March 22, 2009
2009 DIVISION I WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
(Carver-Hawkeye Arena) (Iowa City, Iowa)
(March 22, 2009)
#1 OKLAHOMA 76, #16 PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 47
OKLAHOMA POST-GAME NOTES
No. 1 Oklahoma (29-4, 15-1 Big 12) defeated No. 16 Prairie View A&M (23-11, 17-1 SWAC), 76-47, Sunday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa. They will face the winner of Iowa/Georgia Tech Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. (CT).
Oklahoma improves to 18-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 9-3 mark in the first round. The Sooners improve to a perfect 7-0 all-time versus Prairie View A&M.
Oklahoma shot 41% for the game (28-68) while holding Prairie View A&M to just 28% (17-60). Entering the game, Oklahoma ranked ninth nationally in points-per-game (76.7) and reached that mark Sunday night. The Sooners also held the advantage at the free-throw line, converting 14 of 20 attempts.
Oklahoma dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Panthers 53-38, making it their highest rebounding output of the season, eclipsing the previous mark of 51 reached twice this season (Feb. 23 at Texas A&M, Feb. 21 vs. Baylor).
Junior forward Nyeshia Stevenson got the start tonight, joining Ashley Paris, Courtney Paris, Danielle Robinson and Whitney Hand. It was Stevenson’s fifth start of the season. She scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in 20 minutes.
Senior center Courtney Paris led Oklahoma with 11 points and 16 rebounds. It was Paris’ 126th career double-double and 29th of the season. She is 14 rebounds shy of 2,000 for her career. If she can surpass the 2,000 rebound barrier, Paris will become the first college basketball player – any gender, any membership, any division – to collect 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds. Through Sunday night’s game, Paris has 2,677 career points and 1,986 career rebounds.
Sophomore guard Danielle Robinson led the Sooners in scoring with 15 points. She grabbed seven rebounds, tying a career single-game high. Robinson also dished out a game-high six assists.
Freshman guard Whitney Hand struggled shooting the basketball all night (2-13 FG), but managed to score eight points, her highest total since Feb. 8 at Oklahoma State.
Senior forward Ashley Paris contributed with 14 points and nine rebounds, just one rebound shy of her 27th career double-double.
Oklahoma’s bench outscored Prairie View A&M’s 20-3, with seven players logging minutes. Carlee Roethlisberger scored 10 points, while Jenny Vining added seven and Abi Olajuwon chipped in three.
Oklahoma held a 38-28 edge at halftime. Prairie View A&M got within eight until the Sooners went on a 21-7 run to break the game open. Oklahoma outscored Prairie View A&M 38-19 in the second half.
For the game, Oklahoma outscored Prairie View A&M on second chance points (22-2), points in the paint (28-26) and fast break points (18-4). The Sooners held the rebounding edge in the first half, grabbing 23 boards (10 offensive, 13 defensive) to Prairie View A&M’s 19.
Oklahoma (15-36, 42%) made four more field goals in the first half than Prairie View A&M (11-27%), with nine more attempts.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M POST-GAME NOTES
Prairie View A&M finishes the 2008-09 season with a 23-11 overall record. The Panthers won both the SWAC regular season championship and conference tournament, after being picked to finish first in the pre-season.
Sunday’s loss snapped Prairie View A&M’s 19-game winning streak. The Panthers’ last loss was Jan. 5 at Southern (63-58).
The Panthers are now 0-2 in NCAA Tournament games. Prairie View A&M’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth came in 2007, when the Panthers fell to North Carolina in the first round. Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has led the Panthers to both NCAA Tournament appearances in school history.
Prairie View A&M is now 0-7 all-time against Oklahoma.
The Panthers were led by Dominique Smith and Gatti Werema with 15 points each. Werema, who was named the SWAC Player of the Year, also led the squad with seven rebounds.
Prairie View A&M entered the game ranked ninth nationally in field goal percentage defense (34.5%), but the Sooners managed to shoot 41.2% for the night.
Prairie View A&M stuck with the inside game, scoring 28 of its 47 points in the paint against the tough Oklahoma inside presence.
Aminata Dieye stayed right on her average, with two blocked shots against Oklahoma. Dieye ranks 35th nationally with 2.1 blocks per game.
The Panthers never led in the game and managed to tie the score twice in the first four minutes. Prairie View A&M went on a 3:45 scoring drought in the second half, from the 17:18-13:33, allowing Oklahoma to stretch its lead from 42-34 to 54-35.
Sophomore Dominique Smith topped her points per game average of 10.6 in the first half, scoring 13 points on 5-9 shooting (1-3 3 pt. FG’s, 2-3 FT’s). She only played four minutes in the second half and scored three points.