the final Top 25 poll to receive the perfect score.
Since multi-year APR reports began in 2006, the Sooner women's basketball team has improved every season and has never been below the penalty threshold of 925.
Additionally, coach APRs were also released with Sherri Coale also garnering 1,000 rating for the 2009-10 academic year, the third perfect score in seven years of data. In six of the seven years reports have been made, Coale's APR has been above the national average in Division I women's hoops.
WNBA Training Camps Begin Today Sunday is the first day of WNBA training camps and four Sooners are competing to make the 11-woman rosters for when the regular season tips off June 3.
Danielle Robinson was the top overall pick of the San Antonio Silver Stars in the 2011 WNBA Draft, while Abi Olajuwon, Ashley Paris and Courtney Paris all look to continue their professional basketball careers domestically after spending the winter overseas.
Abi Olajuwon was picked up by the Indiana Fever, Ashley Paris signed with the Atlanta Dream and Courtney Paris is with the Los Angeles Sparks after a year out of the league.
Keep track of your favorite Sooners by visiting their respective team pages or follow them on Twitter:
Onward and Upward
Congratulations to all of the 2011 University of Oklahoma graduates, including the 138 student-athletes who received degrees this year. For women's basketball, Danielle Robinson earned her Bachelor's in sociology and Carolyn (Winchester) received a Master of Education degree in intercollegiate athletics administration.
Robinson participated in December commencement because she is in San Antonio for WNBA training camp that begins Sunday, May 15.
Four Sooners -- all California natives -- will be competing to make rosters. The group is split all across the country with Robinson, top overall draft pick of the Silver Stars, of course in San Antonio; Ashley Paris with the Atlanta Dream; Courtney Paris with the Los Angeles Sparks and Abi Olajuwon in camp with the Indiana Fever.
Most WNBA teams begin camp with rosters of 15 players that are trimmed to 11 once the season begins. Interleague preseason games begin May 24 when Olajuwon's Indiana Fever visit the Minnesota Lynx. The regular season tips off June 3.
Thursday, May 5
NCAA Proposes NBA-Like Rules Changes for Women's Basketball
From the Associated Press, news has arrived from NCAA basketball committees that they are recommending changes to the restricted arc, flagrant fouls, women's 3-point line and 10-second halfcourt rule. Share your thoughts on these proposed changes on the OU Women's Basketball Facebook Page.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- College basketball could start looking more like the NBA next season.
The NCAA men's and women's basketball rules committees said Wednesday they are recommending the use of a restricted area arc three feet from the basket and changing the terminology of intentional and flagrant fouls.
The women's committee also wants to extend the 3-point line by one foot, to 20 feet, 9 inches, the same distance the men have used since 2008-09. The women's committee also wants to experiment with a 10-second halfcourt rule in closed scrimmages and exhibition games.
The changes must still be approved by the playing rules oversight panel, perhaps as early as next month, before taking effect next season.
"Change is always tough, but we think this will open up some things offensively in the women's game," said women's committee chair Leslie Claybrook, senior associate athletic director at Rice. "The committee had great conversations prior to and during this meeting about the 3-point line. We think this can be a game-changer for women's basketball and open up the inside play as well."
Committee members have studied the 3-point line for years. They said last year's data showed more shots were being taken from longer distances and being made at a higher rate.
It's the other changes that will give college basketball that professional look.
If approved, the arc would be placed three from the basket and would specify where a secondary defender would have to stand to take a charge.
The idea is to eliminate some of the contact in the lane.
"The arc at this distance fits the dimensions of our court," Notre Dame men's coach Mike Brey said. "We feel this is a rule that can help offensive players get to the basket and limit physical play."
Brey said the committee vote to add the restricted arc area, something the men have experimented with in past seasons, was unanimous.
Recommendations also include allowing men's coaches to request replay reviews, and clarifying how double fouls are assessed. If both teams are in the bonus when a double foul is called, the team with the lesser infraction would shoot free throws first. The second team would then shoot its free throws and retain possession of the ball.
The committee also rejected a proposal that would have barred men's coaches from calling timeouts while the ball was still live.
Intentional fouls would now be called Flagrant 1 and flagrant fouls would be called Flagrant 2, the same terms used by the NBA.
Thursday, April 21
One Way Too Early Preseason Top 25 ESPN.com's Charlie Creme presents the first look at a preseason Top 25 that isn't too far of a departure from the final polls of the past season. The Big 12 is well-represented with Oklahoma No. 21 in his eyes. Here's what Creme had to say about Oklahoma:
"Sherri Coale has made of habit of losing All-Americans and maintaining a highly competitive program. She has to do it yet again with the departure of Danielle Robinson. The Sooners are hoping incoming freshman Dashawn Harden can take some of the minutes and replace some of Robinson's speed at the point. Whitney Hand and Aaryn Ellenberg still make OU a potentially deadly perimeter shooting club and both will likely play some point as well. A big leap for 6-3 Joanna McFarland would be a big boost to Oklahoma as it tries to chase Baylor and Texas A&M."
Wednesday, April 13
Robinson Takes Look Back on Career From the season finale of Sooner Basketball with Sherri Coale, OU senior Danielle Robinson looks back on the tools that made her time as a Sooner remarkable.
Tuesday, April 12
Robinson Honored at Student-Athlete Awards Breakfast Though absent while returning from the WNBA Draft, Danielle Robinson took center stage once again as a Sooner.
At Tuesday morning's annual Max Weitzenhoffer Scholar-Athlete Breakfast, Robinson was awarded the Conference Medal, which goes to one male and one female senior to honor career achievement and was also presented to to gymnast Steven Legendre. Robinson also was one of four who received the Athletics Director's Leadership Award along with track and field's Eric Bailey, women's golfer Ellen Mueller and baseball player Elliott Blair.
Saturday, April 9
Sooners Cheer for Special Olympians
Norman High School hosted the Special Olympics Oklahoma Area Championship Saturday morning and the Sooners were there to cheer for their fellow athletes. Head football coach Bob Stoops opened the meet by presenting the special awards to the top athletes, coaches and volunteers. The OU women's basketball team cheered for competitors at the finish line and helped distribute ribbons for the top finishers.
Sooners No. 15 in Final Poll Oklahoma, which finished the season in the Sweet 16 with a 23-12 record, was ranked 15th in the season's final USA Today/ESPN WBCA Coaches' Poll, released Wednesday. Of course, fellow Big 12 member Texas A&M was the overall No. 1 after winning the national championship game Tuesday night, but did not receive all the first-place votes. One coach could not be reached and did not count a ballot and, like the men's final poll, one coach voted for UConn.
Texas A&M (33-5)
Notre Dame (31-8)
Wisconsin-Green Bay (34-2)
North Carolina (28-9)
Miami (Fla.) (28-5)
Ohio State (24-10)
Michigan State (27-6)
Florida State (24-8)
Others receiving votes: Penn State (25-10) 32; West Virginia (24-10) 29; Georgia Tech (24-11) 18; Rutgers (20-13) 13; Houston (26-6) 12; St. John`s (22-11) 10; Temple (24-9) 8; Iowa State (22-11) 7; Northern Iowa (27-6) 4; Dayton (21-12) 3; Iowa (22-9) 2; Louisiana Tech (24-8) 1; Middle Tennessee (23-8) 1.
The USA TODAY/ESPN Board of Coaches is made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. The board for the 2010-11 season: Courtney Banghart, Princeton; Frank Bennett, Lipscomb; Rae Blair, Texas-San Antonio; Matt Bollant, Wisconsin-Green Bay; Nikki Caldwell, UCLA; Matt Corkery, American; Leslie Crane, Western Illinois; Tonya Edwards, Alcorn State; Bill Fennelly, Iowa State; Jose Fernandez, South Florida; Jim Flanery, Creighton; Nell Fortner, Auburn; Susan Robinson Fruchtl, St. Francis (Pa.); LeDawn Gibson, Florida A&M; Tom Hodges, Morehead State; Jim Jabir, Dayton; Joe Mathews, Towson; Lynn Milligan, Rider; Kelly Packard, Ball State, Raegan Pebley, Utah State; Mike Petersen, Wake Forest; Rick Pietri, South Alabama; Gordy Presnell, Boise State; Rick Reeves, Gardner-Webb; Phil Stern, Maryland-Baltimore County; Paul Thomas, Saint Mary's; Sharon Versyp, Purdue; Jaime White, Northern Colorado; Joi Williams, Central Florida; Nancy Wilson, College of Charleston; Jody Wynn, Long Beach State.
Wednesday, March 30
Coale Wraps Up Season Early Wednesday morning, head coach Sherri Coale had a conference call with local media to put a period on another successful year of OU women's basketball. The following are excerpts from that call:
About an up-and-down season:
"For the most part, I think the most frustrating thing for me was that we had that game in our gun chamber all year. That game -- I'm not talking about the good one, I'm talking about the bad one - the one we played against Notre Dame, the one we played against Connecticut, same game we played at Waco earlier this year. We had the game where we lost confidence, where we froze, where we `halfwayed' everything that we did. We couldn't quite sell-out to whether it be the game plan or a particular play. The frustrating part for me was that I wasn't able to purge that game from our system. Other times, I thought we maximized gifts. I thought we played extremely well against Miami, extremely well against Baylor at home, extremely well against A&M at home and in the tournament. I think, just at the end of the day, as coaches we want kids to perform at the top end of their potential every night. And, maybe we went over the top maybe a time or two. But we weren't able to do that every night and that's the frustrating part. A lot of it was a reflection of youth. A lot of it, never being able to get great chemistry due to injuries and people moving in and out of the lineup.
People will get well and people will grow up, and that goes a long way in purging `that game' from our system. As young guys mature and both their approach and ability to sustain concentration. As Whitney's able to practice and we're able to create some sense of confidence and stability there, in terms of reaching out and hanging on to our leader. There are a number of things that I think time will cure. The other part of it is that the other way we work to purge that game out of our system is we do just that -- we work. We get in the gym and compete. We get in the weight room and we compete. We get out on the hills and we compete. We fight, and we figure out how to have that sense of resolve that no situation can take away. I think you can do that. I think you can build that in the offseason and I think this young group will do that."
About assistant coach Stacy Hansmeyer stepping down:
"When you're a mom, you're not supposed to have favorite kids and when you're a coach, you're not supposed to have favorite players. But I'll tell you what; Stacy would have to be at the top of that list. I found her when I was coaching at Norman High School and she was in elementary school. She came to my basketball camp. That's where it started. She just was a kid who always had passion for the game and led us to a state championship at Norman. A couple, actually. It was an amazing experience to coach the kid because she loved to play so much. As coaches, that's our greatest reward, to walk into a gym where a kid cannot just wait to play. She brought that same passion to Connecticut and, ultimately, won a championship there and then came here and helped us take that next step. (Stacy) helped us teach our kids how to have a culture of winning. Her energy was infectious and just really fueled our players. Just incredible intensity on the floor with them. (She) is just a key player in this program we've built. It has her personality and her touch and her imprint all over it and it always will. We will always treasure that and she will always be a special part of this family, not to mention my own personal family."
About Danielle Robinson:
"Danielle's had a phenomenal career and I don't know that any of us, when I found her in that gym in Oregon and just saw this little fast kid ... saw a WBCA All-American and back-to-back Final Fours through her leadership at the point guard position. I don't know that was necessarily immediately evident. But once she got here, we saw her approach, her passion for the game, her desire to learn and improve on a daily basis, her ability to take criticism and correction and turn it into positive results. You just don't know that stuff until kids get here. We quickly found out how special she was. She expanded her game; she got better and really improved in her skill set. She's been remarkable. Until you don't have a kid whose hands you can put the ball in at the end of the game and say, `go make a play,' I don't know that you can really value that as much. I've had that and will miss it desperately. I will miss the way that she worked every day. D-Rob was a fantastic practice player. Probably the greatest legacy aside from the winning that this senior class did is probably the way they approached practice. It's been a long time since I've had a senior class who approached practice which such diligence and consistency as these guys did."
About Carlee Roethlisberger:
"Carlee was just a great kid to coach. She was a fantastic practice player every single day. She was a key communicator for us. She was willing to dive on the floor; there was not any play that she was not willing to try to make. That made her instrumental, especially down the stretch. Taking charges, getting long rebounds, blocking out guys who were bigger than her -- she had a tough challenge playing that 4 position and I thought she handled it well. Obviously, we'll miss that intensity and desire from Carlee."
About Whitney Hand:
"I think what you saw in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament were vintage Whitney Hand: grit my teeth; play through it; find a way to make plays, offensive rebounds, penetrations, open 3's. She just gritted it out. I don't know a better way to phrase it. If you asked me what percent she played at this year, physically, I would say she was at about 60 percent and I think that might be generous on some nights. I think you could tell that in the final game against Notre Dame that it had caught up with her, that what she had expended in the first and second rounds had taken its toll. Her movement was really limited. I hate that for her because it affects every part of your game when you can't get your body to go where you want it to. But for her contributions, she's a presence kid. When she walks out on the floor, she has that demeanor that everybody around her thinks we can win. There's no substitute for that. You can put a price tag on it. I think she will be even stronger and have an even greater presence next year as she's able to be more herself. I'm looking forward to her being able to completely enjoy playing again."
About Nicole Griffin:
"I was incredible proud of Nicole's growth over the course of the year. I thought she played valiantly in the final game against Notre Dame and posted good numbers. She's got to get stronger and work on her endurance and change of direction -- all kinds of physical things -- but as far as growing and understanding of the post position, just nuances of the game, she has great instincts. She finished well around the basket, she became more and more aggressive defensively and she just learned. That's probably the best thing can say about her and it's a significant compliment to someone, that she just learned all year. (Nicole) had that unique ability to work on one thing at a time and not become overwhelmed by all she didn't know, but to continually learn things. I think she has a really high ceiling and that this is a pivotal spring and summer for her. I think she can put her position to be one of the best players in our conference and maybe one of the best in the country."
3:26 p.m. -- ND 78, OU 53 (Final) -- A tough way to end her career, but Danielle Robinson goes out with a 40-minute performance. She's been the Iron Woman of the Big 12 the past four years. Today, ending her career with a record start streak and her 116th double-figure scoring game. She leaves OU second all-time in assists to Stacey Dales and second in steals to LaNeisha Caufield. Robinson is just one of four women in college basketball history to total 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals in a career.
An emotional exit for Whitney Hand as well, who battled valiantly throughout the season once she returned to action in January. The Sooners have had their share of tough players, but not many can hold a candle to Hand.
3:14 p.m. -- ND 74, OU 49 (3:06 - 2nd) -- Even completely sapped of energy, Nicole Griffin giving some great minutes today and has a career scoring high, leading OU with 18 points. She's done a lot that doesn't give her stats in the box score, like deflections that result in rebounds and steals for other players. Her ability to improve and get stronger with a full summer in the program will be a major factor in the success of next year's team.
3:03 p.m. -- ND 58, OU 41 (7:48 - 2nd) -- More of the same as the Fighting Irish continue to take advantage of OU's mistakes on defense. Sooners not finding the perimeter shooters in transition and, when they do, are allowing post players to slip away from help defense. Oklahoma doing well to get fouled from time-to-time, but the Sooners need to take that aggressively smart play to the defensive side of the ball.
2:51 p.m. -- ND 53, OU 37 (11:52 - 2nd) -- Sooners only keeping pace at this point as Notre Dame maintains a 16-point lead. Hand and Griffin working to get fouled, but without playing smarter defense, OU will not cut the lead. Notre Dame is the better team at screening, slipping and rebounding today.
2:43 p.m. -- ND 44, OU 29 (15:35 - 2nd) -- A good start for OU as the Sooners find Griffin and Hand steals for a fast, well fast-enough-break layup. Ellenberg answers a Notre Dame score and the Irish turn over its next possession. Notre Dame wakes up and the teams start trading buckets.
OU with some momentum here is a very good sign. If the Sooners can win a few more battles, chipping the lead to single digits is not as tough a task as it may seem.
2:28 p.m. -- Oklahoma has been here before. The Sooners rallied from 13 against Kentucky last year for an Elite Eight victory and hold the largest comeback ever in regulation in NCAA history, overcoming a 26-point halftime deficit against Cal in Dec. 2008.
2:19 p.m. -- ND 34, OU 17 (Halftime) -- Robinson finally give OU some life with her own creation at the end of the half. The Sooners need for Robinson to get her game going quicker in the second half to have a chance. As bad as the shooting has been, the story of the game is rebounding. Notre Dame with 27 rebounds to Oklahoma's 10. Just no block outs from the Sooners and no one crashing for offensive boards.
2:09 p.m. -- ND 30, OU 15 (3:31 - 1st) -- McFarland having a problem keeping her feet, but her effort has kept those mistakes from compounding into easy ND transitions. Novosel's 3 doubles up OU and Coale calls timeout as the Sooners have had just one good field goal in the last nine minutes.
Roethlisberger, with two fouls, returns with 3:50 left in the half. OU's starting five now on the floor. Hand touches the baseline on her dribble for OU's 11th turnover.
2:02 p.m. -- Coale tells the team they will determine the game with their effort. OU made four of its first six shots, but is 3-of-16 since. A scoreboard issue has halted the game for the moment.
1:57 p.m. -- ND 23, OU 15 (7:26 - 1st) -- Notre Dame killing OU on the boards, but the Irish have been failing on second chance opportunites with nine turnovers. Bruszewski gives it a go on the knee, but can't do more than one possession before taking herself out. Rhythm coming apart for OU and the Sooners are having to foul in poor defensive transitions. Sooners' feet are stuck in quicksand.
OU looks tired and McGraw is able to sub at will with a healthy lead. Notre Dame takes a 10-2 run into the next break.
1:47 p.m. -- OU 13, ND 13 (11:47 - 1st) -- Steal and assist for Robinson off Hand's missed 3 leads us out of timeout. Notre Dame careless with the ball on its offense end, but Sooners not rebounding their own shots. Roethlisberger gets a touchy foul on both defense and then offensive screen and has to sit for Hartman.
Nicole Griffin exits at 13:09 after a great start with her offensive and defensive positioning. McFarland, who has been the surprise player of the tournament enters as a replacement. Immediately, on OU's first offensive position with McFarland on the floor she gets a layup and one opportunity but misses the free throw.
Notre Dame's 6-2 forward Peters now guard Robinson, her height blocking vision through the passing lanes. Bruszewski tangles with McFarland on the rebound and looks to have her her knee going to the media timeout.
At the bench, Coale tells her player to feed the post.
1:38 p.m. -- OU 9, ND 9 (15:53 - 1st) -- Notre Dame's Brittany Mallory goes 3-for-3 beyond the arc. OU gets three 2's on the board before Ellenberg decides she's done waiting for OU's halfcourt offense to go into motion and hits a 3 to tie the game. A Notre Dame turnover send us to the first media timeout. Robinson and Ellenberg need to stick to their players on defense, even when the retreat to the perimeter.
1:30 p.m. -- The Sooner fans fill in some of the red missing when Ohio State fans left. You may not see them on TV, as the lowest-seeded team, most OU fans are on the other side of the court, out of view of the cameras, but they are here.
Tip-off is here!
1:26 p.m. -- Starting lineups are next to be introduced. First on the court for Notre Dame are Devereaux Peters, Becca Bruszewski, Natalie Novosel, Brittany Mallory and Skylar Diggins. For Oklahoma, Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Nicole Griffin.
1:19 p.m. -- The arena was about 80 percent full of fans for nearby teams Ohio State and Tennessee. Most of the Buckeyes' crowd is heading to the parking lot. It will be interesting to see for who the remaining Lady Vols fans cheer in the next game.
1:14 p.m. -- Team captains have concluded their meeting at center court with officials Tina Napier, Barbara Smith and Rachelle Jones.
1:07 p.m. -- Tennessee has advanced, beating Ohio State 85-75 as the Lady Vols were able to use its bench effectively to outlast the Buckeyes. Oklahoma and Notre Dame are now on the court getting ready for the second semifinal of the day.
11:12 a.m. -- We're loading the bus in Dayton and will drive to the arena in about 30 minutes. Ohio State and Tennessee are currently in a very competitive matchup and the Sooners and Irish will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of that game. More coverage coming soon from Dayton.
8:33 a.m. -- Here's Sherri Coale's instructions to the team as they begin the morning shootaround. OU isn't looking to reinvent the wheel when they play Notre Dame this afternoon. The Sooners have been firing on all cylinders throughout the NCAA Championship and plan to continue to get better.
8:14 a.m. -- Oklahoma is on the court at University of Dayton Arena in its morning shootaround. The Sooners meet Notre Dame Saturday at approximately 1:30 p.m. Central, 30 minutes following the Ohio State-Tennessee matchup. For all you at home, here's morning headline to read and get ready for the game:
8:23 p.m. -- Oklahoma is now in rest mode on the eve of playing in its third straight Sweet 16. The Sooners and Notre Dame meet Saturday at approximately 1:30 p.m. Central, televised on ESPN 30 minutes following Ohio State vs. Tennessee. If you're in Dayton for the game, be sure to arrive early to pick up your tickets at will-call as they are expecting more than 8,000 in the seats tomorrow.
Senior Danielle Robinson will set another record Saturday when she takes the court, earning sole possession of the OU program and Big 12 Conference records for games started and played. Robinson makes her 140th consecutive start in her 141st career game Saturday and the video below takes us through the thoughts of the league's Iron Woman.
5:51 p.m. -- Photo Gallery -- Oklahoma has completed a very full afternoon of activites, ending with a 1 1/2 hour practice on the Dayton Flyers' court. Click below to view head coach Sherri Coale's and the OU players' press conference with the media.
12:59 p.m. -- Just realized we posted an article this morning from The Oklahoman reading that the game would be nationally-televised on ESPN2. It will be nationally-televised, but the Sooners play exclusively on ESPN from this point forward. Other games may be on ESPN2, but not any involving Oklahoma.
12:16 p.m. -- While you're waiting for more updates from the tournament, check out what another former Sooner is doing these days. Leah Rush is studying and traveling the world, using basketball as a tool for sport for development in many of the world's most underprivileged areas.
In about 45 minutes, members of the current OU women's basketball will study film in a session with the coaches and then leave the hotel for its sports wagering briefing with the NCAA, media conferences, ESPN interviews and then, finally, practice.
10:35 a.m. -- SoonerSports.com posted an exclusive video of Ashley Paris Thursday discussing her plans in the WNBA. This morning, the Atlanta Dream made it official, confirming Paris' contract with the team.
10:23 a.m. -- The morning administrative meetings are completed and the Sooners are currently wrapping their study hall period before having lunch and then film session before this afternoon's practice. At the morning meeting with the NCAA, special attention was given by ESPN to the timing rules regarding overtime, at which point, I nudged the Notre Dame staff. OU and Notre Dame have met in very competitive games three times in the last four years, including two tournament games that went to overtime. Last year, OU defeated Notre Dame in OT -- a fact not lost on the Irish players, who said they rooted for Oklahoma in the second round for a chance at a rematch. More in this morning's headlines:
9:52 p.m. -- I mentioned on Twitter earlier today that Ashley Paris visited OU's practice before it left for Dayton. Here's a quick interview with her about what she's been doing since leaving OU and what lies ahead with her plans in the WNBA.
8:48 p.m. -- Photo Gallery -- The Oklahoma Sooners are meeting at the hotel, discussing the plan for Friday, after departing the Lloyd Noble Center at 1 p.m. and arriving in Dayton a few hours later, then having dinner.
Though, OU is preparing for tournament games, tomorrow is Friday and much of the morning will be dedicated to studying and homework. In the afternoon, the Sooners will visit University of Dayton Arena for a media conference and then practice for its Sweet 16 matchup against Notre Dame.
Below is soundbites from media interviews conducted before the send-off:
8:09 p.m. -- How Sweet it is...OU puts away the 'Canes at the line and advances to the round of 16 for the third straight season. Sooners defeat Miami, 88-83.
7:57 p.m. -- Hartman subs in for Ellenberg and will guard Johnson. Robinson on Williams and Hand on Yderstrom. OU scores 4 quickly out of the timeout and Miami can't get its halfcourt set together, Meier calls for time. Stroman misses the layup and with less than a minute to play, Yderstorm takes her fourth personal to stop Robinson.
Hand can go no more with the pain in her knee and Jeffcoat checks in.
Robinson puts 2 on the board at the line and timeout is called.
OU leads 85-79, 59.2 ticks left.
7:50 p.m. -- Coale switches defensive assignments and puts Robinson on Yderstrom. But its other guards keep Miami in the game with clutch shooting. UM gets within 2 before Roethlisberger nails her fourth 3 of the game. Stroman gets an and one call on the layup and makes it a 2-point game again.
OU survives two misses from beyond the arc and Coale calls timeout as the game goes under 4 minutes. Shooting figures even for both teams.
Shenise Johnson ties the game with a jumper over Hand. Robinson drives to the rim and gets fouled to send the game into the final media timeout. Ellenberg holding her left wrist in pain.
OU-Miami is tied 79-79 with 3:12 left.
7:41 p.m. -- OU getting sloppy with the ball in transition, but still shooting with such a high percentage that its shooters are bailing out any mistakes. Miami's point guard Williams on the bench with 4 fouls, and 3-point shoot Yderstrom playing with 3.
Miami has taken on an Oklahoma look, going with a penetrate-and-pass affair.
OU leads 74-70 with 7:53 remaining.
7:30 p.m. -- Miami's trips to the free throw line cut the OU lead to 3. Robinson to Ellenberg for 3 makes it 5 straight points for OU and Meier calls timeout once again to calm the 'Canes.
Whitney Hand sets a new single-game scoring high with more than 12 minutes left in the game.
OU leads 67-58 with 11:24 to play.
7:17 p.m. -- Miami comes out firing jump shots and they finally start falling for the Hurricanes. OU wakes up and gets its offense going with some big shots of its own. The two teams trade possessions for the first four minutes.
OU leads 56-46 with 14:58 to play.
7:07 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson comes out of the locker room still stewing about the fouls charged to her in the first half, but she's taking it with some humor. She walked over to me and said she was still "hungry" because she had not eaten. (I had told her earlier in the week to tell media that she had not eaten since she left Norman because she was only hungry for a Sweet 16, but Coach Coale vetoed.)
6:59 p.m. -- As teams recuperate and go over second-half strategies in the locker room, we get a chance to examine the box score. Sherri Coale wanted to limit Miami's second-chance opportunities and that's exactly where the Hurricanes responded in the last few minutes of the half to cut OU's 15-point lead to 9. Miami has 12 second-chance points from nine offensive rebounds.
Whitney Hand has been stellar, hitting 6-of-9 field goals for 16 points and has three rebounds. Robinson is showing why she's an All-American with a 6-assist, 1-turnover first half.
6:52 p.m. -- The Hurricanes come out of the final media timeout with a more aggressive and cuts into the lead with a 5-0 run. More bad news for the Sooners as Coale inserts Robinson for the final 1:30 to generate some offense, D-Rob is whistled for her third personal foul.
Coale goes tall for the final 35 seconds, substituting Griffin for Ellenberg. McFarland drops her free throws and Yderstorm responds with a NBA-range 3-pointer to end the half.
OU leads 44-35 at halftime.
6:43 p.m. -- In the track meet that is this game, Oklahoma already has 7 fast-break points. It came into the game averaging 6. Robinson tags foul number 2 on Shenise Johnson and Miami's star backcourt is getting in trouble with the officials.
Without a bench that can play the full-court game, Miami is getting tired now and Whitney Hand's physcial limitations are not as much of a handicap. Hand with 16 points, twice as many as any other player on the court.
OU leads 42-27 with 3:34 to play before halftime.
6:34 p.m. -- Sooners with six points off Miami turnovers in the last interval and getting a large edge on the boards. Miami goes into zone defense and Robinson exploits it with her sixth assist to Ellenberg's 3 to five OU a 15-point lead.
The Sooners begin to tire as we pass under 10 minutes and Miami takes a little of the margin back. The starters have worked hard and need some subs. Coale calls a :30 timeout just before the 8:00 mark to get a halfcourt play together.
The Sooners shooting an incredible 57 percent from the field, 46 percent from beyond the arc to maintain the advantage.
OU leads 33-21 with 7:46 left in the first half.
6:23 p.m. -- A physical game is going the Sooners' way at the moment as the officials put their whistles away on arm contact. Robinson gets objective No. 1 done by getting Riquna Williams on the bench with two early fouls. OU rattles off four 3-pointers and Miami head coach Katie Meier has to call timeout to stop the bleeding as the Sooners take an 8-point lead.
It's eight minutes in and I'm worn out. I can't imagine what it is like to be on the court.
Oklahoma leads 26-16 with 11:15 reading on the scoreboard.
6:14 p.m. -- An early Miami run is negated quickly as the Sooners push in transition and attack the rim to Coale's pleas. All the talk about how Miami runs the court is evident. They get through transitions quicker at five positions than any team OU has faced this season. The Sooners have three turnovers in the first four minutes that resulted in 4 UM points.
Miami leads 10-9 with 15:50 remaining in the first half.
6:03 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson makes her 139th consecutive start in her 140th game, matching former Sooner Caton Hill's Big 12 Conference and OU records for career starts and games played. She and mascot Sooner make a chest bump choreographed earlier today in the hotel.
5:54 p.m. -- The National Anthem has played and the next time the Sooners appear on the court will be for starting lineups. OU's usual suspects: Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Nicole Griffin will hit the floor first tonight. For Miami, starters will be Riquna Williams, Stefanie Yderstrom, Morgan Stroman, Sylvia Bullock and Shenise Johnson.
Tonight's officials are Felicia Grinter, Angela Lewis and Rodney Creech.
5:35 p.m. -- The Sooners are on the court in the final stages of their warmup with tip off coming in about 30 minutes. The crowd size has dwindled at JPJ with the purple swarm of James Madison fans not in attendance tonight. All the fireworks will be on the court with two teams that like to run in transition. On the call for ESPN2 tonight are Beth Mowins, who famously called OU's "stunner in Lafayette" when OU beat Purdue in 2000 to go to the Sweet 16, and Ros Gold-Onwude, who played point guard for Stanford last year when the two teams met in the Final Four. The talent is split tonight on who will win, though I won't sell them out on who picked sides.
4:42 p.m. -- Oklahoma is the first to arrive at John Paul Jones Arena with Miami shortly following. The second round matchup between the Sooners and the Hurricanes tips off at 6:05 p.m. Central and will be televised on ESPN2. The nation's "most compelling game" will be broadcast on ESPN2HD and regional coverage will continue on the standard defintion channel.
1:02 p.m. -- The Sooners have finished their pre-game shootaround and will next step on the court to warm up for a 6:05 p.m. tip-off against Miami for a trip to the Sweet 16 in Dayton. Oklahoma's focus tonight is simple: get back on defense, and value the basketball on offense. The transition from offense to defense is the most important task for the Sooners. Here's Coach Coale addressing the team:
12:13 p.m. -- Oklahoma is on court at John Paul Jones Arena in it early stages of its hour-long shootaround, preparing for tonight's game against Miami. The Hurricanes have come and gone and now its the Sooners' time to rush the court. Senior Carlee Roethlisberger takes us through what it has been like to play on a team with such an elite tournament tradition and what challenges Miami will give Oklahoma.
8:56 a.m. -- It's game day in Charlottesville! Oklahoma meets Miami tonight at 6 p.m. Central on ESPN2 in its NCAA Second Round game with a third-consecutive Sweet 16 appearance on the line. Get your blood pumping with previews and reaction from the local media:
5:13 p.m. -- Photo Gallery -- Monday's press conference and official practices have concluded and the Sooners are back at the hotel, winding down after a full day. The team is meeting in its assembly room, where, together, they will relax by eating pizza for dinner and watching a movie.
Oklahoma's players talked, and then worked on, about how much the defensive transition game will be key in stopping Miami's quick outlets to offense. Coach Coale also declared the allowing second chances for Miami and turning the ball over could not happen for OU to be successful.
11:37 a.m. -- Photo Gallery -- OU women's basketball visited the historic house on Monticello, built by Thomas Jefferson on his father's plantation. Monticello is Italian, meaning "little mountain" and is part of the 5,000-acre property Jefferson lived when not serving in public office. Jefferson designed every aspect of Monticello, constructing and modifying its buildings and landscape over a period of 40 years.
They don't allow photos to be taken inside the house, but we have a few of the adventure outdoors.
6:45 a.m. -- For Oklahoma's off-day at Charlottesville, the Sooners will visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello before holding a news conference in the afternoon and practicing on site at John Paul Jones Arena in preparation for its second round game versus Miami.
The third U.S. President's estate is just a few miles outside Charlottesville and is a national historic landmark.
3:45 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson ices the win for Oklahoma before she fouls out and teams trade free throws. OU wins 86-72 and the Sooners advance to play 3-seed Miami in the second round Tuesday at approximately 6 p.m. Central.
3:31 p.m. -- Courtney Hamner picks Jasmine Hartman and put the game within 10, OU uses its advantage on the offensive glass to push the lead back out to 13, but then JMU's center Lauren Jimenez hits the shot of her life from beyond the arc to take it back to 10.
OU leads 74-64 with 3:32 remaining.
3:20 p.m. -- Interesting for OU now with Robinson on the bench with four fouls. Ellenberg and Hartman will have to handle the press. Griffin also in foul trouble with 4. If this game starts to be decided at the line, OU is perfect today, 11-for-11 from the stripe at this point.
OU maintains a double-digit lead, 71-57 with 7:48 remaining.
3:08 p.m. -- Knowing the game is on the line now, James Madison switches to a full-court press, which OU is breaking in the backcourt but turning over past halfcourt.
McFarland with her best effort in recent memory. Coale has both her and Griffin on the floor and its paying off well, sort of like the days when Ashley and Courtney Paris built a stone wall in front of the basket.
OU leads 62-49 with 11:07 remaining.
2:59 p.m. -- Ellenberg hits her 88th 3-pointer, tying her with Erin Higgins for OU's single-season record. Oklahoma increasing its lead by capitalizing on second chances and effort plays. With Whitney Hand in a groove and OU solid in its post play, it could take a Herculean effort by James Madison to trim this lead.
OU leads 60-43 with 14:50 to play.
2:29 p.m. -- Roethlisberger still limping, but the pain is not limiting her play on the court. OU takes a 41-28 lead into halftime.
Hand is OU's leading scorer with 11 and Ellenberg has 10, all coming in the last 6 minutes when Robinson was forced to the bench. Sooner defense holding JMU's scoring threat Dawn Evans in check as she has only 8 points to lead her squad.
2:22 p.m. -- Roethlisberger hits the deck hard and limps away but looks fine behind the bench here, testing out her right ankle. About the time she's ready to return, Griffin gets a face full of shoulder and comes to the bench bleeding profusely from her nose. Robinson picks up a second foul and goes to the bench at a time when OU's shooting has cooled. James Madison's poor passing to the post has limited their chances at closing the score.
The blood drip from Griffin's nose has been contained, but she may not have to come back quickly as McFarland has stepped up well in her absense. Ellenberg taking over offensively for OU with Robinson on the bench with all eight of her points in the last four minutes.
OU leads 35-25 with 2:54 before halftime.
2:02 p.m. -- Evans picks up a second foul with a charge as OU remains tough under its own basket. The Sooners finish that interval with a 7-4 run, and pulling down at least five straight offensive rebounds in its last possession before JMU could get a handle on the ball. Still, Danielle Robinson backtracked to swipe it away.
OU leads 21-12 with 11:15 remaining in the first half.
1:55 p.m. -- JMU running its initial screens well, but not getting open lanes as the Oklahoma help defense is quick to react. Both teams are shooting well when given the chance, but Oklahoma runs the floor better and has opened up at 14-8 lead at the first media timeout.
1:43 p.m. -- Starting lineups being announced. Oklahoma: Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Nicole Griffin. JMU: Dawn Evans, Tarik Hislop, Courtney Hamner, Lauren Jiminez and Nikki Newman.
1:27 p.m. -- JMU's band and cheerleaders right in the face of OU's team as it warms up on its offensive half of the court. Captains currently meetings with officials at center court. That's Danielle Robinson, Carlee Roethlisberger and Whitney Hand of OU, Dawn Evans for James Madison.
1:18 p.m. -- Miami has defeated Gardner-Webb 80-62 and now Oklahoma and James Madison are on the court. The Sooners did not get a warm reception from the pro-JMU crowd. Outside of a few rows behind Oklahoma's bench, the patrons are wearing purple. OU esentially playing a road game with James Madison's campus just 60 miles away. We should be tipping off in 25 minutes.
12:32 p.m. -- The Sooners have arrived at John Paul Jones Arena for its NCAA First Round Game versus James Madison following a send-off from their hotel by the OU band and spirit squads. Currently, 3-seed Miami leads (14) Gardner-Webb 45-28 at halftime while the Sooners stretch in the locker room area of the facility. OU's game will tip-off 30 minutes following the Miami/Gardner-Webb finish.
8:59 a.m. -- "One minute" call from Sherri Coale before OU's shootaround at John Paul Jones Arena starts.
8:01 a.m. -- Get started with your Sunday morning by reading about the storylines of today's game between OU and James Madison.
7:07 a.m. -- Oklahoma's players are rising as the hours until tip-off count down. The Sooners have a morning shootaround at John Paul Jones Arena for their final preparatory workout of the week.
Six-seed Oklahoma and 11-seed James Madison meet Sunday, March 20, 30 minutes following the Miami/Gardner-Webb matchup and will tip off approximately 1:45 p.m. Central. Regional coverage will be on ESPN2HD, but depending on your local carrier, you may have to switch to the standard-definition ESPN2 channel in your area. The game will also webcast on ESPN3.com.
Saturday, March 19
Saturday Primer: OU vs. James Madison | Gameday Central CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Oklahoma spent its Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena in preparations for the first round of the NCAA Championship. The Sooners participated in the opening news conference and practice on site to prepare for its first-round matchup with James Madison.
Six-seed Oklahoma and 11-seed James Madison meet Sunday, March 20, 30 minutes following the Miami/Gardner-Webb matchup and will tip off approximately 1:45 p.m. Central. Regional coverage will be on ESPN2HD, but depending on your local carrier, you may have to switch to the standard-definition ESPN2 channel in your area. The game will also webcast on ESPN3.com.
4:23 p.m. -- Photo Gallery -- OU is back at its hotel after a day full of meetings, media opportunities and its first official practice of the NCAA Championship. The Sooners focused mainly on their game plan for James Madison but did spend a portion of practice with an intense 5-on-5 session.
Head coach Sherri Coale and seniors Danielle Robinson and Carlee Roethlisberger visited afterwards with the ESPN crew of Beth Mowins and Ros Gold-Onwude to share first-person insight about the team and tomorrow's matchups.
2:24 p.m. -- Oklahoma on the court practing at JPJ for a 1 1/2 hour workout. Here's the message Sherri Coale gave to her team as it got started.
12:10 p.m. -- Headed back to the arena for news conferences and practice. Coverage to follow.
11:29 a.m. -- Garden salad, chicken, broccoli and mac & cheese -- a lunch of champions as the Sooners watch upset-minded Marist with an early lead over Iowa State.
10:17 a.m. -- Photo Gallery -- Back from administrative meetings to kick off the first round weekend in Charlottesville. The 15,000-seat John Paul Jones Arena was constructed in 2006 and is an incredible sports venue. The initial meetings basically answer any questions teams have about tournament operations and are the first in-person meetings between staffs and the ESPN crew that will broadcast the games.
The morning provided the OU staff with a chance to catch up with some familiar faces. Virginia's Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing Marty Northcroft and Miami's Associate Athletics Director for Communications Chris Freet both worked at Oklahoma, while Rick Reeves and the Gardner-Webb team visited Norman when the Sooners hosted its Thanksgiving weekend basketball tournament.
The UVa staff is working overtime today. The Cavaliers not only host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, but doubleheaders in softball and lacrosse, a baseball game and took spring football practice on the road to Hampton, Va.
While OU's administrative staff was at the arena, the team had a morning film study session as it continues to prepare for James Madison.
Friday, March 18
Sooners Arrive in Charlottesville
After a noon depature from Norman, cheered by the well-wishes of several dozen Sooner fans and OU band, and a two-hour flight, the OU women's basketball team touched down in Charlottesville, Va., at 5:45 p.m. local time.
OU has tonight to unpack and settle for what will be a busy Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena, as administrative meetings, news conferences and the first official practice on site all begin.
Robinson on Wooden Award Ballot For the sixth consecutive season, a Sooner is on the final ballot for the Women's John R. Wooden Award for national player of the year in women's college basketball.
Oklahoma senior Danielle Robinson made the final cut for the second straight season, announced by the Los Angeles Athletics Club. Robinson was one of 20 premier student-athletes on the ballot, which was mailed to more than 1,000 media members Monday.
Robinson leads the Sooners, averaging 18.4 points and 4.8 assists per game.
The Wooden Award Men's and Women's All-American Teams will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Championship.
Others joining Robinson on the ballot included fellow All-Big 12 members Danielle Adams of Texas A&M and Brittney Griner of Baylor. Dawn Evans, from OU's NCAA tournament first-round matchup James Madison, and Shenise Johnson of Miami, a possible second-round opponent for the Sooners, were also on the list.
UConn's Maya Moore became the second four-time Wooden Award finalist, following Oklahoma's Courtney Paris' streak on the final cut from 2006-2009.
Monday, March 14
OU Women's Basketball Postseason Banquet Sherri Coale and the OU women's basketball team invites you to join them as they celebrate the 2010-11 season. Reservations are now being taken for the dinner and program that will be held Monday, April 18, at 7 p.m.
Monday, April 18, 2011
USPS/ National Center for Employee Development
2701 E. Imhoff Road
Norman, OK 73071
Please mail your payments to:
Oklahoma Women's Basketball
2900 Jenkins Avenue
Norman, OK 73019
Payment must be received before seats can be reserved. Should you be unable to attend the banquet for any reason your payment will be considered a donation to Oklahoma Women's Basketball.
4:33 p.m. -- OU getting the most with the deadballs as Roethlisberger and Griffin go back-to-back layup and free throws and then foul out Adams on the rebound of Griffin's FT miss. Game still far in A&M's advantage, but plenty of time if this continues with the clock halted. the full-court press works and Robinson gets another 2. Shot doesn't fall for Carter and White is trapped with the rebound on the baseline, so Gary Blair calls timeout. OU down 8 with 1:23 on the clock. OU can't foul at three positions, though, with four personals on a trio.
The officials check on the game clock as it ran with under 1 minute to play after the shot.
Texas A&M leads 77-68 with about 1 minute to play.
4:24 p.m. -- Coale tells her squad to "push the envelope" for the next six minutes. Everyone gets a fourth foul. Everyone -- Adams, Griffin, Roethlisberger, Ellenberg, you name it. Ellenberg fouls out as OU will have to finish the game without one of its sharpshooters.
OU looking for drives to get on the free throw line but getting no cooperation from the officials. Ticks running out for OU as the last media timeout comes.
Texas A&M leads 72-59 with 3:26 to play.
4:14 p.m. -- A couple possessions without Colson on the floor are empty for A&M while Ellenberg adds five points for OU. Sooners getting no boards. Carter slips away from Ellenberg twice for two 3's and OU is back down double digits. Carter hits a 3 and then takes an errant pass for another jumper to put a nail in the Sooners. Coale calls timeout with OU down 15.
Griffin gets what seems to be OU's first rebound this half for a putback. Hand ends the interval with her fourth personal foul.
Texas A&M leads 67-56 with 5:55 to play.
4:03 p.m. -- Roethlisberger with a fourth personal as the second Sooner starter takes a seat on the bench. A&M extending its lead without Adams on the floor as Colson drives at will. No rhythm to this game whatsoever with all body contact and whistles on both squads, but its the lack of calls under the baskets driving both coaches crazy.
Robinson gets her steal to go with four assists, becoming the third player ever to have a collegiate career totaling 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals.
Texas A&M leads 54-43 with 11:46 left.
3:57 p.m. -- OU's Griffin with a third personal and goes to the bench. Griffin was 4-for-4 in the first half but never had a touch in the second. Texas A&M scores five straight points with no response from OU and Coale calls timeout.
Texas A&M leads 49-41 with 14:40 to play.
3:51 p.m. -- Both teams running into foul problems with OU's Hand and Roethlisberger and A&M's Adams and White getting their third personals early in the second half. OU getting its own offensively, though, while the Aggies are needing trips to the free throw line to add to their score. Hand and Robinson with all 12 of OU's second-half points.
Texas A&M leads 43-41 with 15:41 left.
3:38 p.m. -- Just saw former Sooner Dionnah Jackson in the crowd. The is the type of game -- back and forth with speed in transition -- that she would excel. OU outshooting Texas A&M by percentage, but has allowed for 11 second-chance points and 17 points off 13 turnovers. Just taking care of the ball would eliminate half of A&M's offense.
Two minutes until the second half.
3:25 p.m. -- OU with to much baseline clearance from its post players in its zone defense that allowed two quick layups from the Aggies out of the timeout. Roethlisberger on the bench with two early fouls has been a crutch in this regard, but she'll be back for the final 20 minutes. Robinson's buzzer-beating layup doesn't fall and the Sooners trail at halftime.
Texas A&M 36, Oklahoma 29 at the half.
3:18 p.m. -- Texas A&M taking control on the offensive glass. Aggies have 12 offensive boards that they've converted into 11 second-chance points. Hand does manage to get a second perosonal tagged on Adams, which forces her to the bench and chances Texas A&M's offensive strategy. The Aggies make two consecutive turnovers in their halfcourt offense and OU closes the gap.
Texas A&M leads 30-24 with 3:34 left in the half.
3:05 p.m. -- Texas A&M takes the lead as Adams is able to pop-out against Griffin and take 3's at will. What's not going in is rebounding by a teammate and made into a layup.
Texas A&M leads 23-20, with 7:14 remaining in the first period.
2:56 p.m. -- OU throwing it away far too much with eight turnovers in the first eight minutes, but hitting on 60 percent of its attempts to maintain a lead. OU acutally outplaying Texas A&M at its own game -- points in transition -- at the moment with the Sooners much better than the Aggies, physically, at doing so for an entire 40 minutes.
OU leads 14-13 with 11:47 to play in the first half.
2:46 p.m. -- Ellenberg and Robinson get OU ahead with some smart individual play, but OU turns it over three straight times in halfcourt offense without a field goal attempt and then a 5-second call on the inbounds. Texas A&M starts 0-for-5 from the field, allowing no one to pull away early. All OU scoring has come in transition thus far.
OU leads 10-6 at the first media timeout.
2:26 p.m. -- OU is 6-1 in the Big 12 semifinals, but will have a tough task today with the Aggies, who defeated OU twice this season and held on last year to win the 2010 Big 12 Championship against the Sooners. A win would also be the Sooners' first back-to-back since Jan. 23, a span of 14 games.
2:16 p.m. -- Oklahoma's usual suspects will be on the floor first: Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Nicole Griffin. Texas A&M starts Sydney Carter, Sydney Colson, Tyra White, Adaora Elonu and Danielle Adams.
Dee Kanter, Scott Yarbrough and Eric Brewton are today's officials.
2:09 p.m. -- Oklahoma and Texas A&M are on the court at Municipal Auditorium and will tip off in about 25 minutes for the second of two Big 12 semifinals played today. Earlier (1) Baylor defeated (4) Kansas State, 86-53.
Thursday, March 10
Relive Senior Night Ceremonies OU seniors Danielle Robinson, Carlee Roethlisberger and Lauren Willis have given us four years of incredible memories as Sooners. Watch the video and relive their senior night speeches to the crowd at the Lloyd Noble Center.
9:50 p.m. -- OU wins! Will face Texas A&M Friday at 2:30 p.m.
9:47 p.m. -- Tension builds as Ellenberg misses the layup that would have sealed the game and Griffin fouls, out of place for the rebound, sending Tech to the line with 9.0 seconds down 2. Sorry, that's not right. Only six OU fouls this half, so Tech needs to inbounds.
9:43 p.m. -- Robinson's free throws put OU up by 4. Ellenberg deflects away a pass and Tech has 8 on the shot clock, Hand blocks the baseline drive and Roethlisberger grabs the board and is fouled. OU leads 70-66 with exactly 1:00 to play as Hyde has fouled out.
9:40 p.m. -- Ellenberg's energy in the defense forces a Texas Tech turnover and trip to the free throw line as she's fouled to prevent a fast-break layup. OU up 2 with 3:38 to play. Griffin's length forces a second stright OU steal, but can't capitalize on the possession. Texas Tech can't buy a field goal trying to force it down the pipe with three Sooners clogging the paint. OU gets the ball in its hands with 2:07 to play. Coale calls timeout.
Ellenberg's pressure of Morris forces the errant pass. Texas Tech without a field goal since the 5:24 mark.
OU leads into the final media timeout, 68-66, with 1:37 to play and the ball.
9:33 p.m. -- Robinson tagged with a fourth personal foul and still 6 minutes to play. Wickett's free throws tie the game 63-63. The game getting wicked with just under 4 minutes to play tied 66-66. Ellenberg returning for OU, as Hook wears out. OU coaches pleading for better rebounding.
9:23 p.m. -- Hook providing what Ellenberg could not today with some 3-point shooting consistency. Judging by the replay, the officials make the right call on the Griffin foul and give OU the 2 points, but take it back under verbal review. It doesn't faze OU as the Sooners get four quick points off Tech turnovers. Tech gets it back at the free throw line, but Robinson is in a zone and drives straight to the hoop. After a Tech 3, Robinson drives again, putting a third personal foul on Mallard.
OU leads 61-60 with 7:37 to play.
9:14 p.m. -- Robinson appeared to have the wind knocked out as she tried to take a charge on the contested Hyde layup and is still getting her breath on the sideline during this timeout, but seems fine. Outside of Texas Tech taking advantage of penetration in a help-coverage breakdown, OU held well the last 1 1/2 minutes on defense. If Ellenberg could get hot, OU would be at little more fluid on offense.
9:07 p.m. -- Texas Tech closes within a point, but then falls back in zone and OU breaks through with Griffin cleaning up a loose ball for a layup and Hand finding Roethlisberger for a 3. Nicole Griffin nearing a double-double and Carlee Roethlisberger with 17 points, one off her season high, as OU has spread the wealth in the second half.
OU leads 52-46 with 13:16 remaining.
9:01 p.m. -- One-pass offense for the Sooners leads to three straight assists for Robinson as she finds Griffin on a fast-break, then Roethlisberger in the corner for 3 and Hand in transition for a layup. OU opens with the first five points of the second half and gets all four rebounds. OU's last possession of the interval results in fouls on Morris, her third personal, and Hyde, her second. Getting those two in foul trouble will narrow the offense for Texas Tech as two of its quickest players will go to the bench.
OU leads 45-42 with 15:57 to play.
8:49 p.m. -- Similar style of play for both teams in the first half compared to what occured in the last meeting, but different players are doing the scoring. Texas Tech has 20 points in the paint, more than it had the entire game on March 5. OU is led by its seniors, who struggled with their shot in the last outing. Robinson and Roethlisberger were 6-of-10 while the rest of the team counted 6-of-25 field goal attempts.
8:37 p.m. -- OU starting the last four-minute interval with Robinson and Roethlisberger on the bench with two fouls each. Missed layups and free throws spell doom for OU's advantage on the scoreboard. Smalls gets fouled with an and one opportunity, giving Texas Tech its first lead of the game. Robinson and Roethlisberger return for an offensive series and Griffin is fouled, making the first free throw to tie the game.
With the ball and a slight differential in the shot clock for the last possession, Tech's Hyde posts up for a layup. Coale calls timeout with 4.1 seconds left in the half and the Sooners can barely get the inbounds play in and are pressured into running out the clock in the backcourt.
Halftime score: Texas Tech 35, Oklahoma 33. It was 35-31 OU in Lubbock four days ago.
8:24 p.m. -- Robinson picks up foul No. 2 on a rebound that she actually tipped back into the basket and goes to the bench for Hook. Wickett fouls to put OU into the bonus with 6 minutes left in the half.
Finally a couple buckets fall for OU's non-seniors, as Robinson and Roethlisberger had scored the 16 of OU's first 25 points, but with the starting point guard on the bench the Sooners pull back-to-back turnovers, now equaling Tech with 11. OU leads 28-23 with 3:48 remaining in the first half.
8:16 p.m. -- Robinson and Roethlisberger keeping the Sooners ahead with some gutsy plays, needing their teammates to start scoring the open shots. Outside of those two players, Sooners are shooting 3-for-13 with no made 3's on six attempts since Ellenberg hit early.
Still, Texas Tech turning the ball over 10 times so far, right under the basket on several occasions.
OU leads 21-16 with 7:21 to play in the first half.
8:02 p.m. -- Ellenberg's 3 gives OU an 11-2 lead, as large as it had at any point against Tech last Saturday. Robinson flies sideline to baseline and, faster than anyone other player the Lady Raiders can put on the court, gets an easy layup to force a timeout from Kristy Curry with the Sooners leading 13-4.
Texas Tech is getting shots up, but is turning over second chances when they come. OU players moving well on offense without the ball, but have missed some open 3's, allowing Texas Tech to close with points in transition.
OU leads 13-10 with 11:56 to play.
7:54 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson with a much better offensive start tonight, starting 2-for-2 after hitting only three field goals in the last matchup. Texas Tech has already made a switch from man to zone defense to add to the confusion, but OU's scoring is coming mostly in transition.
The agenda Coale set out for her team in this week's practices is working well thus far. OU leads 6-2 at the first media timeout, 15:44 to play.
7:43 p.m. -- Definitely a pro-OU crowd in the Municipal Auditorium tonight. The same starting lineups for both teams as last time. OU with Robinson, Ellenberg, Hand, Roethlisberger and Griffin. Texas Tech starts Christine Hyde, Monique Smalls, Casey Morris, Shauntel Nobles and Kierra Mallard.
Officials are Lisa Mattingly, Scott Yarbrough and Cameron Inouye.
7:34 p.m. -- Just about 10 minutes from tip-off for what will be back-to-back matchups against Texas Tech. The Sooners lost in Lubbock in a tale of two halves as OU shot nearly 60 percent from the field in the first half but dropped to 20 percent in the second. This is the third time in OU's history that it has played the same team in back-to-back games, all coming with the same scenario of meeting the same opponent in the regular season finale and then in its opening conference tournament round. Though it hasn't happened since 1990, OU has won the second matchup both times it has played in the situation.
7:19 p.m. -- OU and Texas Tech finally on the court for what will be a 7:45 p.m. tip-off. The feature of Coach Coale's office, which you can watch here if you haven't seen it, is now playing on the videoboard for all those in attendance. It looks like the OU fans will outnumber the Texas Tech fans tonight.
6:49 p.m. -- With the Texas-Texas A&M game at its under 8 media timeout, OU is in its locker room getting final instructions from head coach Sherri Coale. A couple blocks away, Jeff Capel's Sooners are crushing Baylor, 39-21, with just over 1 minute remaining in the first half.
6:30 p.m. -- No auxiliary areas at Municipal Auditorium, so the Sooners are strecthing in the hallway leading to the tunnel to the court. Texas A&M well in control against Texas with about 13 minutes left to play.
6:00 p.m. -- The Sooners are making their way on to the bus through the fanfare of Crimson-clad supporters and the OU pep band playing Boomer Sooner. At the arena, Texas A&M leads Texas 41-24 at halftime.
5:26 p.m. -- Oklahoma is just minutes from leaving its hotel en route for a short trip to Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City for its quarterfinal matchup with Texas Tech at 7:30 p.m. OU's walkthrough at Rockhurst University focused on its overall excution of the offense and how to defend new wrinkles Texas Tech displayed in their offense last night while defeating Oklahoma State.
4:10 p.m. -- Wickett gets the inbounds to Morris, who is fouled immediately by Ellenberg, and nails both free throws. Ellenberg's 3 is off, but the rebounds bounces back to her position. Coale calls timeout with the ball swiped out of bounds. Hand's 3 misses and Texas Tech wins 61-56 to complete a 15-2 home record this season.
4:05 p.m. -- Mallard hits the second. Tech up by 4. Wickett fouls Robinson at the halfcourt while trying to trap, 24.1 seconds left. Robinson misses the first, hits the second. Coale calls timeout.
Texas Tech leads 59-56.
4:03 p.m. -- Robinson's baseline drive is well guarded and the shot is off. Tech rebounds and McFarland fouls Mallard, who makes her first. Curry calls her final timeout with 26.4 seconds to play and a Mallard free throw to come. Texas Tech leads 58-55.
4:00 p.m. -- Griffin at the line and makes the first of two to cut the lead to 3. Smalls carries for the turnover and Robinson put OU's offense into motion. Hand's jumper rolls in and out and Morris grabs the board. McFarland pins Wickett on the sideline and nearly has the turnover when Curry calls timeout. Texas Tech with two timeouts remaining; OU has 3 to spare.
Morris' 3 is off and Hand grabs the rebound, hands off to Robinson and is cleaned up by Griffin for a layup.
Smalls misses the first of her two free throws, keeping Tech's lead at just 2 points. Curry calls time with 53.3 seconds to play. OU ball.
3:54 p.m. -- Baker's free throws put Texas Tech up 8 and Coale sends Robinson and Roethlisberger back in with just over six minutes to play. Referee Jesse Dickerson calls a double foul on Roethlisberger and Hyde to the approval on absolutely no one in attendance. It is actually the first time I've seen that in person when no technical was issued. Roethlisberger is disqualified.
OU shooting 5-of-21 this half and is 0-for-8 from 3-point range after clipping 60 percent in the first half. Hand keeping OU alive at the moment. Hand is nearing a double-double with 9 points and 11 rebounds and has seven assists.
Her effort help the Sooners close the lead to 4. Texas Tech leads 56-52 at the final media timeout, 3:04 remaining.
3:40 p.m. -- OU freshmen leading the way as Ellenberg, Griffin and Hook have combined for 30 of OU's 43 points. Game has become a bloodbath with a lot of contact determining the result of every possession, every rebound. Fouls mounting up for both teams in addition to OU's Robinson and Roethlisberger and Tech's Morris who are on their respective benches with four each.
Texas Tech leads 49-46 with 7:44 to play.
3:31 p.m. -- Strange stat line in the second half of the game as OU leads Tech in second-chance points 2-0. Neither team has more than three offensive rebounds. OU comes out of the timeout with a shot clock violation, its 14th turnover. OU spills the beans again and allows Hyde to hit a 3. Coale calls timeout as Texas Tech has jumped to its largest lead of the game 41-37.
OU shooting 2-for-8 this half. Robinson picks up her fourth foul with an arm push-off while driving against Brown and comes to the bench, replaced by Hook. Curry replaces three, basically a complete line change as she replaced the other two on the floor just one stoppage earlier.
Hook ties the game 43-43 with a layup but Brown answers for Tech to send the game to a media timeout. TTU leads 45-43, 11:12 to play.
3:20 p.m. -- Tech starts the second half with a turnover. Then OU replies in kind. Tech's high-low game works one the next possession as Wickett finds Mallard for a 3. Robinson picks up foul No. 3 one minute into the second half. Griffin's length has frustrated Wickett in the paint and Mallard goes back inside to post up, but an entry pass is turned over. Neither team passing the ball efficiently today.
Ellenberg finishes the interval with a nice move to get in front of Hyde's drive to the rim and gets the charging call. OU leads 37-36 with 15:58 to play.
2:59 p.m. -- OU is shooting 58 percent from the field compared to Tech's 39 percent success and is plus 4 in the rebounding margin, but has 10 first-half turnovers allowing for the close score.
Whitney Hand with one of her finer games of the season. Hand has just one 3-pointer but already has a career-high six assists plus one each of a block and steal. She's been blown by once on a drive, but so far, has shown no ill effects from just a two-day layoff of her rehabilitated knee.
Aaryn Ellenberg has 14 points at the break and has made four 3-pointers, crossing the 500-point milestone. She's three 3-point field goals shy of OU's single-season record of 88 set by Erin Higgins in 2005-06.
2:53 p.m. -- Hook with four quick points on a Robinson-fed backcut through the lane and middle drive that caused Tech sharpshooter Casey Morris to pick up her second foul. OU has taken it to Tech in this interval, on both offense with middle drives and defense with at least three blocks, but missed four free throws.
Robinson picks up her second foul with 29.4 seconds on the clock. Kristy Curry puts the height of Nobles and Mallard back on the court, but it's smallest player on the court -- Ellenberg -- who grabs the board and allows Coale to call time and set up a final play before halftime.
With 27.1 seconds, Robinson runs off a Whitney Hand screen but is tripped in the lane and is called for traveling. Tech has the ball with 7.6 seconds. Morris' 3 is short as the buzzer sounds.
OU leads 35-31 at halftime.
2:42 p.m. -- Ellenberg's accuracy is bailing out the Sooners at the end of the shot clock in offensive possessions. When the Sooners do get near the paint, they have been making errant passes. OU maintains its lead with a stingy defense that has allowed only six points in the paint thus far. Texas Tech has missed a lot of shot from within 3 feet. It was OU's goal to prevent points in the paint. If the Sooners manage their help and close outs on 3-point shooters, the game will become more lopsided.
OU leads 26-24 with 3:48 remaining in the first half.
2:34 p.m. -- Whitney Hand working especially well in the traffic with five assists already to just one turnover -- the only by any Sooner -- as she drove baseline and had the ball swiped onto her foot and out of bounds.
Four consecutive turnovers makes me think I just jinxed the Sooners with that last comment. Ellenberg breaks up a streak of five OU turnovers with a 3-pointer, but that was a sloppy interval for the Sooners. Griffin checks back in.
OU leads 21-19 with 7:24 remaining the first half.
2:24 p.m. -- Griffin working much harder for position this interval and its showing on both offense and defense as OU goes up with a 11-0 run, grabbing practically every rebound along the way. Tech has left Robinson open on both inbounds passes under OU's basket and that alone has accounted for 4 points. Smalls gets open for a 3, but OU responds on the next trip by keeping Mallard, who eventually turns over an outlet pass, out of the paint.
OU leads 18-12 with 11:06 remaining in the first half. Joanna McFarland checks in for Griffin.
2:15 p.m. -- Texas Tech starts with full-court pressure, but its the defense in the halfcourt that the Sooners have trouble breaking. Mallard is able to keep Griffin out of position and that's enough to start the disruption of the offensive flow. Texas Tech leads 9-7 at the first media timeout.
1:49 p.m. -- Starting for Oklahoma will be Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger, Nicole Griffin and Danielle Robinson, who is making her 135th career start. That figure is third best all-time and is also a consecutive streak second only to the 136 straight starts Courtney Paris made.
Starting for Texas Tech will be Teena Wickett, Kierra Mallard, Christine Hyde, Casey Morris and Monique Smalls.
1:33 p.m. -- It is Senior Day at Texas Tech. The Lady Raiders' lone senior is Teena Wickett, a Vallejo, Calif., native that transferred from Pepperdine. Wickett is averaging 10.1 points and 6.0 rebounds.
1:15 p.m. -- Oklahoma and Texas Tech have identical overall records, 20-9, but after the Lady Raiders' 3-0 start to Big 12 play, they lost six striaght games starting with Oklahoma's win in Norman. Texas Tech got back on track with a 72-44 win at Colorodo and beat Baylor when the Bears were No. 1, but they've lost two road games since, the last a 83-59 thumping by Texas.
1:01 p.m. -- Oklahoma has arrived on the court at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas, for its regular season finale with Texas Tech. Oklahoma clinched third place in the Big 12 standings with its Bedlam win Wednesday, but the Sooners desperately want to perform well to collect their first back-to-back wins and first road win since beating Kansas on Jan. 23.
Thursday, March 3
OCU to honor Sherri Coale in Sports Spectacular
Oklahoma City University will honor Oklahoma women's basketball coach Sherri Coale with the Abe Lemons/Paul Hansen Award for Sports Excellence at the annual OCU Sports Spectacular dinner and auction on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
The Abe Lemons/Paul Hansen Award recognizes an individual who significantly contributes to the growth of sports in the state. Last year's honoree was OCU chancellor Tom J. McDaniel. Past award winners are Ron Norick, Clay Bennett, Lee Allan Smith, Dr. William Grana, Stanley Draper Jr., Bob Funk, Barry Switzer, Mick Cornett, the late Bobby Murcer, Bart Conner and Bill Self.
The OCU Sports Spectacular includes a dinner, entertainment and live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit OCU's 21 varsity intercollegiate sports programs and the Paul Hansen Memorial Scholarship and the Abe Lemons Endowed Athletic Scholarship. Those scholarships provide funding to OCU student-athletes who have completed their eligibility and are within one year of graduation.
The auction annually features a variety of items. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is located on 1700 NE 63rd Street in Oklahoma City. Individual tickets are $100, and tables for eight are $750. Please RSVP by April 16. For ticket or sponsorship information, call (405) 208-5660 or (405) 208-5309.
"We are very excited to honor Coach Coale this year," OCU athletic director Jim Abbott said. "She is the first female recipient of the award, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize her achievements."
Wednesday, March 2
A Day in the Life of Sherri Coale Hopefully, you didn't miss the airing of A Day in the Life of Sherri Coale on KWTV News 9 last night, but if you did, you can watch an extended version of the feature at OKBlitz.com. The feature takes viewers through the head coach's full day of activites from arriving back in Norman after a game at Colorado through the next 24 hours.
10:10 p.m. -- Clock is 29.3 now. No timeouts left for either team. No shot clock and Hartman has to foul with CU breaking the press. Jeffery at the line with 24.1 seconds and makes both. Robinson drives and dishes to Griffin, but it bounces off her hands and is tied up for a CU possession. Roethlisberger fouls on the inbounds and is disqualified. Hook enters for Carlee.
Spears at the line and makes only the front end. Robinson is fouled as her shot goes over the left and across the right side of the hoop. Robinson hits both. Ellenberg fouls Jeffery, who makes two. Robinson jumper is long.
Colorado wins 73-68.
10:04 p.m. -- OU traps the inbounds at the corner and CU is forced to call timeout. 38.3 on the clock. Griffin covering Jeffery on the inbounds and she dishes to Blythe at the corner. The trap forces the guard to the ground and Roethlisberger ties up the ball. Back to OU. Robinson flies the corner with a dish and drive that leave her wide open for 2. Coale calls timeout as the officials check the clock.
The last field goal by Robinson was her 2,000th career point.
CU leads 68-66 with 27.9 reading on the scoreboard.
10:00 p.m. -- Hartman checks in for McFarland. Spears drives through two Sooners for a layup. Robinson flies to the hoop but is too out of control to take a good shot. Roethlisberger ties up the rebound and CU has the possession. A full court press uses 20 seconds before CU can get the ball into its side, but Robinson fouls 22 feet from the basket. Jeffery misses the free throw but tracks down her own rebound. Hand picks up a foul, her fifth and Ellenberg will substitute for her.
Blythe's free throws fall. CU leads by 7 with 48 seconds. Roethlisberger drills a 3 and Coale calls time with 43.0 seconds remaining.
CU leads 68-64. Griffin checks in for Hook.
9:55 p.m. -- All scorers in for Colorado as Malcolm-Peck returns. Spears' jumper misses and Robinson runs the ball to the hoop but is fouled on the floor by Jeffery, discounting her basket. Robinson makes two free throws to make it a one possession game with 3 1/2 remaining.
OU loses Spears in the transition from a trap to man defense and she hits a 3. McFarland's pass to Robinson is picked off by Spears and CU holds the ball in its halfcourt. Hand grabs the board as Dale crashes into her and gets up limping. Robinson drives to the hoop for 2. Lappe calls timeout as CU enters its offensive zone.
CU leads 64-61 with 1:47 to play.
9:50 p.m. -- Hand can't find a recipient for the inbounds pass and bounces it towards the sideline as Hartman sprints by. Hartman dives for the ball and gathers it enough to call a timeout. OU much more successful from the sideline, immediately getting the ball into Robinson's hands. D-Rob is fouled by Seabrook, who is disqualified. Hook drives baseline to the basket, bullying two CU defenders to the deck. Robinson hand checks Jeffery just past halfcourt for a third personal. OU forces Hargis to take a shot and its off. Hook's 3 misses and Hartman grasps the rebound. Robinson's shot of the inbounds in short.
Spears drills a 3 and steals a pass to Hand on the other end. Hand fouls in the defensive half court.
Colorado 61, Oklahoma 57 -- 3:43 remaining.
9:42 p.m. -- CU needs 25-plus seconds on its two possessions to find room for a shot. Hook gets her first field goal to fall with a open 3 at the corner. Blythe drops a 3 to answer. McFarland misses a layup. Roethlisberger called for back-to-back defensive fouls and goes to the bench with four personals. Hartman enters as Jeffery makes two from the charity stripe.
The defense sags on Robinson from 15 feet away and she nails a jumper. McFarland rips the ball away from a Buffalo and Robinson finds fortune with an awkwardly bouncing shot falling through the hoop. Coale calls time as OU has closed the lead by half to 4. Blythe 3 misses and Hand throws the rebound to Robinson who dishes to Hook for 3. Needing 22 seconds, CU finally gathers the ball and gets it to Spears under the basket for a layup. Blythe fouls Robinson to send the game to a media timeout.
Colorado leads 58-55 with 6:20 remaining.
9:32 p.m. -- The officials determine to let the play stand without looking at the replay. CU now struggling to move the ball as OU defends the passing lanes in the halfcourt. A fight for a tipped ball allows CU to dish off to Wilson for a layup. Robinson flies to the basket to answer with 2 for OU. Robinson's 3 is short but Roethlisberger steals a pass in transition. Hand finds McFarland on the block for 2. Robinson runs by Jeffery again for the layup. Lappe calls for time with OU closing the lead to 2 points.
OU's trap on the ball in halfcourt nearly causes a backcourt violation and then CU loses the possession to the shot clock. Hook misses a 3 and then Dale is lost in assignment as OU switches to a man defense, hitting a 3 to put CU up by 4.
CU leads 49-45 with 11:16 to play.
9:22 p.m. -- After a defensive stand, Ellenberg gets on the board with a 3 to start the second half. Yet the other OU possessions come up empty with turnovers and missed shots. CU content with passing around OU's trap game until finding the open shooter. We go to a media timeout as officials look at the replay monitor to determine if an elbow was thrown on Roethlisberger's layup.
CU leads 45-39 with 15:43 to play.
8:58 p.m. -- OU still containing players under the basket, but allowing the ball to be kicked out to the perimeter as Spears drills another wide open 3. Hook cuts to the rim but misses the layup and Wilson turns the transition opportunity into free throws for CU and a tie ball game, 31-31 with 2:37 to play in the half.
Roethlisberger off the mark with her catch and shoot in the lane and CU's Blythe adds 2 and the Buffs first lead of the game. Cloman fouled away from the ball and makes her free throws. OU goes small with Robinson, Hand, Hartman, Willis and Roethlisberger on the floor for the final two minutes. Robinson and Roethlisberger trap Malcolm-Peck on the sideline and she steps out of bounds. Robinson's jumper misses. Blythe's jumper misses but Roethlisberger is whistled fighting for the rebound. Malcolm-Peck makes her first free throw and CU is called for a lane violation as her second falls through the net.
Robinson to strong at the rim. Jeffery with a simliar move gets her shot to drop. Hand called for a foul on the offensive end while out of control making a pass.
Ellenberg enters for Robinson with 37 seconds left and OU on defense. Hand called for a push as Malcolm-Peck drives through the lane. Her freebies fall and CU leads by 6.
Robinson holds the ball at the top of the arc as the clock runs under 10 seconds. She penetrates and pitches to Willis, who's 3 is short as the horn sounds.
Colorado leads 39-33 at halftime.
8:46 p.m. -- OU turns over the ball after using most of the shot clock trying to get a man open and CU scores in transition. No motion for the Sooners on offense and Hand takes it upon herself to get to the basket. She's fouled by Spears as the shot runs the circumference of the hoop and slides out. Hand makes her free throws. Robinson re-enters the game. Griffin fouls Hargis under the rim and, two free throws later, Colorado is within 1.
Cloman replaces Griffin and immediately scores. Roethlisberger picks off a CU pass in transition and converts a fast-break layup. A sloppy transition by both teams ends with Spears backing into Roethlisberger for what's become her patented scream while falling for the charge. It works and the game goes to the next media timeout.
OU 31, CU 26 -- 3:54 remaining in the first.
8:38 p.m. -- Chucky Jeffery's layup is waved off as an offensive foul, OU's third taken charge. OU turns over the ball on its end but Colorado can't convert a 3 and Hartman pushes strong to the basket and gets fouled by Dale on a converted layup and hits her freebie for a 3-point play. CU throws away the ball on the next possession. Ellenberg called for a charge driving to the hoop. CU and OU trade missed 3's. Hook responds with her miss with a steal that ends up as CU's 10th team foul and one good free throw for Whitney Hand.
The defense not quick enough to Spears who hits a 3. Griffin open under the basket for 2. Ellenberg's pressure on Jeffery forces another Hook steal but the pass is tipped out of bounds and goes back to Colorado. The Buffs play through the post to get Spears open again for another 3. Ellenberg pulls up a 14 feet for a jumper. Seabrook gets tagged with her third personal on a moving screen. That's CU's 11th team foul in 12 minutes.
Hartman at point runs a set play for Ellenberg's 3, but it misses and Hand gets the rebound. Coale calls timeout to set another play. Griffin tagged with an illegal screen send the game to the third media timeout.
OU leads 25-20 with 7:39 left in the first half. Griffin, 7, and Hartman, 5, are OU's leading scorers. Colorado has hit six of 11 3-pointers.
8:26 p.m. -- Colorado turns over the ball on its first possession from the timeout and then fouls on both the defensive and offensive sides while OU continues to find open lanes for the smart field goal. With a sixth team foul called on the Buffs in their own offensive end, Linda Lappe calls timeout with OU leading 13-6.
Robinson is called for a blocking foul under the basketball and will go to the bench with two personals. Hook enters as a substitute. An errant pass ends up in a Colorado players hands on the floor and a quick call for timeout before the Sooners can tie up the possession.
Chelsea Dale hits the third 3-pointer for CU and the Buffs are able to stay close with OU's five field goals all coming from inside the arc. Hook drives to the basket and is fouled by Hargis, CU's seventh team foul in just 6 1/2 minutes. Hook nails two free throws.
The Sooners are looking to keep Colorado out of the paint and have done nicely, but need to pay attention to where help is going and close on the open perimeter.
OU leads 17-14 with 11:52 remaining. All of CU's field goals are 3-pointers and six Sooners have scored.
8:15 p.m. -- OU sharing the ball well offensively with three players scoring and Nicole Griffin leading with 5 points. Defensively, OU has allowed two 3-pointers to fall Colorado's way, but has held tightly otherwise and has the rebounding advantage. The Sooners have not taken a 3-point attempt yet and haven't needed it. Colorado has picked up four fouls, two offensively, while OU has just one.
OU leads 9-6 with 15:50 to play in the first half.
8:01 p.m. -- Just a few minutes from tip-off and there's a good split of OU fans in the house to cheer opposite the Colorado home fans. At 5,345 feet, physical conditioning is always something to watch and with the way I felt after climbing the stairs to get into the place, high-altitude training will be in my offseason workout plan.
7:52 p.m. -- The Sooners and Buffs have retreated to their respective locker rooms for the final time for the last words from head coaches before tonight's tip-off. OU will start Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Nicole Griffin. Colorado will match with Britney Blythe, Brittany Wilson, Meagan Malcolm-Peck, Julie Seabrook and Brittany Spears.
Tonight's officials are Clarke Stevens, Amy Bonner and Scotty Hermann.
7:36 p.m. -- Oklahoma and Colorado are on the floor of Sox Walseth Court at the Coors Events Center in Boulder for the final time in Big 12 Conference play. The game tips off in 30 minutes and you can follow with one of the options above or with this blog.
Monday, Feb. 21
Robinson Up for Nation's Top Point Guard Award
DETROIT - Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson has been named one of 11 nominees for the 12th Annual Nancy Lieberman Award.
The award is a national project of the Rotary Club of Detroit, honoring the nation's top point guard in women's Division I college basketball. The criteria for the award are the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personified Hall of Famer, Nancy Lieberman during her career.
Robinson was a finalist last year and is on pace to join Lieberman and former Virginia star Dawn Staley as the only players to record 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals in a career.
Sportswriters from across the country have determined this final nominee list. They will select three finalists from this list and one winner at the beginning of April 2011. The announcement of the three finalists and one winner will be made during the Final Four Weekend (April 3-5, 2011).
2011 Nancy Lieberman Award Final Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Cetera DeGraffenred, North Carolina
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame
Dawn Evans, James Madison
Melissa Jones, Baylor
Sarah Miles, West Virginia
Jeanette Pohlen, Stanford
Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State
Sam Quigley, DePaul
Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma
Jasmine Thomas, Duke
Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga
Continue to Vote for D-Rob
Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in women's basketball. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Fan voting counts for one-third of the total balloting and will be conducted online at www.seniorclasssaward.com and via Facebook through March 20.
Fans are able to vote for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominees once each day through March 20. Click here to vote for Danielle Robinson.
Tuesday, Feb. 15
Sooners Spruce Up on Sunny Day The OU women's basketball team had a mandatory day off from workouts and spent their time on this sunny day in Norman helping out the residents of East Main Place, a homeless and transitional housing center. The players grabbed paint brushes and made quick work of coating a housing unit's rec room with a few layers of paint, brightening a room that had grown dull and dusty. Click the photo below for a larger gallery.
Monday, Feb. 14
No. 14 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Connecticut
XL Center | Hartford, Conn. | 6 p.m. Central
7:46 p.m. -- Game over. UConn wins 86-45. Come Saturday to Pack the Place Pink versus Texas. Cheer loud. Boomer Sooner!
7:28 p.m. -- Moore picks up her fourth foul and will go to the bench, but its too little too late for OU as Moore has scored 27 points. While Moore was handled reasonably in transition, her halfcourt was unstoppable tonight. UConn leads 74-37, with 7:43 to play.
7:20 p.m. -- Hand knocks down a 3 to start a 10-3 run for the Sooners. Down 32, however, this game is now about playing well to the finish line and after a few disjointed offensive plays, OU begins to generate a rhythm just in time to go into a media timeout. The Sooners need to keep its progress going in a positive direction.
UConn leads 64-32, 11:46 remaining.
7:10 p.m. -- Not a good look on the faces of the Sooners as they return from the locker room for the second half. Oklahoma begins its two-man ball pressure defense, but UConn is willing to pass around until it finds a good shot. The Huskies go 4-for-4 on field goal attempts out of the break before OU scores points on Griffin's free throws. UConn runs its field goal streak to 5-in-a-row before Hayes misses a 3 and Hand gets the rebound. UConn leads 60-22 with 15:06 to play.
6:48 p.m. -- Geno gives OU some relief by letting Maya Moore rest the remainder of the first half. OU wins it first interval of the game, 5-4, in the last 3:16 against mostly UConn reserves. Robinson and Hand aren't quitting for OU, but the Sooners just could not hit shots in the first half, generating points on only 25 percent of its attempts (8-of-32) while the Huskies couldn't miss with a 61 percent field goal percentage (20-of-33). Neither team has been successful from beyond the arc with OU at 1-of-13 and UConn at 1-of-8, but 14 OU turnovers have doomed this first half.
Halftime score: Connecticut 46, Oklahoma 18.
6:40 p.m. -- Maya Moore is feeling it, and it's easy with no one keeping track of her on defense. The two-time national player of the year has 18 points already, and if that wasn't enough, Oklahoma has spotted UConn 20 points off 14 turnovers. UConn leads 42-13, with 3:16 remaining in the first half.
6:32 p.m. -- Oklahoma goes three straight possessions without even getting off a shot and turning over the ball with errant passing, forcing Coale to call timeout to settle the troops with UConn taking its advantage to 23-6. Coale not happy with the play of her backcourt and inserts Kodi Morrison, Jasmine Hartman, Jacqueline Jeffcoat, and Lauren Willis to send a message that doing the simple things should take care of business in the half-court offense.
The plan doesn't work as OU continues to turn the ball over, running a streak of six possessions without even a field goal attempt. Coale makes a line change substitution, checking in the backcourt starters with Lyndsey Cloman as UConn leads 31-6 and takes the game into a media break with a 33-8 score, 6:28 remaining in the first half.
6:21 p.m. -- You can see the youth that both teams are living and dying with on the court with some poor passing decisions leading to two turnovers for each team in the latest interval. Oklahoma is actually leading the rebounding battle 11-8, but is out of sorts with its shooting, rushing poor shot selection and hitting just 3-of-15 so far. UConn's field goal percentage is at 54 percent (7-of-13) and that is the difference in the game as both teams have handled the transition attack fairly well.
UConn leads 16-6, 11:59.
6:10 p.m. -- Sooners shooting themselves in the foot to start as UConn takes a 6-0 lead, causing Coale to call a timeout. OU has shot three times, all from beyond the arc, and turned it over three times in the offensive end. Robinson gets OU on the board and then Maya Moore gets called for the offensive foul on the next trip. Ellenberg misses, but puts back Griffin's rebound for another 2. Robinson drives baseline, but steps out of bounds on her pivot to send the game to a media break. OU's attacking offense seems to have caught the gaps in the UConn defense. UConn leads 6-4, with 15:44 on the clock. All points in the paint thus far.
5:54 p.m. -- Just under 10 minutes from tip-off here in Hartford. Both teams have retreated to the locker rooms for final instructions with legendary coaches. Geno Auriemma has guided the Huskies to 759 wins, including a ridiculous 90-game winning streak that ended in December. UConn still has a 73-game winning streak at home that the Sooners will look to break tonight. Sherri Coale, sporting a custom pair of pink Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, has taken OU to 10 combined Big 12 regular-season and tournament championships and back-to-back Final Four appearances. You can bid on Coale's shoes, as well as several other breast cancer awareness-themed items on SoonerSports.com now.
5:25 p.m. -- Happy Valentine's Day from the XL Center in Hartford. Oklahoma and UConn are in their respective locker rooms preparing for tonight's Big Monday battle on ESPN2. Tonight's game holds a special significance as the marquee event of February Frenzy and both teams are decked in pink uniforms and both coaches planning to auction game-used items in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and breast cancer awareness.
Wednesday, Feb. 9
No. 14 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Texas A&M
Reed Arena | College Station, Texas | 7 p.m.
9:18 p.m. -- Texas A&M holds on to win 84-66. A disappointing night, but good stuff from the Sooner freshman is uplifting as postseason play nears. Oklahoma next hosts Missouri at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman at 2 p.m. See you there.
8:59 p.m. -- Just like in Norman, the Aggies show they aren't conditioned to play a full 40 minutes and the starters begin making mistakes as they get tired. Turnovers on offense and careless fouls on defense have allowed OU to chip away at large lead, but it may be too little, too late.
Texas A&M leads 84-66 with 3:20 left and Ellenberg free throws to come.
8:47 p.m. -- OU needs every free throw and Ellenberg makes two of her three. Hook and Griffin re-enter with specific instructions from Coale on how to guard their defender. OU needs to get to the free throw line as much as possible, needing to take charges to get to the bonus quicker. The freshmen duo plays toughness, but the Sooners still fail to capitalize offensively.
Robinson picks up three fouls, one offensively and two beyond halfcourt, in the last four minutes for four total in the game -- the last one reviewed as intentional. OU goes the way D-Rob goes, and she's been frustrated most of the night. It's tough for OU to stay even in the rebounding and turnover battles and lose the game beyond the arc.
Texas A&M opens the lead, 76-53, with 7:33 to play.
8:35 p.m. -- With fresh legs, Jeffcoat checks in to replace Hand, who has picked up a fourth foul. Adams showing why she's a Big 12 Player of the Year candidate, back on the floor after sitting much of the first with foul trouble, by being a tough matchup with her ability to stay on the perimeter and hit 3's with ease. For OU, Ellenberg is showing signs on life after going scoreless in the first half, complimenting Robinson's middle drives, with perimeter ability.
OU has evened the field goal shooting some, making 7-of-13 this half, but has allowed A&M to get ahead at the free throw line.
Texas A&M leads 62-46 with 11:54 to play. Ellenberg with 3 free throws to come.
8:23 p.m. -- Griffin making the second-half start at center for OU. The first challenge from Adams ends up in a foul, but Griffin wasn't intimidated, pushing her for position until Adams came up with the ball. Roethlisberger comes up with the steal, Hand finds Griffin, who is fouled by Elonu on the layup. Griffin, a very good free throw shooter in high school, misses both long. Carter's missed 3 is rebounded by Griffin and Robinson runs to the hoop for a layup. Adams finds Elonu for 2, Ellenberg answers with a pitch-and-penetrate 3. Adams pulls up for a 3 over Griffin. Robinson runs by the defense for the flip layup and 2 more. Adams hits another 3 as Griffin pulled off for just a second. Hand fouls Carter under the rim after White stole an OU pass.
Basically, more tough play from both teams in that interval.
McFarland comes in for Griffin. Robinson comes up with the rebound on Carter FT miss and find Ellenberg for another 3. Ellenberg's steal puts OU back on offense, but they fail to hit on two attempts. Aggies miss the shot on their end but get the deadball rebound out of bounds.
Texas A&M leads 56-40 with 15:54 to play.
8:13 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson holding a sore spot on the left side of her back after the physical first half. She'll be holding both sides, and both knees, by the end of tonight's rumble.
8:09 p.m. -- There's no deceiving stat for the Sooners to improve upon with rebounds, turnovers, free throws fairly even. Field goal percentages, however, are not, especially from beyond the arc. Texas A&M hitting 52 percent of its attempts, including 4-of-9 3's, and OU making only 31 percent, including just one of 10 3-pointers. Simply, OU struggling to find good looks, while A&M is forcing itself to point-scoring positions.
The Sooners held the Aggies without a field goal for the final 4 minutes. Quite an impressive showing with Adams as the only starter on the bench for A&M while Nicole Griffin held her own in the post for OU. Continued play like that will get the Sooners back in the fight.
8:01 p.m. -- An interesting lineup -- Robinson, Roethlisberger, Hook, Cerina and Griffin -- on the floor with OU needing to find ways to open lanes and get field goals. Carter bounces hard on the floor from Cerina's screen, but A&M still able to get its hands on loose balls. After two possessions, Ellenberg replaces Hook. A&M is able to sag with only one perimeter shooter on the floor and Robinson gets fouled driving through the roadblocks in the lane, making OU's first two points in a couple minutes.
Hand checks in for Cerina as Adams makes free throws. Adams comes out for the final 2 minutes. Griffin sets the screen for Robinson, who finds the paint and gets her flip shot to go down. A 3-second call on A&M puts the ball back in Robinson's hand. The All-American doesn't wait for a screen this time, stepping to the top of the key and nailing a jumper.
Pressure forces another A&M turnover, but Robinson is called for traveling on the other end. Tough play by Nicole Griffin and Hand gets a loose ball rebound back in OU's hands and Ellenberg feeds Griffin under the rim. OU cuts the lead by six and goes into halftime down 46-30.
7:51 p.m. -- OU and A&M trade buckets before the media timeout. The basic theme continues with OU working hard the full possession for just the attempt, while A&M is able to muscle its way to rebounds and field goals. Texas A&M leads 42-22, 3:32 left.
7:47 p.m. -- Aggies playing their way right now and open the lead with 6 unanswered points. Coale calls time, needing her team to make a run into halftime down 20 with under 5 minutes to play.
7:40 p.m. -- Two ins-and-outs for Hand and Robinson on one possession and Elonu grabs her own miss under the basket to add 2. That would be deflating for many teams, but OU answers as Robinson finds Hook for a 3 and takes a charge under the basket. Unfortunately, A&M can respond, too. Baker hits a well-contested 8-footer and Robinson gets picked off by White on the halfcourt pass, then Carter drops a 3.
Robinson's miss on the front end of the 1-and-1 is bailed out by a lane violation. Robinson makes both on the next attempt. Two defensive stands by OU help cut into the lead.
Still, Texas A&M maintains a 14-point advantage, 34-20, with 7:46 on the clock in the first half.
7:30 p.m. -- OU only trading 2's against Texas A&M's 3's and sending the Aggies to the line when they drive to the hoop. A&M with a 12-6 rebounding advantage making this an early blowout, 25-12, with 11:46 remaining in the first. Aggies outscored Sooners 11-7 with Adams on the bench.
7:24 p.m. -- The game stops while the officials check the replay on whether Hartman made contact with the elbow on Colson, an intentional foul regardless of intent. A&M leads 19-8 with 13:32 to play.
7:16 p.m. -- Oklahoma practiced its offensive against aggressive fouling all week, but its gets tagged with two early on defense. The Sooners turn over the ball with A&M running the fullcourt press and the Aggies take a 7-0 lead when Coale calls a timeout to settle the troops. Robinson puts OU on the board with a jumper, but Cloman fouls Adams the next trip down for a 10-2 Aggie advantage.
OU gains some offensive rhythm and start taking aggression out on the Aggies, collecting a charge and a couple defensive fouls. Most importantly, tagging Adams, the Big 12's leading scorer, with two personals in the first four minutes.
Texas A&M leads 14-5 at the first media timeout, 15:52.
7:02 p.m. -- Texas A&M's Danielle Adams is honored pre-game for becoming a 1,000-point scorer. She'll start along with Syndey Carter, Sydney Colson, Adaora Elonu and Tyra White. Danielle Robinson, who is 74 points shy of 2,000, makes the start along with Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Lyndsey Cloman for OU.
6:43 p.m. -- Tonight's game is not televised, but Texas A&M has made this event available for webcast. Click here to watch it on All-Access.
6:26 p.m. -- Texas A&M staff not expecting to pack the house tonight with a freezing rain in the forecast. If the12th man stays away, that could be an advantage for the Sooners in a typically hostile environment.
6:19 p.m. -- About to try the fine cuisine at Reed Arena while waiting for this game to start at 7 p.m. No major milestones will be broken tonight, but, with 16 points, Aaryn Ellenberg could become the first Sooner freshman since Courtney Paris to score 400 points in her freshman season and Danielle Robinson can match LaNeisha Caufield for the second most double-figure scoring games by a Sooner.
5:46 p.m. -- The Sooners have returned to Reed Arena and are in the locker room getting taped and dressed for pre-game warmups. The Sooners have won 26 of the 42 meetings against Texas A&M, but have not won in College Station since 2007. They will look to reverse that trend tonight. For the Aggies, it's their first game playing in Reed Arena since losing to No. 1 Baylor, 63-60, on Jan. 30.
11:25 a.m. -- Shootaround is nearly a wrap. Special emphasis on playing with toughness and getting a the rebound advantage, something OU lost the last time they played A&M.
10:33 a.m. -- Oklahoma is warming up at Reed Arena in its pre-game shootaround. It's not in the single digits like Norman, but it's cold here, too, and half the players are wearing sleeves for this morning practice. Tonight's game is not televised, so you'll have to listen and follow GameTracker for live updates.
Tuesday, Feb. 8
WNBA's Sparks Sign Courtney Paris The Los Angeles Sparks today announced they signed the four-time All-American and 2007 National Player of the Year Courtney Paris to a free agent contract. It is the third WNBA team for Paris, who was drafted seventh overall by the Sacramento Monarchs in 2009. After the Monarchs franchise folded the next season, Paris was acquired by the Chicago Sky in a dispersal draft, but waived in the preseason.
Monday, Feb. 7
Thank You, Alumni The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department wishes to give special recognition to the women's basketball alumni who made the trip to Norman for Saturday's game, as well as those who had travel plans inconvenienced by weather and could not attend. Thank you for your contributions to the sport and continued excellence as Sooners for life!
8:48 p.m. -- Ellenberg in a groove with three straight field goals for OU. McFarland fouls out after a scrum, walking to the bench with a 3-inch long scrape bleeding across her bicep. Griner gets two more points at the free throw line, for 28 total, before she's subbed out for the final time with Baylor in control. BU leads 87-53 with 3:24 to play.
8:38 p.m. -- Three Sooners -- Ellenberg, Hand and Robinson -- in double figures for the Sooners, but that is all of OU's points save 2 from Cloman. Four Baylor players in double-digits with 7 from Hayden and 5 from Pope as the Lady Bears attack from all positions. OU goes into the under 8 timeout down, 79-43, with the mark of possibly the worst loss, by margin, in the program's history on the line.
8:28 p.m. -- OU outscored 21-9 this half by the time Ellenberg gets a jumper to fall. For the most part, Robinson is stopping Sims, offensively, and Hand is handling Jones, but there is no answer for Griner -- and that is common in NCAA women's college basketball -- who is scoring in a variety of ways and dishing assists to her frontcourt mates when not. Oklahoma got its first points in the paint during that interval. Baylor opens up the gap to a 70-33 lead with 10:53 remaining.
8:17 p.m. -- It looks bad at halftime, but the Sooners came back from 26 down on the road against Cal, the largest comeback in regulation in NCAA history, just two seasons ago. OU will need that kind of effort to hang with the nation's No. 1 team in the second half. Two quick fouls get Baylor on the board first, but Robinson answers with a layup and 2 for OU. Sims leads with an elbow off the screen and gets called for the offensive foul. Mulkey, arguing the call, get charged witha technical. Robinson adds two free throws to OU's total.
OU depending on perimeter offense and Hand is the only player hitting so far. Ellenberg's 3's are good looks, just hitting both sides of the rim and rolling out. She's 1-of-9 from the field, and 0-for-6 from 3-point range at the media timeout. Baylor leads 56-24 with 15:19 to play.
7:52 p.m. -- Hand nails a 3 as 2:00 passes on the clock. OU held Baylor without a field goal for more than four minutes, but trading scores is the pace at the moment. Free throws by Jones and Griner, and then a contested 3 by Jones, send the teams into halftime with Baylor leading 41-17.
7:43 p.m. -- Having trouble getting a stable internet connection, so reports may be spotty. OU getting into a offensive rhythm, but not hitting enough shots to mount any type of run. Sooners still struggling with defensive assignments away from the ball. Baylor enters final media timeout of the first half, at 3:56 remaining, leading 32-12.
7:25 p.m. -- Coale pleads with her team to run in transition and OU comes out of the timeout with more hustle, but is still losing track of its assignment in the half court. Robinson creates space for a jumper -- it looks like she'll have to take responsibility of the scoring offense with the motion out of sync. Baylor simply exposing OU's lack of attention to detail through the first 8 minutes. Hand creates some momentum with a steal and trip to the free throw line, but Baylor leads 22-6 at the second media break with 11:40 to play.
7:16 p.m. -- After an 8-0 start by Baylor, Cloman gets the Sooners on the board with a long jumper. OU choosing to front Griner with Cloman and help on the back, sacrificing an open perimeter away from the 6-8 center's side. Baylor also finding seams in the lane for flashers and gets a couple easy layups, forcing Coale to call timeout with a 13-2 margin. On the outlet pass, Hayden finds Jones for a 2-on-1 layup and it's 15-2 at the first media timeout, 15:03 remaining in the first half.
7:05 p.m. -- No real explanation, but the Sooners taking a little longer than usual to get out on the court, but make it at the buzzer for the National Anthem. Oklahoma probably wanted to stay in the warm locker room a few extra seconds as it is cold inside tonight. It is defintely below 60 degrees inside the gym and most of the crowd is wearing what it arrived in -- coats and mittens.
Baylor's starters are being introduced -- Odyssey Sims, Kimetria Hayden, Melissa Jones, Destiny Williams and Brittney Griner.
6:48 p.m. -- Roughly 19 minutes away from tonight's tip-off and both teams' captains are meeting with the officials at center court. Lyndsey Cloman will make her first career start tonight opposite Baylor's Brittney Griner with Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand and Carlee Roethlisberger joining her.
6:21 p.m. -- Fans are coming in from the cold and starting to fill up the Ferrell Center in anticipation of an exciting game tonight. Baylor (71.7 points per game) and Oklahoma (71.3) represent the Big 12's second and third, respectively, scoring offenses in conference play. Baylor defeated Texas A&M in College Station with its final possession Sunday and Oklahoma is coming off a hard-fought Bedlam win in Stillwater on Saturday.
5:18 p.m. -- OU is in the Ferrell Center for tonight's matchup with No. 1 Baylor. The Sooners arrived a few minutes ago direct from Norman after weather delayed their travel plans about 24 hours. Still, the game goes on as scheduled tonight at 7 p.m.
2:05 p.m. -- OSU can't catch Robinson off the inbounds and Bias has to foul at halfcourt. D-Rob's free throws give OU a five point lead. OU with great perimeter defense, expiring the clock to 8 seconds before OSU can fire a long-range 3 that is rebounded by McFarland. McFarland misses both FTs, but the clock expires.
OU wins 82-77.
1:59 p.m. -- McIntyre is robbed under the rim by McFarland. Robinson being hounded by Garrison as she brings the ball upcourt. Garrison eventually fouls and Robinson goes to the line. D-Rob's free throws make it a two possession game with 41.6 seconds.
Bias speeds down the court and gets a contested underhand layup to fall. Budke calls for a :30 down by 3.
OU will have the ball, a 3-point lead and 34.9 seconds.
The Sooners will go down to the wire again this week. It's the Big 12. It ain't intramurals, brother.
1:55 p.m. -- Bias misses the first of two free throws. Two possessions later, Keller adds a jumper. Robinson finds Hand open for a 3, but its long and Ellenberg is pushed out of bounds while getting the rebound. Ellenberg makes her first free throw and McFarland is fouled under the basket while cleaning up the miss on the second. McFarland's first FT is off the mark, but No. 2 goes in. OU leads 78-75 with under 2 minutes to play.
P. Robinson's jumper misses and McFarland -- doing this all with four fouls -- catches the board. Robinson slows the pace at the halfcourt, but misses a jumper that is rebounded by the Cowgirls. With the ball on their end, Budke calls timeout.
OU leads 78-75 with 1:08 to play.
1:48 p.m. -- Robinson ties the game with free throws, out of the break. Bias fouls and OU is in the double bonus, giving Robinson two shots. Coale switches Hand's assignment to defending Precious Robinson, but the Cowgirls find Keller for the jumper. OSU jumps ahead by two at the free throw line and McFarland, perfect from the line in Big 12 play, makes two of her own. OSU's Robinson gets her hands on the rebound and is sent to the line by Hand's foul. The free throws tie the score 72-72.
Ellenberg creats space for a jumper and drills it. Coale calls for a :30 as its falls through the net.
Robinson opens up the lane for a scoop shot and OU has a 4-point lead. OU's defense holds OSU to a desperation attempt as the shot clock expires. Ellenberg's 3 misses and D-Rob gets tagged with her fourth foul 20 feet away from the basket to send the game to a media timeout.
OU leads 76-72 with 3:37 to play.
1:36 p.m. -- After struggling with the shot in the pre-conference season, Roethlisberger has made 9 of her 20 3-point attempts in conference play.
Bias' 3 ties the game 57-57 and Robinson's jumper rolls in an out. Bryan hits a 3 to change the lead again in favor of OSU. OU brings the ball to its end and Coale calls time. Ellenberg and Hand check in to the scorer's table. The huddle breaks with Coach Coale saying "Toughness" to center Jelena Cerina, who checked in just a minute ago. Cerina answers by getting fouled with her first touch on a driving layup. The Serbian makes her first and misses the second, but Hand gets the rebound. Ellenberg finds room for a layup. Precious Robinson is fouled by Cerina for the and 1 chance on the other end. The free throw is made for a 63-60 OSU lead.
Ellenberg misfires a 3, but OSU mishandles its possession and Hand gets her shot to fall to tie the score and hits another after Bryan's free throw. OU leads 66-64 with 7:42 to play.
1:24 p.m. -- Bryan's 3 opens the lead to 4 for OSU. Robinson drives middle for the layup and her sixth field goal of the game. Three straight game changers by Roethlisberger as she nails a 3, takes a charge and hits another from beyond the arc.
At the 11:54 media timeout, Oklahoma has taken its lead back, 56-52.
1:15 p.m. -- Contact is ruled fair play and the gmae continues. OSU's Heather Howard scoops McIntyre's missed layup for 2. Another foul called on OU sends the game to the first media timeout of the second half. OSU leads 48-46.
1:11 p.m. -- D-Rob has a smile going as she's looking to take over this game. Two straight field goals and a kick-out to assist Roethlisberger's 3 on consecutive trips as OU regains the lead, 45-44. McIntyre pulls up for a jumper, but McFarland gets her to foul on the other end and makes the free throw to tie the game.
Coale has the officials look at the monitor to check for an elbow against Roethlisberger. With the rule change this year, any contact with a swinging elbow is considered an intentional foul.
12:58 p.m. -- At the half, OU already as its most points from the bench, 11, since the reserves scored 20 in the Big 12 opener at Nebraska. Still, OSU's bench is outscoring OU's by 4. What's killing the Sooners is second chance points. OU has none, and only two offensive board, while OSU has 9 of its 20 rebounds on the offensive end, and six extra points because of that effort.
12:48 p.m. -- Oklahoma goes to a halfcourt press, but leaves Garrison open for an NBA 3. Cloman finds space for a layup and then Bias throws over Hartman to high jump champion Toni Young for a quick jumper. Ellenberg answers with a 3 but OSU gets another mismatch with Keller on the block against Hartman for 2. Robinson picks up her third offensive foul and has to sit. Young is fouled on a jumper but misses the freebie. Ellenberg's jumper drops and Young travels to give OU the last possession of the half.
Cloman's layup is blocked by a hoarde of Cowgirls as the buzzer sounds. OSU leads 42-38 at halftime.
Both teams shooting over 50 percent from both the field and 3-point line, but neither team very successful with free throws. OSU shooting 44 percent from the charity stripe, where they have nine attempts. OU is 1-of-2.
OSU outrebounding OU, 20-13.
12:40 p.m. -- Apparently, a 3-point clinic was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. as four straight shots from beyond the arc -- three by OU and one from OSU -- elevate the score to 27-24. OSU gets layups from Young and Crutchfield on the back end of a 7-0 scoring run to return OSU to the lead, forcing Coale to call time.
Ellenberg and Keller trade 3s before the next media timeout at 2:52. OSU leads 32-30.
12:28 p.m. -- After starting 1-of-7, the Sooners have made 7 of their last 8 field goals, getting points from McFarland, Robinson, Hand, Cloman, Ellenberg and Morgan Hook's first successful 3-pointer in the last six games, forcing Budke to call a timeout as OU takes an 18-15 lead.
At the 7:47 media timeout, OU leads 18-17.
12:22 p.m. -- OSU had 10 rebounds before OU get could its second. The Sooners have to manage contesting post players who shoot 3 while still crashing on field goal attempts if they want to limit OSU's second chances. Robinson fast-break layup comes off her 281st career steal, the second most all-time for a Sooner.
Center Lindsay Keller gets a 3 to fall after a hotly-contested possession, pushing the score to 13-7 in favor of OSU at the second media timeout.
12:12 p.m. -- OSU jumps to an 8-0 lead before Whitney Hand can get a bucket to fall for the Sooners, firing a 3 off a high screen. The Cowgirls are flooding the paint with rebounders, grabbing eight of the nine missed field goals thus far, while the Sooners are failing to get open for uncontested looks at the basket. OSU lead 8-3 at the first media timeout, 15:26 to play.
12:01 p.m. -- I almost forgot to mention -- no orange blazer for Kurt Budke today as both head coaches are decked out in mostly black ensembles. Starters are being introduced. OU takes the court with Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Joanna McFarland. For OSU, Lakyn Garrison, Tiffany Bias, Jenni Bryan, Toni Young and Lindsey Keller get the starting nod.
11:57 a.m. -- As we near the start and both teams reappear from the locker rooms, the OU fans prove that while they may be outnumbered in size, they are not in decibels. Oklahoma wears its slightly revamped Crimson uniforms and Oklahoma State is in its home whites.
11:15 a.m. -- The Sooners and Cowgirls are on the floor preparing for the first round of women's basketball Bedlam tipping off at noon today. OU looks to continue its dominance of Oklahoma State, having won the last six meetings and 23 of the past 24.
Thursday, Jan. 27
Sooner Sports Talk on KOKC AM 1520 OU basketball coaches Jeff Capel and Sherri Coale host Sooner Sports Talk tonight from Red Lobster in Norman from 7 to 8 p.m. Listen on KOKC AM 1520 or via SoonerSports.com All-Access. Tonight's broadcast features a mystery guest who is very well known to Sooner fans. Call the hotline with your question, 1-877-600-6432.
Wednesday, Jan. 26
Dishin' and Swishin' with Danielle Robinson David Siegel, a contributor for Swish Appeal and host of Dishin' and Swishin': Women's Hoops Talk recently visited with OU's Danielle Robinson and talked about her season thus far, her career at OU and future plans to play professionally. You can listen to the interview here.
Sunday, Jan. 23
Oklahoma vs. Kansas
No. 14 Oklahoma meets Kansas with the hopes of keeping its Big 12 record spotless after Sunday's matchup at historic Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. The game tips off at 12 p.m. and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.
1:53 p.m. -- Ellenberg and Robinson check out of the game with the score in control. OU wins 75-57.
1:45 p.m. -- Mays makes both free throws. Robinson gets point No. 10 with a jumper for her 103rd career game in double-figure scoring. Roethlisberger drills a 3, her first field goal of the game but fouls out on the other end attempting a block. Although suffering with flu-like symptoms, Roethlisberger's 19 minutes were very instrumental in OU's defensive performance today. Roethlisberger had six rebounds, three steals and one block.
OU leads 68-52 with 3:58 to go.
1:37 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson, shooting 4-of-5 this half, helps grow the OU lead field goals on consecutive possessions. Still, the Sooners continuing to bailout Kanas mistakes with fouls on the other end. Fouls are 17-8 for OU with free throws to come for Kansas after the break.
OU leads 63-49 with 6:29 remaining.
1:32 p.m. -- Three straight turnovers in the paint forces Coale to return McFarland and Roethlisberger to the lineup after Kansas cuts the lead with seven unanswered points. For the most part, Kansas is living with a one-and-done chance on the offensive end. The Sooners have limited the Jayhawks to just five offensive rebounds, with KU's only second-chance points coming from one made free throw.
OU leads 57-47 with 8:51 to play.
1:24 p.m. -- A couple of answered blown on Marisha Brown seems to settle down the Sooners, who get back-to-back 3's from Hand and Ellenberg. Goodrich leads a steal and layup that is countered with Robinson finding Ellenberg for the easy fast-break conversion. Brown picks up her third foul on Hand's layup to send the game to a media timeout.
OU leads 57-40 with 11:49 left.
1:16 p.m. -- Robinson's first points open the second-half scoring for OU, but her two field goals are the only points for her team as the Sooners fire five blanks from beyond the arc. Kansas content with throwing inside to Davis and getting her fouled, despite a low free throw percentage. Kansas has made 10 of 19 free throws while Oklahoma has not yet had an attempt from the charity stripe.
OU leads 47-33 with 15:30 to play.
12:51 p.m. -- Jelena Cerina drops a post move on Davis twice in as many possessions and Kansas' last chance 3-pointer misses to send the game into halftime. OU leads 43-26.
OU shooting 55 percent (18-of-33) in the first half is a welcome sign after three straight games below 33 percent. The Sooners have made seven of nine 3-point attempts and have scored 13 points off nine Jayhawk turnovers.
12:43 p.m. -- Henrickson calls another timeout after Ellenberg hits her fifth 3-pointer and Hand follows another loose ball deflection with a layup -- her seventh straight field goal after missing her first two -- to nearly double-up the score at 35-17. Robinson takes a breather, putting Ellenberg at the point. Even when OU can't run the right play, it gets two points as Ellenberg's jumper makes the lead 19. Free throws by Goodrich close the gap to 16 and Davis makes a jumper after Hand loses the handle driving the middle. Coale calls timeout. OU leads 37-23 with 3:12 to play in the opening period.
Now playing: Violent Femmes "Blister in the Sun."
12:32 p.m. -- Scores on three consecutive possessions for Oklahoma forces KU head coach Bonnie Henrickson to call a timeout. Spectacular play and positioning from Hand has allowed OU to run its lead to 22-12. The sophomore has 9 points already and has made several key defensive plays. Kansas is struggling at the free throw line, shooting just 50 percent.
Two more 3-pointers by Ellenberg and a lot of Whitney Hand has the Sooners leading 27-15 with 7:38 remaining in the first. The Sooners have made 8 of their last 12 shots and are now a 50 percent for the game.
12:23 p.m. -- The Sooners make an 8-2 run in the last interval, hitting three of their four field goal attempt with Ellenberg nailing two 3-pointers. Hand created two transition opportunities by getting deflections on KU passes. OU leads 14-9 with 11:53 to play in the first half.
12:15 p.m. -- The shooting woes continue for Oklahoma having made just 3-of-10 at the first media timeout. OU has made the most of its offensive boards, converting three into four second-chance points. The Sooner defense is again on point, however, as Kansas has made just 3-of-8 and leads by only one point, 7-6.
12:02 p.m. -- Starters have been introduced. For OU it will be Robinson, Ellenberg, Hand, Roethlisberger and McFarland. For KU, Marisha Brown, Angel Goodrich, Monica Engelman, Aishah Sutherland and Carolyn Davis will take the floor first.
11:52 a.m. -- It's "Parents' Day" at KU and the families of the KU support staff and team are being introduced on the court. A number of the Sooners' families have been the trek to Lawrence, as well. In the stands, I've seen Lauren Willis' parents from nearby Overland Park, Morgan Hook's mother and father, and Nicole Griffin's mother and sisters.
A special shoutout to another family member of a Sooner women's basketball player: good luck today to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who face the New York Jets this evening in the AFC Championship.
11:43 a.m. -- I have to think the most unique thing about the pre-game at Kansas is that the Jayhawk band performs all the music -- nothing piped in electronically. It's been Toto's "Africa" while the teams warmup followed by Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."
11:36 a.m. -- While Oklahoma looks to continue its winning, it hopes to end its steak of shooting below 33 percent. OU's three game streak of making less than one-third of its shots is the longest in program history -- win or lose -- since a six-game streak in 1975-76, the program's second season.
11:13 a.m. -- Oklahoma and Kansas are on the floor at the Phog preparing for Sunday's game. The Sooner Nation has come in force with a number of fans clad in the Crimson and Cream.
Friday, Jan. 21
Sooner head coach Sherri Coale was interviewed earlier this week by Swish Appeal contributor and host of Dishin' and Swishin': The World of Women's Hoops David Siegel. Here's a link to listen.
Sunday, Jan. 16
Oklahoma vs. Texas | Frank Erwin Center | Austin, Texas No. 15 Oklahoma (12-3, 2-0 Big 12) visits Texas (11-5, 0-2 Big 12) for the first edition of this year's Red River Rivalry in women's basketball. The game tips off at 12:30 p.m. central and will be televised on ESPNU. You can also listen to the radio broadcast on the Sooner Sports Network with Brian Brinkley (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City) over the air and online at SoonerSports.com.
2:54 p.m. -- Texas gets two 3-point attempt off, but neither fall and OU takes the ball inbounds with under 2 seconds. Robinson is fouled to seal the game.
2:52 p.m. -- Fussell goes down in front on Hand and Gayle covers to block the shot as the 30-second clock expires. Fontenette makes the field goal with 24 seconds remaining and the Longhorns foul Hartman on the inbounds. A 1-and-1 coming for Hartman. OU leads 70-67 with 21.9 seconds left.
2:48 p.m. -- OU enters overtime 14-14 all-time in the extra period with a 10-5 record under Sherri Coale. OU makes the first noise as Ellenberg hits an uncontested 3 off the inbounds pass. Fussell fouls Hand on the UT missed field goal and the Fort Worth native makes both free throws. Fontenette misses on a drive to the rim and Hand comes up with the rebound. Robinson's jumper is blocked back into her hands and Anderson fouls with the contact. Robinson makes both free throws.
Cloman fouls Gayle, but the UT post misses both. Nash scoops the rebound but can handle under the pressure of Robinson. Cloman bails her out with a pushoff and Nash hits the freebies for Texas' first points of overtime. Texas into a press defense. Ellenberg's 3 misses but so does Anderson's attempt. Robinson's pass to Hand is off the mark. Fussell outruns Hand around the key and gets off a jumper to make it 66-63. Ellenberg's pull-up jumper misses, but Roethlisberger is in position to cleam up. Fontenette's 3 is long and Robinson pushes it, making the runner. Fontenette takes advantage in transition to get a layup and Goestenkors calls timeout.
OU leads 70-65 with 1:01 left in OT.
2:38 p.m. -- Robinson holds the ball until 8 seconds are left and passes to Hand. Hand steps up for a 14-footer and the shot bounces on both sides of the rim before falling out. Overtime in Austin.
2:35 p.m. -- Fussell runs the wheel over the top of Hand and drives for a layup to tie the game. Robinson brings the ball upcourt and Coale calls timeout with 20.2 remaining and the shot clock off. 59-59 with OU handling what could be the last possession.
2:33 p.m. -- Robinson finds space in the lane and shoot over 6-2 Kat Nash to give OU the 59-57 lead. Just 34.9 seconds remain with 26 on the shot clock and Texas' ball.
2:31 p.m. -- With the lead only at 1 and the crowd rising to its feet. Robinson sneaks the ball to Roethlisberger as Texas tried to trap and is fouled. Carlee makes both free throws. Fontenette's layup cuts OU's lead to 1 again. Ellenberg's floater misses and Fussell cleans up on the other end for Texas to put the Longhorns up 56-55 with just over two minutes ot play. Robinson forced to put up a couple of contested shots that do not fall, but then gets the layup off an inbounds from a deadball rebound. Fontenette is fouled by Robinson and makes just the first to tie the game, 57-57. Cloman's jumper misses and Texas brings the ball to its end and calls timeout with 1:26 to play.
2:25 p.m. -- Hand's 3 misses -- she's 0-for-8 from beyond the arc today -- and Texas gets the deadball rebound to enter the final media timeout. OU leads 53-50 with 3:58 to play. The Sooners have only six points today from 3-point range and are shooting 2-of-19. The bread and butter has been getting into the paint, where OU has outscored UT 26-8.
2:22 p.m. -- Ellenberg's jumper falls with the buzzer blowing but Fussell starts to get in rhythm, hitting just her second field goal on the other end. Cerina fouls on the miss by Ellenberg, her fifth, putting Texas into the double bonus.
2:19 p.m. -- Texas moves from a zone into a trap defense in hopes of causing OU turnovers. It's to no avail as OU's earlier disadvantage with post players on the bench has turned into a strength with the small, quick lineup working together on the court. OU still struggling to find consistent shooting this half outside of Robinson and Ellenberg. Hand's missed 3 converts into a transition 3 by Nash and Coale calls timeout with Texas chipping the lead to 5. OU leads 51-46 with 5:09 to play.
2:13 p.m. -- Robinson with all eight of OU's points during the last interval as the Sooners have played through half the second period with an 18-8 advantage even with its post players in foul trouble. Robinson finds Hand inside for a layup to extend the lead to 10. On the other end, Hartman's hand check puts Texas into the bonus with 10 minutes to play. Cerina follows up Robinson's missed layup with 2 and gets the rebound on the other end for some quality play from the junior college transfer. The last UT miss allows Robinson to slow the game pace with OU hanging to an 11 point lead and nine minutes on the clock.
McFarland gets called for an offensive foul, her fifth off the inbounds from the timeout. Texas throws away the ball on their end to lead into the 8:00 media timeout. OU leads 49-38 with 7:48 to play. The Sooners have not allowed a field goal in more than six minutes, outscoring 14-2 in that span.
2:00 p.m. -- Ellenberg strips her former high school teammate Ashley Gayle out of the inbounds and the shot clock expires for Texas. Robinson makes a layup, her fifth of the game, which ties her with Dionnah Jackson for fifth most field goals all-time at OU in the career. Gayle commits the offensive foul going to the rim on the next trip to pick up her third foul. Robinson makes what is OU's play of the year so far with a steal a midcourt, dribbling herself off the ground and then driving through Fontenette for the layup and 1 to give the Sooners their largest lead of the game, 43-36.
1:49 p.m. -- OU forces turnovers on four of Texas' first five possessions, but McFarland picks up her fourth foul within two minutes and goes to the bench. After three straight posessions with missed 3-pointers, OU gets transition layups from Ellenberg and Robinson. Cerina picks up fouls three and four, forcing OU to insert Hook into the lineup and go small. OU gets its first lead since one minute into the game with a 3 by Roethlisberger and the Sooners lead 35-34 at the first media timeout, 14:52.
1:24 p.m. -- Texas with a +12 rebounding advantage, but OU hanging in thanks to its pesky defense and 12 Texas turnovers. The teams are a combined 12-of-52 from the field, but Texas has maintained an advantage by getting its 3-point range shots to fall. Oklahoma uses the charity stripe to wittle away at the lead, tying the game 25-25 before Nash hits UT's first field goal in five minutes to give the Longhorns a 28-25 halftime lead.
1:11 p.m. -- The help defense doesn't get to Nash before she can fire a 3 and make the Texas lead 10. After getting a break with Cerina on the floor, McFarland tricks Gayle into guessing on her position under the basket and gets fouled, making both free throws. McFarland then takes the charge from Fussell and assists Whitney Hand's reverse layup to close the gap to 6. After two free throws by Bass, Robinson finally gets the layup to fall after picking off a pass to Fontenette. Texas leads 24-18 with 3:41 left in the half.
1:00 p.m. -- Roethlisberger gets fouled inside and makes two free throws and Robinson finally makes a field goal with a mid-range jumper to pull OU within 4. Cerina and Hartman pull a give and go to make it 14-12, but Bass hits a 3 to extend the game to 5. Texas leads 17-12 with 7:02 on the clock.
12:51 p.m. -- The elusive second field goal drops first for Texas, and then a third before Ellenberg can hit a 3 to break a streak of 12 missed field goals. Robinson's misfires under the basket have not just cost OU points but allowed Texas to take an 8-2 rebounding advantage for the last five minutes. Texas leads 10-7 with 11:31 to play in the first half.
12:42 p.m. -- Oklahoma with a different offensive theme to start this game as Ellenberg and Robinson drive the ball straight to the hoop on two consecutive possessions that allows for a quick 4-0 start. Texas found ways to penetrate but has been out of control on their early offensive chances. Similiarly, OU has put a little too much power into its jumpers and has shot long from the perimeter. OU fouls give Texas the opportunity to close the game to 4-3. Robinson misses a fast-break layup that converts into a Nash 3-pointer and Texas' first lead. The shooting is ugly to begin this game with OU counting 1-of-8 and Texas shooting 1-for-5.
Texas leads 6-4 at the first media timeout, 15:16 remaining.
12:16 p.m. -- The last of the preparations are being conducted with just about 15 minutes until tip-off. OU will start Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Joanna McFarland. Taking the floor first for Texas will be Ashleigh Fontenette, Chassidy Fussell, Yvonne Anderson, Kathleen Nash and Ashley Gayle.
11:59 a.m. -- Texas enters the game with the nation's No. 2 scoring offense, averaging 85.5 points, but Oklahoma is not far behind with 80.9 points per game. Today could be a true shootout as five of the Big 12's top 10 3-point shooters will be on the court.
11:45 a.m. -- The Sooners and Longhorns have returned to their respective locker rooms after warming up on the court for a few minutes. The Sooners look to hold onto their recent success in Austin, having won the last three meetings in Texas, while the Longhorns desperately need a win in the Big 12, having lost already to Missouri (in overtime) and Baylor.
Wednesday, Jan. 12
Sooners Sport New Look Tonight The OU women's basketball team will introduce a slightly different uniform tonight when they open Big 12 play at the Lloyd Noble Center. The new outfits have a sleeker vertical pattern on the sides and a new pattern on the back that also features profile of the state of Oklahoma. Click the thumbnails below to zoom in on the new designs for both the home and road jerseys.
Tuesday, Jan. 11
Robinson Named to Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson is among the women's basketball players listed in the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 20, announced today by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
The list is comprised of 20 student-athletes who are considered the current frontrunners for the national award, including a record nine finalists for last year's honor.
The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round during the NCAA Championship, making it unique among college postseason awards. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, given to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, will take place April 8, 2011.
Robinson and No. 15 Oklahoma next host Kansas State Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
Saturday, Jan. 8
Oklahoma vs. Nebraska | Bob Devaney Center | Lincoln, Neb.
TV: Sooner Sports Network (KAUT-43 in OKC; THIS-TV 6.3 in Tulsa) Radio: KREF 1400AM | Live Audio Webcast: ESPN3.com Live Stats: Huskers.com
3:54 p.m. -- Kodi Morrison gets work at the point as the Sooners cruise to victory in the Big 12 opener and OU gets a monkey off its back with its first road win since the season opener at Milwaukee.
Oklahoma 70, Nebraska 50 -- Final.
3:38 p.m. -- Nebraska gets OU to foul into the bonus and gets three free points at the line before knocking down a 3. Coach Coale calls time to regroup her team. Robinson finds Hook for a 3. Oklahoma slowing down its offensive tempo while Nebraska making hasty decisions as clock winds down. OU leads 63-43 with 7:37 to play.
3:26 p.m. -- Oklahoma takes its scoring run to 13-0 before Hooper can get a 3 to fall for the Huskers. The Sooners' defense is handling Nebraska. Willis checks in a fires a 3 to give Oklahoma a 60-35 advantage into the media timeout with 11:54 remaining.
3:17 p.m. -- Nebraska's Hooper comes out firing, but Hand is able to counteract the onslaught with a steal to Robinson for 2 and a 3 of her own. OU not quite matching its first-half defensive effort, but is hitting on all cylinders offensively with Ellenberg dropping a 12-foot jumper and Hook making another 3. With the shot clock expiring, Nebraska leaves Hook alone in the corner and she hits another 3. Hand steals the inbounds at halfcourt and converts a layup forcing Husker head coach Connie Yori to call a timeout. Nebraska wasn't in condition to match Oklahoma's pace.
3:00 p.m. -- Danielle Robinson had three first-half steals that moved her past Dionnah Jackson for third all-time on OU's career rankings with 266 total. Suprisingly, Robinson has zero assists in a first half that featured 11 field goals from her favorite targets -- Ellenberg, Hand and Hook. Whitney Hand with an impressive half of play in her second game back from an ACL injury: 10 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and zero turnovers.
2:55 p.m. -- Three of Nebraska's final six possesions result in offensive fouls and the Huskers manage only 3 points in the final three minutes as Hand scores 7 to give the Sooners a 37-21 lead at halftime. Robinson took two charges off arm push-offs by Lindsey Moore that will certainly effect how the NU point guard drives the offensive in the second half.
OU has made 14 of 31 field goals attempts (45 percent) while Nebraska has just 7 of 22 (32 percent). OU shooting 4 of 10 from beyond the arc while Nebraska is scoreless 0-of-3 from 3-point range.
2:46 p.m. -- Ellenberg makes her free throw and, on the next possesion drives and pulls up for a jumper for the seventh consecutive point scored by her for OU. However, the defense is slow to get back and Redmond runs ahead for an easy layup, prompting Coale to call a timeout. The Sooners and Huskers trade blows on a number of possessions, firing blanks until Hook drains an Ellenberg-assisted 3.
Hartman's steal is OU's sixth in the first half and Robinson picks Moore's pocket again on the next trip for No. 7, but is called for the offensive foul while driving to the rim. Oklahoma leads 29-18 with 3:04 to play in the first.
2:35 p.m. -- Hook fires long with a 3 and Kelley scores her first points, getting by Hand for a layup. Hook makes a shot fall from the near side of the court on the other end. Kelley takes herself out of the game for a breather after being fouled by Hook. Robinson picks Moore's pocket and converts a fast-break opportunity. Leick is fouled in the paint by Hand and make both free throws. Hartman checks in for Robinson and Willis for Hand. Ellenberg fires a buzzer-beating 3 to give OU a six-point lead, the largest so far for either team. But just when OU gets some momentum, the officials call a hand check on Ellenberg and Moore hits the first of two free throws. McFarland is stripped on a layup attempt and Hook is called for reaching. Leick hits two free throws to close the OU lead to 17-14.
Ellenberg attacks the basket on two straight trips for OU and gets the Sooners four quick points. The mentality is what OU needs to forge ahead since its defensive stops aren't converting to simple transitional opportunities. Oklahoma leads 21-14 with 7:41 remaining in the first half and a free throw for Ellenberg to come.
2:25 p.m. -- Robinson, Hartman, Hook, Hand and Cerina on the floor for OU to start the second interval. Dominique Kelley is in the game for Nebraska. Cerina contests Redmon's shot and gets the rebound. Robinson's bails out OU with a 15-foot jumper. Next time down, Redmon gets Cerina to foul. Leick enters for Kelley and Ellenberg for Hook. Cerina gets the rebound on Redmon's missed FT and the Sooners take their possession with an 8-7 lead but turn it over. The Sooners force Nebraska into a shot-clock violation with pressure on the ball handler. Oklahoma in the groove on defense, but is making sloppy passes on offense.
An offensive foul by Redmon gives OU three straight defensive possessions without a Nebraska field-goal attempt, but no conversions thus far on the offensive end. Finally, after one more defensive stop, Hook dribbles baseline for a behind-the-back layup and gets some points on the board.
Nebraska turns it over again but Hand's post-up layup hits backboard. Another missed field goal by the Huskers takes us into the second media timeout with a deadball rebound. OU leads 10-7 with 11:35 remaining in the half.
2:14 p.m. -- Nebraska drives the middle twice to gain a 4-0 start. Whitney Hand takes an awkward fall on her surgically repaired right knee on OU's first layup and gets up, but she is obviously in some pain. Coale subs in Morgan Hook for Hand at the first opportunity. Robinson gives the Sooners their first lead with a fast-break layup and one at the free throw line. The game is tied 6-6 at the first media timeout with Hand at the scorer's table ready to check back into the action.
2:03 p.m. -- The starters are being introduced. Aaryn Ellenberg is back in the lineup with Danielle Robinson, Whitney Hand, Carlee Roethlisberger and Joanna McFarland. For the Huskers -- Lindsey Moore, Jordan Hooper, Kaitlyn Burke, Katyn Leick and Cathryn Redmon.
1:39 p.m. -- Today's game will feature some of the very talented youth in the Big 12 Conference. For Nebraska, sophomore point guard Lindsey Moore is coming off the program's first ever triple-double performance in a win Sunday versus Florida A&M and freshman Jordan Hooper leads the team in scoring. Oklahoma's freshmen duo of Aaryn Ellenberg and Morgan Hook are among the conference's top scoring threats.
1:24 p.m. -- Nebraska senior Dominique Kelley doesn't look as if she's quite ready to return to action since being reported as day-to-day after missing the last three games due to a knee injury. Kelley, who averages 15.0 points, is suited up and has taken some jump shots, but has been stretched by the training staff rather than participate in the offensive and defensive drills the rest of the team has completed. Also, she still has her earrings in, so I'm guessing she's taking a seat.
1:10 p.m. -- The Sooners and Cornhuskers are on the court at Bob Devaney Center warming up for the Big 12 opener between the conference's last two regular season champions. The game tips off at 2:07 p.m. Follow along with the blog here or one of the options above.
Sunday, Jan. 2
Oklahoma vs. TCU | Daniel-Meyer Coliseum | Fort Worth, Texas
6:59 p.m. -- Sverrisdottir posts Hartman for the layup and is fouled, and makes the freebie. Sooners down five as Cloman misses from under the basket. Sverrisdottir converts a tough layup and Hartman pulls up for a jumper on other end. Coale calls timeout with 42.9 seconds to play. TCU leads 74-69.
TCU mishandles the inbounds and OU gets the ball under its basket. Robinson misses a short jumper, but dishes the rebound to Hook, who's off with the 3. Hartman fouls Crawford to write the end for the Sooners.
Free throws later, TCU spoils the return of Whitney Hand, winning 76-69.
6:50 p.m. -- Hand's free throws give her a new career scoring high and close the gap to 1 with just under 3 minutes to play. Carter misses a jumper but gets control of the rebound and is fouled by McFarland, her fifth, and makes the and 1 to give the Horned Frogs a 4-point advantage. Robinson flies in for a layup, Carter misses a 3 and then does Hand. TCU enters the ball to its side and Mittie calls time. One minute, 50 seconds remain with TCU's 69-67 lead.
6:45 p.m. -- A turning catch-and-shoot 3 from Hand ties the score and matches her career high of 22. Remarkable comeback. Carter and Gross miss 3's and Sverrisdottir is bailed out by the whistle on a layup attempt. Free throws put TCU up 2. Carter gets by Hand for a layup, but Robinson is in place to take a charge -- TCU's second offensive foul in as many possessions.
Roethlisberger fouls Crawford in a loose ball situation on OU's baseline and has to watch from the bench with the disqualification. Gross makes the first of two free throws to put TCU up by 3 and McFarland is fouled on the rebound. McFarland makes one and Hand gets the rebound, but misses a long 3. Two hustle plays later, OU is still in control. Robinson finds Hook on a baseline cut for the layup and tie score.
Carter fires an uncontested 3. Hand drives from the corner and gets fouled on the floor. TCU leads 66-63 with 2:58 to play and two free throws for Hand in pocket.
6:33 p.m. -- Carter drives for a layup and McFarland spins on the baseline to give OU 2 points. Robinson picks Crawford's pocket and is fouled on her runner in the lane. It drops. Robinson converts the free throw and ties the game, 48-48. Sverrisdottir posts up Robinson for a layup. McFarland finds Ellenberg for her first 3 points of the game.
Three straight trips to the charity stripe give TCU a 56-53 lead with just under 9 minutes to play. OU turns it over in the lane and Carter scores on the fast break. Coale has to call timeout with TCU leading 58-53 and 7:37 to play.
Hartman switches to cover Sverrisdottir in the man defense and keeps her at bay under the basket, then takes the charge from Gross to give OU a momentum shift entering the media timeout at 7:04. TCU leads 58-55.
6:19 p.m. -- Robinson gets to the line for the third time this evening for what are almost automatic points and puts OU back up by 2. TCU challenges OU with a zone defense and gets the stops it needs while converting its offensive possessions.
Free throws give TCU a 3-point lead as Roethlisberger and McFarland sub in with Robinson, Ellenberg and Hand on the floor. OU throws the pass away on its end for the media timeout. TCU leads, 46-43, with 11:57 to play.
6:09 p.m. -- Gross converts an and 1 chance to close the gap to 1 out of halftime. OU misses a layup on the other end and Crawford converts 2 for TCU to take its first lead of the game. Hand finds open space in the corner and Robinson dishes off to her for a 3. A steal and a shot-clock worth of passing later, Hand has another layup for 19 points. Crawford gets inside to change leads again.
The officials call a technical foul on the OU bench questioned loudly by the crowd and Carter makes her free throws. Carter can't hold on to a halfcourt pass and the ball turns over to OU. Robinson drives the middle for a layup and the score is tied 41-41 at the first media timeout of the half, 15:43 on the clock.
5:44 p.m. -- Hand's second 3-pointer, and 14th point, falls with 11 seconds on the clock. Sverrisdottir pushes the issue on the other end and is fouled, making both free throws. OU leads 32-28 at halftime.
Both teams are shooting 37 percent, but OU has the lead with five 3's made to TCU's 1-for-6 effort beyond the arc.
5:35 p.m. -- McFarland returns to the floor with Ellenberg, Hand, Hartman and Hook. TCU now looking to trap the corners and prevent the sweet-spot 3s by the Sooners, but running their zone effectively enough to keep the ball out of the paint. Robinson to the table with 5:44 on the clock, replacing Hartman. Thompson misses two freebies and OU finds Hand for a jumper to regain the 9-point lead.
After a TCU :30 timeout, Cloman forces a TCU turnover and feeds Hand for a runner in through the lane. Hand with 9 points in her return. On the alternate side, OU leaves Carter open for a 3. The teams trade missed field goals and Carter gets fouled on a made layup.
OU leads 25-21 with 2:37 to play in the half and a free throw for Carter to come.
5:26 p.m. -- Roethlisberger throws in another 3 off Ellenberg's inbounds as Hand returns for Hook in the lineup and hit another off a baseline drive by Hand that feeds through Hartman to extend OU's lead to nine. Garoutte's nifty hook shot floats over Cloman for 2. With Robinson on the bench for about five minutes, the Sooners have extended the lead by a field goal -- 21-14 with 7:05 to play.
5:18 p.m. -- Assistant coach Chad Thrailkill designates the Sooners defensive matchups on the bench as Ellenberg checks in to give Hand a breather. Robinson continues to press Sverrisdottir from the inbounds as the Sooner defense has frustrated TCU to this point and allowed mostly contested perimeter shots.
Hartman takes over for Robinson, who gets tagged with a second foul. It's advantageous to have three starters on the bench, but four with starting experience -- Hook, Roethlisberger, Ellenberg and Hartman -- on the court. Still, TCU chips away at OU's lead, now 15-10 with 11:38 to play in the first and an Ellenberg free throw to come.
5:12 p.m. -- OU's first points for the first time in 45 games are a Whitney Hand 3-pointer. Hand drops in a layup on the next possession and TCU head coach Jeff Mittie calls a quick timeout to talk to his Horned Frogs as OU jumps to a 5-0 lead in 40 seconds.
McFarland with a great start working against Crawford, giving the assists on the first two OU field goals, defending the shot on the next two possessions and scoring her own layup as the Sooners push the lead to 7-0. McFarland gets her third assist -- her previous career high is four -- on the final possession before she is subbed by Cloman.
Hand drives the baseline and finds Hook for a 3-pointer as OU takes a 13-4 lead into the first media timeout.
5:01 p.m. -- The starters have been introduced and are on the court awaiting the tip off. No cheer was louder than that for Fort Worth Whitney Hand, who returns in a starting role after tearing her ACL in the fifth game of last season.
4:43 p.m. -- The starting lineups for both teams are in and after 401 days of being away from action, Whitney Hand will be on the court when the ball is tipped along with Danielle Robinson, Morgan Hook, Carlee Roethlisberger and Joanna McFarland. TCU will start Antoinette Thompson, Helena Sverrisdottir, Starr Crawford, Emily Carter and Delisa Gross.
4:34 p.m. -- The Whitney Hand homecoming has brought a healthy number of Sooner fans to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum today and, in addition to the several dozen Fast Break Club members who made the trip, have begun to chant Boomer! Sooner!
4:15 p.m. -- The Sooners have arrived to the arena and are warming up on the court. The OU bus had to drive through a large contingent of Horned Frogs fans who are awaiting their football team's arrival to the facility following TCU's Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin and undefeated season. Congratulations, as well, to Bob Stoops and the Sooner football team for their victory against Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl Saturday night.
Monday, Dec. 20
Ashley Paris Earns European Player of the Week Honor From Eurobasket.com: American forward Ashley Paris put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Istanbul Universitesi SK, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 23-year old player had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while her team edged out Ceyhan Bld (#7, 3-5) 74-71. Istanbul Universitesi SK maintains the 11th position in Turkish TKBL. Too late to salvage the team, which is currently ranked such low. They already lost 6 games and recorded just two victories. Paris turned to be Istanbul Universitesi SK's top player in her first season with the team. Former The University of Oklahoma star has very solid stats this year. Paris is in league's top in rebounds (3rd best: 9.3rpg) and averages impressive 52.7% FGP.
Coale on UConn's Win Streak
The Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team matched John Wooden's UCLA men's basketball team's win streak of 88 games last night. Coach Coale offered these thoughts:
"The program Geno has built at the University of Connecticut has no peer, unless you stretch across the line into the world of men's basketball and legacy of Coach Wooden at UCLA. What the UCLA Bruins did for the sport of men's basketball, the Connecticut Huskies are doing for women's basketball. But any comparison of the two actually ends there. This isn't about which program is greater, who's the greatest coach of all time or any of those other ridiculous discussions. What this is about is excellence unparalleled and a standard that stretches us all if we allow it to."
Sunday, Dec. 19
Oklahoma at Arkansas Sooner fans can follow today's action at SoonerSports.com with this blog or choose one of the options below to watch today's OU women's basketball game at undefeated Arkansas at 5 p.m.
6:53 p.m. -- Ricketts gets a jumper to bounce in and Coale has to use another timeout with Roethlisberger pinned on the sideline after chasing an errant pass. Willis' inbounds in deflected and OU has to foul Arkansas. Hook fouls on the inbounds, giving Peak the 1-and-1. Peak hits the front end. Robinson finds Hook in the corner, but the 3-point attempt is missed and Arkansas grabs the board. Razorbacks lead by 9 with 40 seconds remaining and free throws to shoot.
6:49 p.m. -- Robinson's drive to the rim does not fall, but she hits two free throws as Harris returns following the collision with Roethlisberger. OU's pressure forces an Arkansas turnover at halfcourt. Hartman is picked on a drive and Ricketts lays it in. Hook hits a 3 and Coale calls timeout with a 61-55 lead for Arkansas and 1:41 on the clock.
6:44 p.m. -- McFarland at the line for a 1-and-1 with Robinson, Hartman, Hook and Roethlisberger on the floor. McFarland hits both to close the score to 56-50 before any time can run off the clock. An Arkansas miss is poked out of Roethlisberger's hands and Peak is fouled on a missed attempt and makes one free throw. Ellenberg turns over the ball on the sideline. Arkansas obliged to run out as much clock as possible with under 3 to play. Roethlisberger steps in front of Harris to take a charge and fouls, but Harris is taken off the court by medical staff while Carlee has to shake herself off as well. Inman comes in for Harris, who is unable to tkae her free throws, and makes both. Arkansas calls timeout, leading 59-50 with 2:36 to play.
6:37 p.m. -- An 7-0 Razorback run spurred by OU turnovers and missed shots has Arkansas up 56-48 at the final media timeout with 3:44 to play. Arkansas has outdueled OU in second-chance points, 11 to 5, and points off turnovers, 15 to 7, to this point.
6:32 p.m. -- With Robinson on the floor, Hartman running point for early offense to relieve pressure. Still, the game ebbs and flows in transitions and with loose balls, where Arkansas has been one of the few teams to hang with the Sooners' athleticism this season. Arkansas leads 49-48 with 6:23 to play. Despite a +9 rebounding margin, 17 turnovers have kept OU from running away with consistent scoring offense.
6:21 p.m. -- Robinson with 6 quick second-half points after score as many in the entire first half returns the lead to OU. The Sooners are setting better screens on the offense end and holding Razorbacks into position defensively much better than in the first half. Another Robinson jumper from 12 feet gives OU a 40-38 advantage with 11:18 remaining.
6:13 p.m. -- Arkansas gets the initial run out of the half, but Robinson starts hot, too, hitting her pull-up mid-range jumper with ease. The Sooners take momentum into the 16:00 media timeout as Joanna McFarland takes a charge. Arkansas leads 37-36.
5:51 p.m. -- Robinson forces Watkins to foul on baseline drive, forcing her to the bench, and hits two free throws to tie the score at 24 with 2 minutess before the break. Sooners frustrating Arkansas with its zone, but doesn't get the defensive rebound and Harris finds room for a 3. Folowing an OU turnover, Harris find the edge off an on-ball screen and hits a jumper. Ellenberg spins and throws up a shot that falls at the buzzer to make sure Arkansas doesn't enter halftime with more than a one possession lead.
Halftime score: Arkansas 29, Oklahoma 26.
5:40 p.m. -- Lauren Willis enters the game and collects a charge on UA shooting-threat Lyndsey Harris, but OU continues to struggle with its offensive rhythm. Arkansas takes a brief lead at 20-19 before Lyndsey Cloman can get fouled and tie the game with a free throw at 3:59 on the clock.
5:31 p.m. -- Coach Coale instructs her team to stay in its lanes on defensive transitions as Nicole Griffin checks in for McFarland. Arkansas is playing a man on Robinson off every inbounds in hopes of both getting the OU offense tired and pressuring mistakes. The resulting missed shots and turnovers allow Arkansas to close to 17-16 and Coale takes a timeout at the 8:00 mark.
The Razorbacks press on the inbounds, but Robinson speeds by for a quick jumper. OU leads 19-16 with 7:16 left in the first half.
5:22 p.m. -- The crowd lets out a loud cheer as Arkansas native Morgan Hook enters for the Sooners. Hook grew up just minutes away in Lowell, Ark., and played for Rogers High School, who has brought its girls' basketball team to the game today. A couple of OU turnovers add up to Razorback points and the score tightens to 12-10. Hook takes a middle drive past her defender for a layup and her first 2 points in her home state, but picks up a second foul on the next possession and has to come back to the bench.
A Robinson jumper and Ellenberg 3 increase OU's lead to 17-12 at the 10:52 mark for the second media timeout.
5:12 p.m. -- Arkansas starts the game trying to force the ball inside and, conversely, allowing OU's perimter to be wide open as the Sooners open to a 10-4 lead. Roethlisberger has scored seven of OU's points by taking smart shots on offense, making 3 of 4, and has blocked a shot with some inspiring play early. Ellenberg's 3 makes her the first Sooner ever to hit at least one from beyond the arc in 11 consecutive games to start a career.
5:03 p.m. -- Starters are being introduced. Robinson, Ellenberg, Hartman, Roethlisberger and McFarland will take the floor for Oklahoma. Jamesha Townsend, Sarah Watkins, Ashley Daniels, C'eira Ricketts and Lyndsey Harris for Arkansas.
4:38 p.m. -- The Sooners and Razorbacks are on the court at Bud Walton Arena preparing for a game that tips off in 29 minutes. The Sooner faithful has traveled from Oklahoma in great numbers and, coupled with Morgan Hook friends and family, is outnumbering the Arkansas fans 2 to 1.
Friday, Dec. 17
Children's House Taks Forefront OU basketball coaches Jeff Capel and Sherri Coale spoke at the Fifth Annual Mary Abbott Children's House Coaches' Luncheon, hepling the organization raise funds to continue to investigate and care for child abuse claims in the greater Norman area.
Sooners Share Holiday Memories
With the holidays in full swing, some of the OU women's basketball team shared their favroite memories of the gift-giving season.
Wednesday, Dec. 15
Sooner Basketball with Sherri Coale The second week of the show airs tomorrow and features an interview with Big 12 Freshman of the Week Morgan Hook, who plays in her backyard Sunday when the Sooners travel to Arkansas. The show will also feature holiday memories from some of the Sooners, a recap of last week's action and a look ahead. To find you local listing, check here: OU Women's Basketball Broadcasts
Tuesday, Dec. 14
600 Weeks of the AP Poll Monday marked the 600th edition of the AP Women's Basketball Top 25 Poll, launched by the Philadelphia Enquirer's Mel Greenberg in November 1976. The Sooners moved up one spot from the previous week to 12th.
The Sooners first appeared in the poll, though briefly, for weeks 10 and 11 of the 1984-85 season and then drifted through the rankings much of the next year before all but disappearing until the past decade aside from a handful of rankings at or near the bottom of the Top 25 in the mid-1990s.
In all, Oklahoma has been listed in the Top 25 for 201 of those 600 weeks and 180 of those have been under the direction of Sherri Coale. Including the preseason and final polls, OU has an active streak of 99 weeks ranked in the AP poll, which coincides with the beginning of the 2005-06 season when Ashley and Courtney Paris arrived on the Norman campus.
Chip off the Coale Block
Sherri Coale's oldest son, Colton, has moved out of home and is off to college, which means she sees him every day. Michael Kinney explains in his Norman Transcript article here.
Wednesday, Dec. 8
What to Watch for Tonight There may be some subtle changes to the OU record books tonight as the Sooner host Stephen F. Austin. Danielle Robinson is creeping up the career records list in several categories and Aaryn Ellenberg has a chance to do what no Sooner before her as ever accomplished.
Danielle Robinson Targets Stacey Dales
The senior point guard needs just five points to pass a tie for sixth place on OU's career scoring list between Caton Hill and Jacquetta Hurley (1,653 points) and take aim at Stacey Dales, who is fifth with 1,920 career points scored. Robinson (249) can pass Dales (250) in career steals with two tonight and can continue to chip away at Dales' OU career record for assists. Dales had 764 assists in her Sooner career and Robinson, who has 498, needs just four assists to pass third-place Sharee Mitchum and nine to pass second-ranked Dionnah Jackson's mark of 606.
Ellenberg Rolls Doubles
Freshman guard Aaryn Ellenberg can accomplish what no Sooner before her has done yet. If Ellenberg makes two 3-pointers tonight, she'll be the first Sooner to do so in nine consecutive games. Carin Stites had a streak of two each game in the 1990-91 season and Whitney Hand, who is inactive due to injury, has an active streak of eight games to continue when she returns in January.
Ellenberg can also match Molly McGuire for the third most double-digit scoring games to start a career if she scores 10 or more tonight. Then only Barbara Johnson (1978-79), who started her career scoring 10-or-more points in her first 17 games, and Courtney Paris stand in front of her. Courtney's record, though, is likely untouchable as she scored in double figures in an NCAA record 120 consecutive games.
Sunday, Dec. 5
No. 11 Oklahoma at No. 6 Ohio State
Get to a TV or radio and follow the matchup between Oklahoma and Ohio State. The game will be on the Big Ten Network and KOKC 1520 AM in the Oklahoma City area.
Big Ten Network (Not available on COX Cable)
DirecTV 610 | AT&T U-verse 650/1650 HD |
DISH Network 439/9500 HD
6:57 p.m. -- Roethlisberger finds Robinson flying through the lane and D-Rob is fouled on the pass. Makes both FTs. Ohio State slowing down the game, using the entire shot clock to limit OU's possessions. With too many scorers in foul trouble and in the bonus, OU can only let the Buckeyes pass the ball.
Ohio State wins 95-84.
6:44 p.m. -- Roethlisberger's third 3 closes the margin to 4 points. Lavender to the line with 6:13 to play as she puts a fourth foul on Cloman. Ellenberg re-enters the game. Robinson cuts through the lane and gets the and-1 on Tayler Hill. McFarland, also with four fouls, replaces Cloman as Robinson's closes the score to 4 with 5 1/2 to play. Johnson hits a 3 for OSU. Prahalis steals the inbounds and Tayler Hill converts the possession. McFarland gets foul number five hitting the deck for a rebound. Nicole Griffin checks in. Ohio State's free throws make the score 82-72. On the clock: 3:49.
6:33 p.m. -- Ohio State steals OU's inbounds and Ellenberg gets her fourth foul trying to tie up the ball. She is replaced by Hartman. McFarland defending Lavender, who has shot 3-of-9 after making her first five field goals, well but picks up a fourth foul and goes to the bench. Robinson also in foul trouble with 3 and switches defensive assignments with Hartman. Roethlisberger takes an and-1 to the timeout as Ohio State leads 71-66 with 7:29 to play.
6:24 p.m. -- A free throw makes it a career-high 27 points for Ellenberg with 13 minutes to play and ties the score at 58-58. McFarland posts up Lavender and gets her to foul on the floor -- two for a player who had only 8 personal fouls in OSU's six games this season. Oklahoma and Ohio State tied 62-62 with 11:10 to play.
6:16 p.m. -- Ellenberg starts the second half hot with another 3-pointer. Lavender gets a technical with a elbow to McFarland after the whistle. Robinson hits both free throws. Ohio native Roethlisberger hits another 3 to make it 55-51 at the media timeout, 15:57 to play. Carlee's best game of the season with 8 points so far.
6:00 p.m. -- Aaryn Ellenberg with the best first-half by a freshman in OU history has kept the game close. Vegas has 22 points, hitting 8-of-14 field goals, including four 3-pointers. Ohio State and Oklahoma are nearly identical in everything but free throws, where the Buckeyes have a 9-of-11 advantage to OU's 2-of-2. OSU also has 13 second-chance points compared to 4 four the Sooners, though both teams have seven offensive boards.
5:52 p.m. -- And for halftime...tap-dancing ninjas. No joke.
5:51 p.m. -- Robinson on the bench for a breather for the last few minutes. A brutal game in the paint as Lavender and McFarland just beat on each other for space. Coale calls timeout and draws up an offense for the last 1:34 before halftime. Ellenberg gets to the rim but is blocked by Lavender. Prahalis out of control on the other end fouls for her second time and goes to the bench for the final minute. OU and OSU lose consecutive possessions to steals and Buckeyes' coach Jim Foster calls timeout with 31.8 on the clock.
Halftime score: Ohio State 45, Oklahoma 40.
5:42 p.m. -- Roethlisberger playing lights out with about 75 friends and family from nearby Findlay in the stands. Carlee has three defensive rebounds and a couple key steals. Cloman doing well against Lavender and made OSU pay for not guarding her away from the basket with a nifty jumper. Ellenberg just blazing hot from 3 closes OU to a 36-36 tie but Jackson answers with a 3 for the Buckeyes. Ohio State leads 41-36 with 3:21 left in the half.
5:31 p.m. -- Oho State gets careless with passing, leading to empty possessions that OU takes advantage. Ellenberg drops another 3-pointer to close the score to 3 and Cloman gets a second-chance layup to close it to 27-26 for an 11-0 Sooner run to the media timeout at 7:26.
5:24 p.m. -- Ellenberg makes a jumper fall for her 11th point, closing the score to 27-17 and the Buckeyes miss the 3 on the other end. A deadball rebound sends us to a media timeout with 11:19 to go in the first.
5:22 p.m. -- Hook replaces Roethlisberger, who picked up two fouls. Ohio State pulls away from the Sooners using 3-pointers and perfect shooting from Lavender, who is 5-for-5. The Sooners missing layup after layup and not getting second chances. Coale calls a timeout with 11:52 on the clock as another Lavender jumper puts the Buckeyes up 27-15.
5:15 p.m. -- Funny moment as both Roethlisberger and Lavender miss the ball on the tip-off and it has to be re-done. OSU's Johnson misses a layup in front of the rim and Ellenberg gets Prahalis to foul on the other end. OU puts the first points on the board. Ohio State took advantage of an OU miscommunication on defense and then second-chance opportunties to open a 8-point lead before Ellenberg was able to drop a 3-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions. OSU leads 12-9 at the first media timeout, 15:01 remaining.
5:06 p.m. -- Seconds away from tip-off between Oklahoma and Ohio State. A fairly raucous crowd has showed up for this Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge game.
4:55 p.m. -- The Sooners and Buckeyes will start their usual lineups. Danielle Robinson, Aaryn Ellenberg, Jasmine Hartman, Carlee Roethlisberger and Joanna McFarland will take the floor first for OU. Ohio State will send out Samantha Prahalis, Tayler Hill, Brittany Johnson, Sarah Schulze and Jantel Lavender.
4:45 p.m. -- It's about 20 minutes until tip-off for the contest between No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 6 Ohio State at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus. The game features a matchup between potential All-American point guards in Danielle Robinson and OSU's Samantha Prahalis. Also key for the Sooners will be limiting the touches inside to 6-4 All-American center Jantel Lavender.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
How's the Air Up There?
When OU hosted the Basketball Travelers Invitational last week, 6-foot-6 Nicole Griffin met her match as GWU's 6-6 center Sandra Vaitkute and UTPA's 6-7 post Madison Absher stepped on the floor. The trio represented part of 30 women's college basketball players who stand 6-6 or taller (according to opening day rosters). Later this year, the Sooners will also meet up against Baylor's Britney Griner (6-8), Colorado's Melissa McFarlane and Iowa State's Anna Prins(6-7), and Oklahoma State's Vicky McIntyre (6-6). Fortunately for Griffin, she has 6-foot-5 teammate Jelena Cerina to practice against.
NCAA's Tallest Players
St. Francis (NY)
San Diego State
Thursday, Nov. 25
The OU women's basketball team hosts a tournament at home this weekend, and cut out of practice this morning to join the United Way of Norman and Food and Shelter for Friends with serving meals to Norman's homeless and needy families. The Sooners also described, in the video below, what they are most thankful for this holiday season.
The First Week of Polls After the first weekend of action, Oklahoma remains No. 9 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll but dropped a spot from its preseason ranking to 11th, two points behind West Virginia, in the Associated Press poll. In the coaches' poll, the Sooners are actually closer to seventh-ranked Ohio State (13 points) that they are to No. 10 Kentucky (24 points).
3:10 p.m. -- OU wins its opener 76-59 with some impressive play of its freshmen and preseason All-American Danielle Robinson. Check back later for a complete recap, stats and more.
3:05 p.m. -- Milwaukee native Nicole Griffin enters the game to a rousing ovation with just under 2 minutes.
2:59 p.m. -- Two key players foul out for Milwaukee with Laur and Lindfors now on the bench. OU takes advantage and extends its lead to 66-57 upon the shoulders of Danielle Robinson.
2:35 p.m. -- OU leads 52-48 as Lauren Willis and Jelena Cerina re-enter the game to help generate some offense. Milwaukee isn't leaving its zone defense and is taking its advantage, offensively, at the free throw line, having made 15-of-17 today.
2:24 p.m. -- OU putting the pressure back on Milwaukee in the second half and has forced five turnovers in four minutes. Defensively, the Sooners doing everything they want, but need to convert on the other end. OU leads 46-44 with 15:41 to go.
1:58 p.m. -- A timeout and final play for OU doesn't go the right way as Ellenberg's shot is contested and Robinson is unable to get the handle on the rebound before the buzzer sounds. OU leads Milwaukee 37-34 at the intermission.
1:43 p.m. -- OU leads 29-28 entering the final media timeout in Milwaukee. The Sooners seem to have overcome their turnover troubles and are starting to get the foul called on the offense end. Both teams are dropping shots at better than 50 percent, so the score isn't running away for one team or another.
1:35 p.m. -- The game stays tight as OU leads 23-22 with 7:38 remaining in the first half. The Sooners were finding it tough to get the ball inside, but as Jelena Cerina has come off the bench, she's give OU a size advantage that has opened up the paint.
1:24 p.m. -- The 3 ball gets going again for OU as Morgan Hook enters and knocks down a 23-footer. OU goes up 18-16 halfway through the first period.
1:16 p.m. --After OU went 3-for-3 on its first possessions with Danielle Robinson getting an assist each time, the Sooners have turned over the ball three straight times and Milwaukee takes a 9-8 lead into the first media timeout.
12:56 p.m. -- About 10 minutes away from the opening tip of the season. Of course OU freshman Nicole Griffin is a native of Milwaukee and that is why we are here today, but this city was the home of former OU standout Rosalind Ross who was killed in September. Both programs honor her today in her native city by dedicating this game to her and her family. Before the national anthem, a moment of silence was observed for Rosalind. Head coaches Sherri Coale and Sandy Botham signed a ball to give to Roz's parents, Willie and Pam Collins, that's pictured below.
12:35 p.m. -- We're 30 minutes away from tip-off in Milwaukee and OU is back on the floor after Sherri Coale's pre-game talk. OU's projected starters are Robinson, Ellenberg, Hartman, Roethlisberger and McFarland while UWM plans to start with sophomore guard Sammy Theut, freshmen guard Angela Rodriguez, sophomore forward Sami Tucker, senior forward Lindsay Laur and freshmen center Courtney Lindfors. The Panthers' offense runs through Laur, who scored 13.7 points per game last season, and it will be Jasmine Hartman's duty from the tip to defend. The OU coaches have been telling Jaz to defend her so tightly that she can't breathe.
11:51a.m. -- Watching an inflatable Panther come to life just outside the baseline as the UWM staff prepares the tunnel its players will run through for pre-game introductions. Though Milwaukee has scheduled a few games with Big Ten teams on the road, hosting No. 10 Oklahoma will be its most notable game of the season. The only other meeting between OU and Milwaukee was in Norman for the season opener of the 2005-06 season. That game marked the debut of Milwaukee's most revered player, Traci Edwards, and OU's Courtney and Ashley Paris.
11:32 a.m. -- We're setup and running at the Klotsche Center with home UWM Panthers on the court starting warmups and the OU women's basketball team en route. The arena has undergone a transformation since we were last here for shootaround. At 9 a.m. this morning the all-purpose facility was hosting both the Sooner women's shootaround and UWM's indoor track practice. Right now, it's a full-fledged basketball arena.
9:28 a.m. -- The Sooners have just finished their morning shootaround at the Klotsche Center in advance of today's season opener against Milwaukee. You can watch the game online via webcast at HorizonLeague.net TV or listen to Bob Carpenter call the game locally on KOKC 1520 AM or on SoonerSports.com All-Access.
Tuesday, Nov. 9
Robinson Among Naismith Award Watch List Mentions The Atlanta Tip Off Club today announced its watch list for the 2011 Naismith Trophy and, to no one's surprise, Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson was included among the top 50. Robinson was a semifinalist for the award last year.
2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Dallas Regional Tickets On Sale
All-Session tickets for the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Dallas Regional will go on sale Monday, Nov. 8. The event will be held at the American Airlines Center and hosted by the Big 12 Conference.
Semifinal games will be played on Sunday, March 27 at 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (CT) with the Regional final contested on Tuesday, March 29 at 8:00 p.m. (CT). The winner of the Dallas Regional advances to the Women's Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind.
Ticket prices are $55 for adult all-session and $25 for youth (0-18 years) all-session. All tickets are for reserved seating and everyone must have a ticket regardless of age.
Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the American Airlines Center Box Office. The box office is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CT, and during events. It is located at the Northeast corner of the American Airlines Center on North Houston and All-Star Way streets, directly across from the Platinum Parking Garage.
Additional information on the Dallas Regional can be located at: www.visitdallas.com/ncaa.
Friday, Nov. 5
SoonerSports.com caught up with OU head coach Sherri Coale after Friday's practice as she offered her critique of her's team's 91-42 exhibition win against Oklahoma Christian. Following a chance to watch the game film, Coale had these comments:
Tuesday, Nov. 2
OU head coach Sherri Coale and members of the OU spirit squad made a special visit to John Farris today to deliver his women's basketball season tickets at his office in Norman.
Farris has held women's basketball season tickets since 2001.
The season ticket deliveries were the latest Random Acts of Crimson conducted by the OU Athletics Department as part of our Year of the Fan celebration. It's just another way we are saying "Thank You!" for everything you do. Be on the lookout for Random Acts of Crimson throughout the year, both at OU Athletics events and in the community.
The OU women's basketball team tips off the 2010-11 season at the Lloyd Noble Center Thursday, Nov. 4 when they host Oklahoma Christian for its first exhibition game at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit SoonerSports.com or call 1-800-456-GoOU.
Thursday, Oct. 28
IRVING, Texas -- Oklahoma All-American Danielle Robinson was named to the 2010 Fall Chick-fil-A Community of Champions. The Big 12 Conference, in conjunction with Chick-fil-A, announced the list on Wednesday.
During the fall, winter and spring terms, one student-athlete from each institution will be honored based on the following criteria:
Academics: An academic standard of a 3.00 grade point average or higher must be maintained.
Community Service: The designated student-athlete should be involved with at least one community service program. The program(s) could be a student organization on campus or within the athletics department.
Leadership/Sportsmanship: The student-athlete should demonstrate leadership and sportsmanship on and off the field.
The institution of the student-athletes on this list will be awarded $3,000 each year from Chick-fil-A for their efforts.
2010 FALL CHICK-FIL-A COMMUNITY OF CHAMPIONS
Men's Cross Country
Women's Track & Field
Monday, Oct. 25
Sooners Making Waves Overseas Former Sooner Abi Olajuwon earned Eurobasket.com Player of the Week honors after a double-double performance last week. Olajuwon provided 16 points and 14 rebounds as her undefeated SEAT Lami Ved Gyor team routed Cegledi EKK, 95-48, in the Hungarian A League. Olajuwon is reported to be SEAT Lami's top player and is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game and a .632 field goal percentage.
Olajuwon's season is in full swing. Meanwhile overseas, other Sooner alumns have just begun their professional basketball calendars. Ashley Paris is with Istanbul Universitesi sk (Turkey), Courtney Paris is in Madrid, Spain, playing for Rivas Ecopolis, Nyeshia Stevenson is with Basket Parma (Parma, Italy) and Amanda Thompson leads the Flying Foxes of Vienna, Austria.
Friday, Oct. 22
The Sooners wrapped their first week of practice Friday at the Lloyd Noble Center. The early part of the week was dedicated to getting the team, which includes six newcomers, accustomed to the regiment of a college basketball practice. As the days progressed, the workouts transitioned into learning motion offense, defense and transitions.
Aaryn Ellenberg, Jasmine Hartman and Joanna McFarland describe week one:
The first six pairs of prize winners have been announced for 30 Prizes in 30 Days awarded to new season ticket holders for OU men's and women's basketball. See what lucky Sooner fans won just for purchasing basketball tickets as the OU Athletics Department celebrates the Year of the Fan.
Tuesday, Oct. 19
The Oklahoma women's basketball held its first official practice at the Lloyd Noble Center Monday afternoon. Emphasis was placed on teaching OU's six newcomers how to practice with championship behavior and learning just how much of being successful at college basketball relies on what is done when the ball isn't in their hands.
OU returns eight players from its 2010 Final Four squad, including All-American Danielle Robinson. Jasmine Hartman, Whitney Hand -- who is expected to return to action in January -- Carlee Roethlisberger are also Sooners with starting experience and will help groom the team as it prepares to make another deep postseason run.
Following the workout, the Sooners (who weren't in class) hosted the annual Fast Break Club Preseason Banquet. Items auctioned at the event raised more than $10,000.
Oklahoma has 16 more days before its first exhibition game, hosting Oklahoma Christian on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m.
OU also hosts an exhibition with Cameron on Nov. 10 before the season begins on the road. The Sooners begin the regular season in the hometown of freshman Nicole Griffin against UW-Milwaukee on Nov. 13 before returning to Norman to face Western Illinois on Nov. 19.
For ticket information, visit the ticket office link on SoonerSports.com or call 1-800-456-GoOU.
The Sooners continue with practice Tuesday, heading to the main court for the first time. Wednesday, Sherri Coale, Robinson and Roethlisberger will represent the Sooners at Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City.
The OU women's hoops team filmed its 2010-11 intro video Monday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center. This year's video will once again be produced by SoonerVision and looks to be very intense. Of course, you can't see it up close and personal unless you come to the games. The season starts with exhibition games on Nov. 4 versus Oklahoma Christian and Nov. 10 hosting Cameron. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
Purchase tickets today at SoonerSports.com or call the OU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-456-GoOU (4668).
Congratulations to Danielle Robinson on being named the Student-Athlete of the Month by OU's Athletics Student Life department. The award recognizes student-athletes for their character, determination to succeed, and for representing the University of Oklahoma by their commitment to excellence.
Wednesday, Oct. 6
While the Sooners won't technically refer to it as the first day of official practice, the window for team workouts began Tuesday and the back-to-back Final Four participants hit the floor together as a team for the first time with their six new pieces. This week, Sherri Coale and the staff are focusing on the fundamentals of the motion offense before turning their attention to defense next week. OU's first full practice will occur on Oct. 18.
Here some reaction from the first team workout of the year:
Saturday, Oct. 2
At least one member of the OU women's basketball team will have twice the cheering to do today at the Red River Rivalry. Jacqueline Jeffcoat, twin sister of Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, will be with her family and teammate Alexann Yancey, who hails from the same high school as the Jeffcoat Twins, in the stands rooting for both the Sooners and the Longhorns.
Jeff Capel's and Sherri Coale's OU men's and women's hoops teams hosted a Special Olympics basketball clinic this morning at Lloyd Noble Center. More than 150 Special Olympics athletes from around the state signed up for the two-hour clinic that featured 15 stations worth of shooting, dribbling and passing drills, as well as locker room tours.
The annual event in Norman has become extremely popular. OU coaches, players and support staff were on hand to provide instruction and to offer friendship to this year's participants, who represented the Anadarko, Catoosa, Edmond, Guthrie, Jay, Oklahoma City, Putnam City and Weatherford districts.
"Every year we get inundated with (Special Olympics) coaches calling to ask if they can go to the clinic," said John Seals, sports director of Special Olympics Oklahoma. "The clinic is the yearly highlight for all of the Special Olympics OU fans because they receive coaching and praise from their heroes. I also think it is a great benefit to the student-athletes at OU. They learn patience and the true meaning of sports. They have the opportunity to get to know the Special Olympics athletes and they will carry that with them throughout their careers. Once you have worked with the athletes, you will always have a much clearer understanding of people with intellectual disabilities."
The University of Oklahoma women's basketball team used its Wednesday afternoon, typically a day off from conditioning workouts, to help out in the Norman community.
Sherri Coale's teams have made a tradition of sponsoring local charities and serving the community in as many ways possible. This year, the Sooners are joining forces with East Main Place, a non-profit transitional housing program for homeless and individuals in the Norman community.
East Main Place responds to the needs of homeless individuals and families that lack affordable housing and supportive services and assist them in the transition from homelessness to lives of greater independence and self-sufficiency.
Wednesday, the players and coaches joined East Main Place board member, and former OU women's basketball player, Jackie Farley, Executive Director Ginny Corson and representatives from the Dillard Group as they teamed to repair a home for a local mother of two young children who is successfully shifting to independence.
Kodi Morrison would rather let actions speak for her than words, but SoonerSports.com got her take anyway on the mid-year walk-on's first preseason conditioning program and the very unique road trip she wants to complete once she's out of college.
Thursday, Sept. 2
Individual skill instruction started this week for the Sooners. Jasmine Hartman visits with SoonerSports.com about what typically occurs during these sessions, how the newcomers are handling their transition to college athletics, and what she's looking forward to most as the OU football team goes for win No. 800.
Monday, August 30
The OU women's basketball team began individual workouts Monday with the posts working together for the first time this afternoon. Lyndsey Cloman details what occured during the drills and the group's progress thus far entering the 2010-11 season.
Monday, August 23
Lauren Willis' arrival in Norman for the team's picture day capped the return of all the Sooner women's basketball players. Willis talks with SoonerSports.com about what she did this summer and the upcoming season in this video.
Tuesday, August 17
The University of Oklahoma women's basketball program has selected its dates for its annual Pack the Place Pink Night and tri-annual alumni reunion weekend. Sooners from past years are invited to attend the festivities encompassing the weekend of Saturday, Feb. 5, as the team hosts Iowa State at the Lloyd Noble Center. OU's third annual Pack the Place Pink Night in support of cancer awareness will be Saturday, Feb. 19, when the Sooners host the Texas Longhorns.
Friday, August 13
OU six newcomers put on the Crimson and Cream for the first time for Friday's photoshoot that includes pics that will be on this year's season tickets. Here's a couple of sneak peeks via OU's official Twitter feed: group shot and freshmen Nicole Griffin and Aaryn Ellenberg.
Thursday, August 12
SoonerSports.com visited with Carlee Roethlisberger at the Lloyd Noble Center recently to find out what she's been doing since helping the Sooners reach the Final Four in April. We found out that she's been hard at work and at play. For more, watch the interview below.
Monday, July 26
Joanna McFarland sat down with SoonerSports.com following a recent workout to talk about her summer and the upcoming basketball season. McFarland, who averaged 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman, expects to take a more demanding role with this year's team as she returns for her sophomore year.
Friday, July 16
In this latest SoonerSports.com video feature, Whitney Hand updates us on her progress this summer returning from the ACL injury that ended her season far too early last year. Hand, the 2009 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, will return in 2010-11 as a redshirt sophomore and, if her rehabilitation for the past seven months is an example, will be more tenacious than ever once she hits the court.
Thursday, July 8
SoonerSports.com visited All-American about-to-be senior Danielle Robinson at the Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday. The San Jose, Calif., native talks about her new teammates, the upcoming LeBron James announcement, her World Cup pick and more.
Stay tuned next week for upcoming segments with Whitney Hand and Joanna McFarland.
Tuesday, June 29
Abi Olajuwon made a suprise visit to the Sooner State Monday to visit her friends and former teammates in Norman. With a brief window of downtime between playing a game Sunday and getting back to Chicago for practice with the WNBA's Sky on Tuesday, Abi visited with SoonerSports.com.
Olajuwon represents the lone active Sooner in the WNBA and has averaged five minutes as a reserve.
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma sophomore guard Whitney Hand was cleared today by team medical personnel for full participation in basketball activities following six months of rehabilitation from an ACL injury.
Hand suffered an ACL tear in her right knee on Nov. 27, 2009, during the Sooners' fifth regular-season game, an 87-48 rout of San Diego State, which was surgically repaired in December.
"Whit, to no one's surprise," OU head coach Sherri Coale said, "has been maniacally committed to her rehab. She has attacked it with the same passion and determination that she exhibits on the basketball court."
The 2009 Big 12 Freshman of the Year was averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range when her season came to an end.
Wrote Hand (@ou_whitneyhand) via Twitter: "Thanks to everyone who has lifted me up in your thoughts and prayers! I am released to play again!!"
Sunday, June 20
Happy Father's Day! Mechelle Voepel writes about the atypical father-daughter relationship shared by NBA hall of famer Hakeem Olajuwon and former Sooner, now WNBA Chicago Sky reserve, Abi Olajuwon in her latest article on ESPN.com.
OU women's basketball coach Sherri Coale spoke to Norman's graduating seniors Sunday night at their baccalaureate service. She offered her wisdom to help keep them on an enlightened path as they take their first steps into the "real world."
An article posted at NCAA.org describes the impact that the Women's Final Four made in San Antonio. Of course, Oklahoma was right in the middle of leaving part of that legacy...
The impact of the 2010 Women's Final Four will continue in San Antonio for years to come, thanks to several legacy programs implemented in the community during the tournament.
More than 30,000 San Antonio middle school and elementary age children were affected through programs ranging from Middle School Madness, Pinnacle of Fitness, Dome Dribble sponsored by Powerade, NCAA youth clinics (sponsored by Vitamin Water), NCAA junior journalism programs and uniform donations through Wilson Sporting Goods.
Thousands more were reached via Women's Final Four events that included Tourney Town; the 4Kay Run; College Fair Tip-Off; and the Champions4Women Forum, which featured a presentation by former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Good news day. Abi Olajuwon made the cut for the Chicago Sky and the OU women's basketball team was one of three Sooner squads recognized by the NCAA for being among the top 10 percent in their respective sports for APR score.
The Sooners on campus in Norman will also be at a Regents' meeting this afternoon where they will be honored for their success this season.
Congrats to Abi and the Sooners!
Wednesday, May 12
Disappointing news, Sooner fans, as both Ashley Paris and Nyeshia Stevenson were cut from the WNBA defending champion Phoenix Mercury Tuesday. Abi Olajuwon and Courtney Paris, both with the Chicago Sky, should learn their fate today and Amanda Thompson of the Tulsa Shock will know soon as well as the season opens this Saturday.
There are 11 roster spots on each of the 12 WNBA teams and the 36-player draft would resupply over 27 percent of the workforce annually, making it a longshot for players not drafted in the first round.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Former University of Oklahoma women's basketball star Ashley Paris was named the player of the year in her overseas professional league.
Paris received Eurobasket.com's top honor after leading Dnipro to a 33-2 overall record and championship crown in Ukraine's premier basketball league (UPBL). Paris averaged 14.5 points and led the league with 12.4 rebounds per game.
Paris was also named Forward of the Year and Import Player of the Year.
The Piedmont, Calif., native is currently in training camp with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.
Monday, May 3
The Oklahoma women's basketball program and the Fast Break Club wrapped up the 2009-10 season in appropriate fashion... by hitting the golf course last Thursday at its annual tournament.
The OU coaches, staff and players and title sponsor Native American Companies hosted a sunny day of golf at the University of Oklahoma's own Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
A total of 132 golfers made up 33 teams, grossing more than $45,000 for the Fast Break Club in support of the women's basketball program.
The big winners were:
Low Gross Team Kelsey Cline, Chip Huston, Chris Roth, Alan McAlip
Low Net Team Chris Fling, Bob Doty, Michael Oaks, Jackie Willis (coached and assisted by Jan Ross and Chad Thrailkill)
The women's hoops program would like to thank sponsors, participants and contributors. The Fast Break Club also wishes to thank Carl's Jr. for supplying lunch at the golf course.
Friday, April 23
Sooner fans, Abi Olajuwon is in Chicago as she begins training camp with the WNBA's Sky April 25. She's relaying the experience live via Twitter. Follow her @abiolajuwon. Also, Nyeshia Stevenson leaves for Phoenix and the Mercury training camp tomorrow and can be found on Twitter @nuh2010.
Thursday, April 15
9:23 a.m. -- With injuries holding out some of the USA National Team's top stars, Danielle Robinson was one of a few members of the Select Team flown to Connecticut early. She was invited to don the red uniforms of the National Team, workout and practice with its top stars for the last two days before the rest of the Select Team arrives today.
USA Basketball communications director Caroline Williams followed up with D-Rob's experiences with the National Team after Wednesday's practices:
What was it like stepping out on the court against Women's National Team players? "It's a lot of fun. I've enjoyed it a lot. Talking to all the coaches, and playing for Geno was great. He's a great teacher. I'm just enjoying being around such good company."
How is it to be back together with some of your World University Games teammates? "It's always good to reunite with people that you haven't seen that much. I'm pretty excited for Jacinta (Monroe) to get here, so she will back out here again. It's awesome. I mean, you are able to play with them in the summer, and then you have that distance during the season when you are only able to watch them on TV. It's good to be back in person together."
What were you looking forward to most coming out here this week? "Just another opportunity to get better. To play with the best of the best and get coached by some of the greatest coaches and some of the best players that have been around, that's always good."
On getting to wear the red USA Women's National Team practice jersey: "Red! Right! I've seen it in pictures. It's different than the blue, it's a lot brighter. It's always nice to have an extra pair of shorts around, and it's only given to the national team, so that's cool."
Tuesday, April 13
8:42 a.m. -- Follow Danielle Robinson's training with the USA National Team in Connecticut this week via her Twitter account @ou_drob. Robinson was one of 10 college-aged student-athlete invited to spring training as part of the USA Select Team.
Friday, April 9
9:38 a.m. -- All three OU seniors -- Amanda Thompson, Abi Olajuwon and Nyeshia Stevenson -- were taken in Thursday's WNBA draft. Thompson became the first-ever pick for the Tulsa Shock. Abi Olajuwon heads to Chicago Sky, where she'll team up again with Courtney Paris. Nyeshia Stevenson goes to the defending champion Phoenix Mercury, where she'll work for a roster spot in training camp with Ashley Paris.
In case you're wondering, the Shock open the season at the BOK Center Saturday, May 15, against the Minnesota Lynx.
9:40 a.m. -- The WNBA Draft begins today at 2 p.m. Central and could hold a clue to where Oklahoma seniors Abi Olajuwon, Nyeshia Stevenson and Amanda Thompson will play their first season of professional basketball. Stevenson and Thompson are projected to be mid-second to third round picks with Olajuwon undetermined, though she is one of the top five centers available.
In a local move on the eve of the draft, the Tulsa Shock traded two draft selections for two former first-rounders Amber Holt and Chante Black. This leaves Tulsa with the 19th and 31st overall picks, setting up nicely for Thompson and Stevenson to be taken by the team, which is rumored to be interested in taking some Sooners. Thompson and Stevenson, of course, would fit in with Shock head coach Nolan Richardson's "40 Minutes of Hell" style.
The first round of the draft will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Wednesday, April 7
1:26 p.m. -- SECAUCUS, N.J. -- After guiding the Sooners to back-to-back Final Fours, Oklahoma's three senior women's basketball players now turn their attention to the WNBA Draft that will be held Thursday, April 8, at NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, N.J.
Amanda Thompson was one of 14 college players to receive invitations to the draft, but after stellar senior seasons and a Final Four showcase, Abi Olajuwon and Nyeshia Stevenson are also high on teams' radars.
"Watching as much basketball as possible and going over to watch the OU team play in person, then having the opportunity to have coaches go watch, there's no question that Stevenson has upped her stock as a player," Tulsa Shock head coach Nolan Richardson said during the WNBA pre-draft media teleconference.
The draft begins at 2 p.m. Central and the first round will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Here's the 2010 WNBA Draft order:
2010 WNBA DRAFT - ROUND 1
Connecticut Sun (from New York, via Minnesota)
Minnesota Lynx (from Connecticut)
San Antonio Silver Stars
Los Angeles Sparks
Los Angeles Sparks (from Phoenix)
2010 WNBA DRAFT - ROUND 2
New York Liberty
Washington Mystics (from Minnesota)
New York Liberty (from Chicago)
San Antonio Silver Stars
Los Angeles Sparks
2010 WNBA DRAFT - ROUND 3
New York Liberty
San Antonio Silver Stars
Los Angeles Sparks
9:44 a.m. -- SAN ANTONIO -- Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson was named to the NCAA Women's Final Four All-Tournament Team, announced late Tuesday following the national championship game.
Robinson totaled 23 points, six rebounds and six assists in the Sooners' 73-66 loss to Stanford in the national semifinals Sunday, April 4.
The junior guard recorded nine points and three assists in the final 6:47 of the game as OU cut an 18-point deficit to 3 twice before falling to the Cardinal.
Robinson was joined on the team by Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen and Connecticut's Tina Charles and Maya Moore, who took Most Oustanding Player honors with a 23-point, 11-rebound performance in the championship game to lead the Huskies to a second consecutive national title.
The honor gives Robinson a sweep of selections to postseason tournament teams. The All-American was also named to the Big 12 All-Championship Team and the NCAA Kansas City Region All-Tournament Team.
Tuesday, April 6
Two spectacular events are on tap for fans of the OU women's basketball team. The team is accepting reservations for its annual postseason banquet on Monday, April 19, and the Fast Break Club Golf Tournament held Thursday, April 29, at the OU Jimmie Austin Golf Course in Norman.
Individual entry as well as individual and corporate hole sponsorships
OU inspires champions today and prepares leaders for tomorrow by enabling its student-athletes to achieve their highest academic, athletic and personal aspirations. The OU Athletics Department sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes and is completely self-supporting.
Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma. Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications, Renda Broadcasting and Griffin Television.