Houston Roundball Review: Women's Hoops

This is The Houston Roundball Review's (www.TheHRR.com) blog to discuss women's basketball. The HRR began in 1994 and has been media credentialed to cover college and pro hoops since 1997. Member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WBCA High School Game Televised on ESPNU

The 2009 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) High School All-America Game will be televised on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports television network. This is the first time since 2002 the game will be televised.

The 2009 WBCA High School All-Star Game will be held this Saturday, April 4, 2009, at Washington University's Field House in St. Louis, MO. Tip is set for 4:30 p.m. CDT.

The game will be shown on ESPNU, Sunday, April 5, at 4:00 p.m. CDT.

Tune in to see if Britney Griner (Aldine Nimitz HS / Baylor University signee) dunks. Not just once either.


WBCA Honors

Here are a few other links to recent WBCA news:

Ball State's Kelly Packard Wins Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie of the Year Coaching Award

Vanderbilt's Jennifer Risper Named WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year

I'll be in St. Louis covering as many events as possible. I haven't been able to spend as much time on women's basketball this season; but, that's because I've been working (thank goodness) full-time.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Texas Southern's 2009 Recruiting Class Highly Touted

HOUSTON, TX -- The Texas Southern University Women’s basketball program is projected to have one of the top HBCU recruiting classes of 2009 according to Allstar Girls Report (ASGR).

ASGR ranks the TSU class 143rd out of 305 NCAA Division I schools. Only North Carlonia A&T's 121st ranking tops TSU among historically black colleges / universities (HBCUs).

Here are the members of the TSU 2009 recruiting class and their rankings.

#311 -- Tanija Beasley (5'9", Harvest Prepatory School (OH), shooting guard)
#566 -- Krissic Harper (5'4", point guard)
#64 --- Brittany Hilliard (5'11", Monroe Community College (NY) in 2007 - 2008, shooting guard)
#69 ---
Sara Stewart (5'9", Angelina Junior College, shooting guard)
Transfer --
Jackie Sanders (6'2", Kentucky / Gulf Coast Community College, power forward)
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

ESPN's Online Content Sees Increase for Tourney

Through the first two rounds of the NCAA Women’s College Basketball Tournament, ESPN’s online content for women’s college basketball has increased on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile Web. In addition, entries for the 12th Annual Women’s Tournament Challenge are also up significantly.

ESPN360.com

Through the first two rounds, total hours viewed of the women's NCAA College Basketball Tournament on ESPN360.com are up more than double -- 121 percent over the same period last year.

Mobile
To date for the 2009 Tournament, visits to women's college basketball content on the ESPN Mobile Web site are up nearly fourfold -- 275 percent over the same period last year.

Additionally, there were 230,000 entries for the Women’s Tournament Challenge, surpassing last year’s 200,000 entries by 15 percent.
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ESPN's Sweet 16 Schedule

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament continues with the Sweet 16 Saturday, March 28 - Sunday, March 29.

All Times listed are Central Daylight Saving Time.

March 28
Raleigh Region
11 a.m. -- #3  Louisville vs. #2 Baylor (Raleigh, NC) -- ESPN HD / ESPN.
1:30 p.m. -- #4 Vanderbilt vs. #1 Maryland (Raleigh) -- ESPN HD / ESPN.

Berkeley Region
8:00 p.m. -- #9 Michigan State vs. #4 Iowa State (Berkeley, CA) -- ESPN HD / ESPN.
10:30 p.m. -- #3 Ohio State vs. #2 Stanford (Berkeley) -- ESPN2 HD / ESPN2.


March 29
Trenton Region
11:00 a.m. -- #4 California vs. #1 Connecticut (Trenton, NJ) -- ESPN2 HD / ESPN2.
1:30 p.m. -- #6 Arizona State vs. #2 Texas A&M (Trenton) -- ESPN2 HD / ESPN2.

Oklahoma City Region
6:30 p.m. -- #7 Rutgers vs. #6 Purdue (Oklahoma City, OK) -- ESPN2 HD / ESPN2.
9:00 p.m. -- #4 Pittsburgh vs. #1 Oklahoma (Oklahoma City) -- ESPN2 HD / ESPN2.  
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

12 Finalists Named for State Farm Award

ATLANTA, GA -- The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee along with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) announced the 12 finalists in contention for The State Farm Wade Trophy.

Here are the finalists (in alphabetical order):
Jayne Appel -- Stanford, junior, center.
DeWanna Bonner -- Auburn, senior, guard.
Tina Charles -- Connecticut, junior, center.
Marissa Coleman -- Maryland, senior, guard / forward.
Jantel Lavender -- Ohio State, sophomore, center.
Angel McCoughtry -- Louisville, senior, forward.
Renee Montgomery -- Connecticut, senior, guard.
Maya Moore -- Connecticut, sophomore, forward.
Courtney Paris -- Oklahoma, senior, center.
Kristi Toliver -- Maryland, senior, guard.
Ashley Walker -- California-Berkeley, senior, forward.
Monica Wright -- Virginia, junior, guard.

The winner will be announced during a press conference Saturday, April 4, at 9:45 a.m. CDT, as part of the WBCA's National Convention which will be held in St. Louis, MO.

Since there won't be a schedule conflict with any WNBA Draft Combine activities (heck there's not going to be a Draft Combine this year), I will attend the press conference.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Four Finalists Named for Naismith Award

ATLANTA, GA (March 21, 2009) -- The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the four finalists for the 2009 Naismith Trophy. Connecticut's Renee Montgomery and Maya Moore join Angel McCoughtry (Louisville) and Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) to vie for the most prestigious national award in women’s college basketball.

The finalists were voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season.

The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year winner will be announced during the WBCA awards luncheon April 6 in St. Louis.

Beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers – and sports fans on other wireless networks – will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results — more than any other national college basketball award.

Voting for the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year award will end on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. CDT.

AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate.
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ESPN's Second Round NCAA Tourney Coverage

Here's the ESPN2 / ESPN360.com schedule for the second round (March 23 and 24) of the 2009 NCAA Divison I Women's Basketball Tournament:

Monday, March 23 -- ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

6 p.m.
#6 Arizona State vs. #3 Florida State (Duluth, GA)
#11 Mississippi State vs. #3 Ohio State (Columbus, OH)
#6 Purdue vs. #3 North Carolina (Chattanooga, TN)
#7 Rutgers vs. #2 Auburn (Piscataway, NJ)


8:30 p.m.
#5 Virgina vs. #4 California (Los Angeles, CA)
#5 Kansas State vs. #4 Vanderbilt (Albuquerque, NM)
#12 Gonzaga vs. #4 Pittsburgh (Seattle, WA)
#10 San Diego State vs. #2 Stanford (San Diego, CA0



Tuesday, March 24 -- ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

6 p.m.
#8 Florida vs. #1 Connecticut (Storrs, CT)
#9 Utah vs. #1 Maryland (College Park, MD)
#9 Michigan State vs. #1 Duke (East Lansing, MI)
#10 Minnesota vs. #2 Texas A&M (South Bend, IN)

8:30 p.m.
#7 South Dakota State vs. #2 Baylor (Lubbock, TX)
#6 LSU vs. #3 Liberty (Baton Rouge, LA)
#12 Ball State vs. #4 Iowa State (Bowling Green, KY)
#9 Georgia Tech vs. #1 Oklahoma (Iowa City, IA)
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

ESPN's First Round NCAA Tourney Coverage

For the seventh consecutive year, ESPN and its family of networks will televise all 63 games from the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. The action begins today, March 21, at 11 a.m. CDT with the first round on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com.

Here's the schedule for the first round:

Saturday, March 21 -- ESPN2/ESPN360.com

11 a.m.
#11 Mississippi State vs. #6 Texas (Columbus, Ohio)
#11 Georgia vs. #6 Arizona State (Duluth, Ga.)
#14 UCF vs. #3 North Carolina (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
#15 Lehigh vs. #2 Auburn (Piscataway, N.J.)

1:30 p.m.
#14 Sacred Heart vs. #3 Ohio State (Columbus)
#14 North Carolina A&T vs. #3 Florida State (Duluth)
#11 Charlotte vs. #6 Purdue (Chattanooga)
#10 VCU vs. #7 Rutgers (Piscataway)

7 p.m.
#13 Fresno State vs. #4 California (Los Angeles, CA)
#13 W. Carolina vs. #4 Vanderbilt (Albuquerque, NM)
#13 Montana vs. #4 Pittsburgh (Seattle, WA)
#10 San Diego State vs. #7 DePaul (San Diego, CA)

9:30 p.m.
#12 Marist vs. #5 Virginia (Los Angeles)
#12 Drexel vs. #5 Kansas State (Albuquerque)
#12 Gonzaga vs. #5 Xavier (Seattle)
#15 UC Santa Barbara vs. #2 Stanford (San Diego)


Sunday, March 22 -- ESPN / ESPN2 / ESPN360.com

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
11 a.m.
#16 Vermont vs. #1 Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.)
#9 Utah vs. #8 Villanova (College Park, Md.)
#9 Mich. St. vs. #8 Middle Tenn. (East Lansing, Mich.)
#15 Evansville vs. #2 Texas A&M (South Bend, IN)

ESPN / ESPN360.com
1:30 p.m.
#9 Temple vs. #8 Florida (Storrs)
#16 Dartmouth vs. #1 Maryland (College Park)
#16 Austin Peay vs. #1 Duke (East Lansing)
#10 Minnesota vs. #7 Notre Dame (South Bend)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
6 p.m.
#10 TCU vs. #7 South Dakota State (Lubbock, TX)
#11 Wisconsin-Green Bay vs. #6 LSU (Baton Rouge, LA)
#13 East Tennessee State vs. #4 Iowa State (Bowling Green, KY)
#16 Prairie View vs. #1 Oklahoma (Iowa City, IA)

ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
8:30 p.m.
#15 Texas-San Antonio vs. #2 Baylor (Lubbock)
#14 Liberty vs. #3 Louisville (Baton Rouge)
#12 Ball State vs. #5 Tennessee (Bowling Green)
#9 Georgia Tech vs. #8 Iowa (Iowa City)
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Coop and PV to play OU in NCAAs

The Prairie View Lady Panthers learned three new things Monday evening from the NCAA's Selection Committee:

1. they are the number 16 seed in the Oklahoma City Region;
2. they will play top-seed Oklahoma Sunday evening; and 
3. they will play the Sooners in Iowa City, IA.

The game is set to start at 6pm (CDT) and air on ESPN2.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, PV's head coach, appeared on KCOH 1430 (http://www.kcohradio.com/) AM's Sports Rap show Monday evening to discuss her team and facing the Sooners in the Big Dance.

In typical Coop fashion, she praised Oklahoma for their successful season; however, Coop said her team would definitely be ready to play.

Coop wants her squad to force the Paris twins (Courtney and Ashley) to run up and down the court a lot.

More importantly, one of Coop and her coaching staff's main goals is to convince the Lady Panthers they can actually compete with the Sooners and to not be intimidated by Oklahoma's size.

Personally, I believe PV (23-10 and winners of 19 straight games) can give the Sooners some problems in the ball game. I am not predicting a monumental upset by any means; but, I do believe PV's athleticism and pressure defense will force the Sooners to turn the ball over quite a bit. PV's biggest problem will probably be shooting well from the field. 

PV's Gatti Werema (6'0" junior guard / forward, SWAC Player of the Year), Candice Thomas (5'9" junior guard, last year's SWAC Player of the Year) and Dominique Smith (5'10" sophomore guard) must be aggressive from the opening tip and shoot the ball well early in the ball game in order to give the Lady Panthers some much needed confidence.

Clearly, Courtney Paris' size, strength, and skills will be a nightmare for PV's slender frontcourt; but, CP3 is going to do a lot of running up and down the court in the first half.

The Sooners should definitely win the ball game; and, honestly, the game may turn into a blowout. However, for the second time in three seasons, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has guided her Prairie View A&M Lady Panthers into the NCAA Tournament. A few other Houston area teams have not accomplished that feat. 
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mulkey Explains Baylor's Depth

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- After guiding her team to the 2009 Big 12 Tourney Championship with a 72 to 63 win over Texas A&M Sunday afternoon, Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey explained how her team has been able to overcome the loss of starter, 6'4" center, Danielle Wilson due to a knee injury on March 3.

"Well, losing Danielle Wilson, you lost your 6' 4" center who is having a great year, leading scorer, leading rebounder.

But if you have followed our team, Danielle Wilson, guys, was a sub in a lot of games last year. She wasn't in the rotation every time we played. Danielle Wilson developed into the player she is now this year.

Always look at the team that we've had. There is not a dominant player like a Courtney Paris. If you lose a Courtney Paris, you see what happens. It is very difficult to adjust because she is that good.

Danielle Wilson is good, a big loss for us, but our scoring, our rebounding, it is distributed throughout the lineup. We had Morghan (Medlock), McDonald's All-American coming in off the bench. You have Melissa Jones, sixth player in the league that started some games for us.

I know if you don't follow my team, you think I'm being partial, but I think you now see we're not going away. What we lost the most when Danielle went down, we lost a kid that had the ability to alter shots, to block shots, and we lost a post-player that I believe in this league runs the floor from foul line to foul line better than any post in our league. That's what we lost.

How did she become the leading scorer and rebounder? As she developed and you watched your team grow, you go "This kid is ready for this" and so you run things for Danielle. But you still have that balance on our team. That's why I kept saying over and over, we're not going away."

As the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament approaches this weekend, the Lady Bears are definitely not going away.
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Lady Bears Win Big 12 Tourney

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- The Baylor Lady Bears defeated the Texas A&M Aggies 72 to 63 Sunday afternoon inside the Cox Convention Center to claim the 2009 Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament Championship.

Baylor's Jessica Morrow was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. Morrow hit a three-point basket to but the Lady Bears ahead 60 to 54 with 5:34 left in the game. Morrow finished the game with 12 points (2 for 10 field goal shooting and 6 for 9 from the foul line).

BU trailed the Aggies 17 to 7 at the 11:35 mark of the first half; and, seeing that her team was having a tough time defending the Aggies in man-to-man defense Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey decided to do the unthinkable (for her) -- switch to zone defense.

"We were down 10 points," said Mulkey. "And, I thought 'Both teams are fatigued. We've played three games in three days. And the style of play that both teams play, something has got to give, we're not doing very well guarding them.' So, you just make a gut decision. It was not something planned. It was not something I discussed with any coach on the bench. It was something I called as I watched the game and it worked. It worked."

In addition to Baylor's zone defense working, Baylor post player Morghan Medlock went to work on offense. Medlock scored 13 points in the first half on perfect 6 for 6 shooting. Her variety of post moves gave the Aggies fits. Medlock's 13 points helped erased Baylor's 10 point deficit and give the Lady Bears a 33 to 25 lead at halftime.

"Medlock was a force that we couldn't stop," said Gary Blair, Aggies head coach, after the ball game.

Baylor stretched the lead to nine points twice in the second half; but, Aggies senior guard, Takia Starks helped bring her team. Starks scored 17 second-half points on 6 for 11 field goal shooting. Starks was much more aggressive in the second half as she helped Texas A&M pull within two points (60 to 58) at the 4:42 mark of the game.

Jessica Morrow hit two free throws to increase Baylor's lead to four; then, Jhasmin Player converted a three-point play to give Baylor a 65 to 58 lead with 3:21 remaining in the game. Player scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the second half.

After Danielle Gant hit two free throws to make the score 65 to 60, Player drained a three-point basket to give BU a 68 to 60 lead with 2:43 left in the game.

Starks answered with a three-point bucket; but, her basket was the last made field goal for the Aggies in the ball game.

Baylor's bench outscored the Aggies' bench 24 to 2 in the ball game. Medlock scored 15 points and sophomore Melissa Jones scored nine points and pulled down a team-high tying eight rebounds.

"My bench has been our savior all year long," said Gary Blair. "I couldn't pull the right numbers at the right time."

Both teams will learn their seed in the NCAA Tournament Monday evening.

Coach Mulkey believes her team deserves a number one seed (along with Oklahoma's getting a number one seed).

"All I know is what more can we do," Mulkey said. "If we're (the Big) the number one RPI conference in America -- and, y'all have written that -- everybody in this room has read it, then why can't we have two number 1 seeds? I don't understand why you can't. I have said that from day one. I certainly will be disappointed if another conference has two number one seeds."
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

PV Wins SWAC

For Comets' fans who loved Cynthia Cooper when she helped the Comets win four straight WNBA Championships, here's some good news about Coach Cooper:

Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and her squad are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.

PV (23-10 overall), the top seed in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, raced away from Southern (16-13 overall, #2 seed) in the second half and defeated the Jaguars 74 to 49.

PV awaits "Selection Monday" to learn their seed (perhaps a 15?) and opponent.
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Lack of Focus Hurt OU

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Near the end of the post-game press conference following Oklahoma's 74 to 62 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies in the Big 12 semi-finals, Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale was asked to explain her team's lack of focus.

Q: Can you dissect not playing hard a little bit because Danielle mentioned lack of focus at the free-throw line. You have mentioned speeding up. Is that -- is getting rattled part of not playing hard? Is that in addition to? What was the problem there?

Coale's answer is quite telling.

Coale: It could be the impetus for not playing hard, everything from foul trouble to pressure defense, forcing you to go too fast to -- there are a million things that can force you or that can send you in the direction of not competing at the highest possible level.

I thought that things distracted us, and that just means you are not very tough. It means you are fragile. If getting pushed three times when you shoot and it doesn't get called, if that makes you not play hard, you are not very tough. If a defense putting pressure on you the length of the floor makes you not focus on a free throw, you are not very mentally tough.

In my opinion, Coach Coale needs to set a better example for her players. Throughout much of today's game, Coale was talking (debating, questioning, some would say begging) with the referees about fouls called and / or fouls not called. If Coale does so much griping to the refs, why should she expect her players to respond any differently than what they see her doing throughout the game? 
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Aggies Top OU in Big Semi-finals

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- The Texas A&M Aggies defeated the Oklahoma Sooners for the second time this season with a convincing 74 to 62 win in the semi-finals of the 2009 Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament.

The Aggies led the Sooners 29 to 21 at halftime. OU's Courtney Paris played only 12 minutes in the opening half after picking up her third foul. The Aggies led 18 to 12 at the time of the third foul; but, the Aggies' offense failed to capitalize on CP3's absence and only outscored the Sooners 11 to 9 in the final 9:10 of the half.

OU managed to pull with one point (31 to 30) on a jumper by CP3 at the 17:10 mark of the second half; but, Aggies' junior wing Tanisha Smith scored four straight points to stretch the lead to five and Oklahoma did not get any closer the rest of the half.

Sydney Colson, A&M's sophomore point guard, drained a three point basket to give the Aggies a 38 to 31 lead. Colson finished the game with 15 points (5 for 10 field goal shooting) and five assists.

Aggies' senior forward Danielle Gant led all scorers with 22 points. Gant shot 7 for 8 from the field and 8 for 9 from the foul line.

The Sooners poor free throw shooting (22 for 36) added to their woeful 32.2% field goal shooting (19 for 59). 

The Aggies shot 57.1% (12 for 21) from the field and 86.4% (19 for 22) from the foul line in the second half.

Video of Aggies' Press Conference

Video of Sooners' Press Conference
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Monday, March 09, 2009

CP3 Sticking by Guarantee

Apparently, I spent too much time focusing on the Houston area teams in the high school playoffs over the weekend because Courtney Paris made news and knew nothing about it until the last 30 minutes.

Last week during a speech on senior night, Courtney Paris (CP3) guaranteed the Oklahoma women’s basketball team would win a national championship.

And, Courtney has literally put her money where her mouth is because she has promised to pay back Oklahoma University the value of her scholarship should the Sooners not win the title.

Since Courtney is a resident of the state of Oklahoma the total value of the scholarship is approximately $64,000.

Now, this is what I call a guarantee! (Of course, I'm sure the haters of women's basketball will find something with Courtney's guarantee; so, go right ahead and sip your Hatorade.)

I admire CP3's confidence in herself and her teammates; but, she needs to be more focused on reducing the team's turnovers as well as the locomotive train known as the Connecticut Huskies as well as teams like the Stanford Cardinal, Auburn Lady Tigers, and Maryland Terrapins just to name a few.

I assume this guarantee could be why Courtney did not participate in the post-game press conference following Oklahoma's 74 to 62 win over Texas Sunday afternoon.

I know I would have asked her about it -- had I known about it. Oh well. I'll get the chance later this week at the Big 12 Tournament.
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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Oklahoma Tops Texas by Twelve

AUSTIN, TX -- The Oklahoma Sooners showed the Texas Longhorns why they are the best team in the Big 12 Conference this season Sunday afternoon with a very solid 74 to 62 win inside the Frank Erwin Center in front of 6396 fans celebrating Senior Day.

"Congratulations to Oklahoma," said Gail Goestenkors, Texas Longhorns head coach in the post-game press conference. "They showed why they're the best team in the conference. Obviously they've got Courtney [Paris], but they're so much more than just one player. They gave a great team effort."

The game was tied twice before the Sooners (27-3 overall, 15-1 in Big 12) scored eight straight points to take a 17 to 9 lead with 11:08 left in the first half.

Texas' guard / forward Brittainey Raven ended the drought with a three point play; but, Oklahoma answered with seven straight points (four from junior Amanda Thompson, two by sophomore guard Danielle Robinson to double up the Longhorns 24 to 12 at the 8:20 mark.

The Longhorns (20-10 overall, 8-8 in Big 12) shooting woes continued the rest of the half; and, Oklahoma closed out the first half outscoring the Horns 16 to 9 to take a 40 to 21 lead into halftime.

"I was real proud of our effort," said Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale. "I thought in the first half we really had great offensive rhythm and did a nice job with the defensive game plan."

Texas shot 37.5% (9 for 24) in the first half while Oklahoma converted 18 of 29 shot attempts for 62.1%.

The Sooners outscored the Horns 17 to 9 over the first seven minutes and 9 seconds of the second half for a 57 to 30 lead before the Horns sparked to life.

Ashleigh Fontenette (8 points) and Kathleen Nash (six points) combined for 14 points during a 24 to 10 run by the Longhorns to help trim UT's deficit to 13 points (63 to 50) with 5:47 remaining in the game. The Sooners committed eight turnovers to aid the UT run.

"I thought we got to playing too fast late," said Coach Coale. "We had a few crazy ones in the first half, nothing I was too upset about. But in the second half we just went way too fast. Trying to fix what we had broken all in one fell swoop and it kind of caught up with us."

Kathleen Nash scored all 12 of her points in the second half and helped the Horns within 11 points (69 to 58) on two made free throws with 1:40 left in the game.

Fontenette scored all 10 of her points in the second half as well.

Oklahoma turned the ball over 21 times and 12 came in the second half due to the Horns' aggressive defense.

"We picked up full court, tried to trap and create some things with our defense, Coach Goestenkors said."

Danielle Robinson led the Sooners with 17 points followed by 16 points each from Amanda Thompson and Courtney Paris.

Oklahoma shot 56.6% (30 for 53) from the field while the Longhorns shot 36.9% (24 for 65).

"I thought we played well at the beginning of the second half," added Coach Coale. "We went flat about halfway through, then I thought Texas outworked us in the middle of the second half. I thought their effort and their fight was obvious. We weren't great but they were pretty good and they did some good things there and give them credit for that. Our experience and our maturity enabled us to steady the ship."

Ashley Lindsey scored a team-high 16 points for Texas followed by 12 points a piece from Kathleen Nash and Brittainey Raven and 10 points from Fontenette.

Note:
For the time since December 16, 2006 (at Duke), Brittainey Raven did not start the ball game.

Coach G explained why she made the move: "Brittainey has not been rebounding for us. That's been such a focus for us. After the last game when she didn't have any rebounds, I felt like I needed to make a statement to her. We had been talking about it but I really needed to show how important it was. I thought the second half, the way she battled, not just on offense and defense but on the boards as well, that's we need from her for 40 minutes. It changes the way we play when she's that aggressive."
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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

C-USA Announces 2009 All-Conference Teams

IRVING, TX -- Conference USA announced their 2009 All-C-USA Women's Basketball Teams Tuesday.

C-USA women's basketball coaches, sports information directors and selected media members (including yours truly) participated in the voting. The results were just as unpredictable as the regular-season standings. Three teams were in the running for the regular-season title on the final day of the regular season before SMU emerged as the outright champion. Of the 15 member all-conference team, only five are seniors.

The league should announce Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year shortly.

I voted for Houston's Courtney Taylor for Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. I also tabbed Houston's Joe Curl as Coach of the Year.

Since the talent level in the Conference is spread evenly throughout the league, my choices were not easy at all.

I picked Taylor because off her exceptional stats in so many categories. She was 4th in scoring (16.5 ppg); 3rd in rebounding (10.1 rpg); 4th in steals (2.29 spg); and 4th in blocked shots (1.75 bpg).

I chose Joe Curl for COY because he helped guide a Houston team - with just one senior - picked to finish tied for 7th in the preseason C-USA poll to an 11-5 conference record and a three-way tie for second place just one game behind SMU.
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Statement from Griner

HOUSTON, TX -- Brittney Griner, the 6'8" Aldine Nimitz High School sensation, will not participate in the 2009 McDonald's High School All-America Game.

According to a press release provided by Griner's media consultant (Yolande Lezine Communications),

Nimitz High School senior post and McDonald's All-American selection Brittney Griner will not be participating in the 2009 McDonald's High School All American game scheduled for Wednesday, April 1st in Miami, Florida.

The game, which is played in the middle of week requires participation to be in attendance for events that cover a total of five days.

“The McDonald's All-American game was put in my school's hand for approval and was discussed with various members of the Aldine Independent School District administration,” Brittney Griner stated.

“An official ruling was given by the district through my principal Mr. Watson Wright; however, there were many things that were stated verbally that caused questions of concern pertaining to graduation.”

Griner has accepted the decision made by Mr. Wright and the Aldine Independent School District and she has personally sent the McDonald's All-American committee a sincere “Thank You” for her selection.

McDonald's spokesperson David Gardiner stated that Griner would still have her spot on the roster and would still receive her ring , uniform, and other items given to all participants.

There was no statement that was given on behalf of Brittney Griner or her family to the Aldine Independent School District and there will be no further comments pertaining to this matter.”

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing Brittney play in the WBCA's All-Star Game.  
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