Big 12 happenings

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Texas Trying to Address Attendance

March 16th, 2017

"Karen Aston stood there, surveying the seats at the Frank Erwin Center, disappointed and distraught.

It was March 19, 2016, the beginning of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Aston's Texas Longhorns were a No. 3 seed. After another successful season, Texas had finished the regular season with a 26-3 record and were hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Aston thought Club Erwin would be hopping. Or packed. Maybe both. Hometown fans, after all, had the opportunity to see a team that would eventually make it to the Elite Eight.


Club Erwin, with a seating capacity of 16,734, was largely empty that Saturday night. Only 2,645 fans watched Texas blow out Alabama State by 44 points in the first round; the Monday night crowd for Texas' second-round 73-55 win over Missouri was even less, at 2,345.

"I thought that our body of work was really important because we were trying to host, and then we got to the hosting part and hardly no one showed up," Aston said. "I was so disappointed, but then as I sat back and realized a lot of people had sort of forgotten, not only about us, but the fact that you could host."

Aston arrived in 2012. Texas went 12-18 in her first season and didn't make the NCAA tournament. But since then, the Longhorns have improved at an exponential rate from 12-18 to 22-12, then 24-11, then 31-5 last year. They're 23-8 this season, spent time ranked in the top 10 and reeled off 19 straight wins from December till February.

The wins keep coming. The fans don't.

Texas ranked fourth in attendance in the Big 12 last year with an average of 3,700, trailing Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma.

The Aston years attendance average

2012 3,888
2013 3,382
2014 3,385
2015 3,700
2016 3,890

"Last year was kind of a product of, 'Well, are they really gonna stay consistent?,'" Aston said. "I think that as the year went along it got a little bit better, but I think there was still some, maybe, skepticism with are we going to be consistent with what we do."

But Texas hasn't just been consistent over the past three years. It's been consistently improving. The Horns reached the round of 32 in Aston's second year, the Sweet Sixteen in her third, and the Elite Eight in her fourth. So why? All in a city with a population of more than 2 million and at a university with more than 50,000.

The answer isn't so simple.

"There's a lot of things that contend for attention in the city of Austin now that there's close to 2 million people," UT women's athletic director Chris Plonsky said. "We have a minor league baseball team up the road, we have minor league hockey, we have, just the general outdoor sports."

Historically, women's basketball has always had poor attendance. Last year, only two teams, South Carolina and Tennessee, averaged more than 10,000. UConn, the NCAA champion for the past four years, ranked fifth with 8,920.

Contrast that to men's basketball. Last year, 43 men's teams averaged better than 10,000 during the regular season.

The numbers were off for the NCAA Tournament as well. In 2016, the 16 sites hosting the first two rounds of the women's tournament including Austin averaged crowds of 4,464. Ten of those 16 sites averaged 5,000 or better. Austin, though, averaged 2,548 for its three games.

In the men's tournament, however, the 16 sites hosting second-round games averaged 15,414. No site averaged less than 10,000.

That discrepancy in attendance is clear. The factors may be many, but perhaps a part of it stems from the difference in the men's and women's games.

"It obviously is true. We don't dunk every single possession of the game," senior center Kelsey Lang said. "Women's basketball is played at a very skillful level."

But, still, that doesn't stop some from criticizing the game. A recent trip to Gregory Gym the spot on campus to find a pick-up basketball game had some UT students questioning the on-court product.

"My personal opinion is (women's basketball) is not as exciting because it's not as competitive as men's basketball," said UT student Alexandria Windle, 21. "There's a higher score, it takes more skills to compete. Men can dunk. Women can't. Just the difference in physical talent."

Said UT student Naveen Rajshekhar, 22: "The level of play doesn't interest me. It's too low, (compared) to a man's game and even to pick up games."

Both Windle and Rajshekhar played high school basketball. Not everyone, of course, shares the same thoughts.

The Texas women have a loyal fan base that's supported the program for decades, fans like Bud Josserand, a 68-year-old retired electrical engineer who's been going to UT women's games since the 1970s.

"The level of competition tends to be just as good as the men's," Josserand said. "I find it silly and unexplainable."

The demographics of fans at UT women's games, generally, skew either older or much younger.

"You have to be over 50 or under 10 to be a women's basketball fan," Plonsky said.

There's almost an absence in the middle. Especially with students. Brianna Taylor, a senior guard, recalled that during pre-game warmups her freshman year, she expected to see a lot of UT students seated behind the baskets. But she didn't. She remembers seeing mostly empty seats.

For 12 straight years
from the undefeated national championship season of 1985-86 through 1996-97
Texas' average attendance ranked
among the Top 5 programs in the country
including No. 1 from 1986-91

"My freshman year, I didn't see any students," said Taylor, who also said that things have improved this year.

Fran Harris, UT's coordinator of community engagement and herself a former UT player, also noticed the lack of students at games.

Part of the reason students don't go to games, Harris said, is because of the location. The Erwin Center isn't directly on campus, which means it's a pretty long walk. Harris, who also calls women's games for ESPN, remarked that on other university campuses that enjoy high student attendance, the basketball arena was situated on campus.

"You stack the odds in our favor, it eventually happens," Harris said. "But it takes every little thing, looking at every objection that people have to coming and knocking those objections off the list.

So they said
'It's too far' ... we got a shuttle
'Product's not good' ... we're good

That helped.
So you just keep knocking off those objections."

This year, UT offered student shuttles to the Erwin Center for the first time. And Harris created the Ambassadors program, which aims to go out into the community to help increase attendance and awareness to the women's team.

Attendance jumped up by an average of nearly 200 per home game this season. And for the second straight year,

Texas is hosting the first two rounds, welcoming North Carolina State, Auburn and Central Arkansas. The Longhorns play their first game Friday afternoon. Aston hopes that Club Erwin, unlike last year, will be packed.

That the fans will be there to see a team that features the Big 12's player, defensive player and coach of the year.

And that, just like it's been all season, it will be exciting.

"I don't get into the comparing game at all," Aston said. "I just want to know are we getting better? Are we improving our fan base? Are we growing our fan base? And the answer to that is yes."

- article Aaron Torres, Austin American-Statesman
- photos gathered from the internet

April 13th, 2017

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BIG 12

Tuesday - Nov 28

Oklahoma 56 @ UALittle Rock 68

Wednesday - Nov 29

UMKC 48 @ Kansas 63
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BIG 12 / SEC Challenge
Nov 30 - Dec 3

SEC 2017-18 Preseason Media Poll rank / SEC team / Big 12 opponent in Challenge

01 South Carolina
02 Mississippi State vs Oklahoma State
03 Missouri vs Kansas State
04 Tennessee
05 Texas A&M vs West Virginia
06 Kentucky @ Baylor
07 LSU @ Texas Tech
08 Georgia vs Texas
09 Alabama @ TCU
10 Auburn
11 Vanderbilt vs Iowa State
12 Florida @ Oklahoma
13 Ole Miss
14 Arkansas @ Kansas

Event features every team from the Big 12 against 10 squads from the SEC
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Thursday - Nov 30

BIG 12 / SEC Challenge

Kentucky 63 @ Baylor 90
LSU 48 @ Texas Tech 40
Kansas State 59 @ Missouri 73

Non - SEC Challenge

Iowa State 80 @ Drake 83
Southern 66 @ Oklahoma State 94
Louisiana Tech 54 @ Texas 88
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Former Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry.
Her current Alabama team faces TCU on Dec 1.

June 21, 2013

New Alabama women's basketball coach Kristy Curry will be paid a total of $400,000 per year. A five-year contract was approved unanimously Friday morning by the University of Alabama Systems board of trustees' compensation committee.

Curry, who was hired on May 11 after serving 7 seasons at Texas Tech, will receive a base salary of $245,000 per year and a talent fee of $155,000.

That's a total of $100,000 more than Alabama was paying her predecessor, Wendell Hudson. In his fifth and final season, he was paid $300,000 ($245,000 base salary and a $55,000 talent fee).

Curry reportedly was going to be paid $750,000 for the 2013-14 season at Texas Tech.

She becomes the highest paid coach of a women's team at Alabama. Gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson, who has won six national championships at Alabama, is paid a total of $330,000 per year. Softball coach Patrick Murphy, who led the Crimson Tide to the 2012 national championship, is paid a total of $240,000 per year. Women's golf coach Mic Potter, who led Alabama to the 2012 national championship, is paid a total of $145,000.

In the Southeastern Conference
.. Kentucky's Matthew Mitchell has the highest SEC compensation. According to a 2012 report, he is scheduled to earn $950,000 in the upcoming season.
.. South Carolina's Dawn Staley's pay was boosted to $850,000 last month.
.. Texas A&M's Gary Blair reportedly gets $860,000.
.. LSU's Nikki Caldwell reportedly earns a base salary of $700,000 and can make as much as $550,000 in bonuses and incentives.
.. Georgia's Andy Landers was getting $546,702 as of 2011.
.. Tennessee's Holly Warlick makes $485,000. She replaced Pat Summitt, who was paid $1.5 million per year.

Curry's new contract features multiple incentives
  • $20,000 for participating in the Women's NIT (only in the next two seasons)
  • $20,000 for finishing in the top seven in the SEC regular season (only in the next two seasons)
  • $20,000 for winning an SEC regular-season championship
  • $20,000 for winning an SEC Tournament championship or reaching the NCAA tournament.
  • $40,000 for winning a national championship, or ...
  • $30,000 for reaching the Final Four, or ...
  • $20,000 for reaching the Elite Eight, or ...
  • $15,000 for reaching the Sweet 16
  • $20,000 for being named the SEC Coach of the Year
  • $25,000 for being named the national coach of the year
  • $10,000 for reaching Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR) goals (from and after Aug.. 27, 2014)"

- Don Kausler Jt.,

October 19, 2016

"Kristy Curry received a contract extension prior to the 2016-17 season, keeping her on as head coach of the Crimson Tide women's basketball team through 2020."

- Alabama WBB website
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Friday - Dec 1

Alabama 67 @ TCU 88

Saturday - Dec 2

Iowa State 74 @ Vanderbilt 77

Vanderbilt Memorial Magic

SEC Vanderbilt coach Stephanie White wants 'less robotic' players

"A Vanderbilt student-athlete who can shut off their brain, that's what women's basketball coach Stephanie White wants.

"It's a Vanderbilt thing," senior guard Rachel Bell said. "Academically or basketball, [we] overthink and over-analyze everything."

White arrived at Vanderbilt a year ago wanting to implement the up-tempo freestyle offense she had thrived with as a successful WNBA coach. What she inherited were players who needed to be told every step they should take within the offense.

"Being a Vanderbilt student-athlete, you are always going to have type A personalities, but can we loosen that up just a little bit?" White said. "[Be] more instinctive, less robotic."

For better or worse, much of that rigid approach in Vanderbilt's veteran players comes from playing under former coach Melanie Balcomb. In 12 NCAA tournament appearances over 14 seasons as Vanderbilt coach, Balcomb was known for the exactness of her offensive system. But when her system became stale and less dynamic, she was dismissed in 2016 as the program's all-time winningest coach.

July 2017 Melanie Balcomb hired as Texas Tech associate head coach.
Dec 2017 Balcomb leaves Texas Tech due to family medical issue.

Balcomb's remaining players looked to their new coach, White, for specific instructions in virtually every movement in practice and games.

"It was a very structured system, and ours is a little bit different," White said. "You don't change that mentality overnight. So we are just giving our players the freedom to understand that they can use their instincts."

White is quick to point out that her philosophy is not better or worse than her predecessor, but it certainly is different. That contrast comes out during practice.

"[White] will be like, 'Quit overthinking. Just be instinctive. You don't have to be robots'" said Bell, the leading scorer (11.3 ppg) on a Vanderbilt team that went 14-16 last season.

Vanderbilt players say part of their need for structure is inherent in their academic philosophy.

"You are always making sure you are pleasing your professor," sophomore forward Kayla Overbeck said. "And I want to know what I am going to do in everything, from point to point to point. But on the basketball court, I've tried not to be so structured. (White) definitely helps me to go from a type A off the court to a more fluid person on the court."

White said it will take time and patience for the Commodores to loosen up, let go and play fast. Her youngest players are the most comfortable playing in a wide-open setting, and the older players are making progress.

The roster overall holds promise. Four starters return from the SEC's top 3-point shooting team. Overbeck, an SEC All-Freshman selection last season, leads a talented group of sophomores. And Vanderbilt has added size with a pair of 6-foot-5 post players in Purdue graduate transfer Bree Horrocks and freshman Blessing Ejiofor."

- Adam Sparks, USA Today Network-Tennessee, 20 Oct 2017
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slimecap said:


Friday - Dec 1

Alabama 67 @ TCU 88

Normally I have very little to say (good or bad...mostly derogatory) about Addison-Randolph College BUT that is a big win for the lil froggies. The BIG XII needed another school to step up to the plate, besides Baylor and UT, since Cherri Cola decided to check out and take early retirement. Now, can the toads keep it up?
Hairy Bear
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Toads cannot keep it up. But I like the toad coach, and I love it when our schools win in the Big 12 SEC challenge.
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Hairy Bear said:

I like the toad coach

April 12, 2017

"TCU's women's basketball coach may wear stilettos on the sideline, but if she had her way, she'd suit up with her team.

Raegan Pebley still wears heels at 6-foot-3. The courtside attire of the TCU women's basketball coach often consists of feminine blouses, dresses or pencil skirts a look that the team's administrative assistant, Jodi Christian, describes as "classic and understated."

But if you ask Pebley how she describes her style, she has difficulty finding the words. Perhaps that's because, for Pebley, beauty isn't defined by how a person dresses, but by who a person is.

"I think the way our girls dress in a game that is beautiful," she said. "I think the way they play is beautiful. If I could be wearing that uniform instead of stilettos and whatever, I would choose that outfit any day."

Pebley gets her love of coaching from her father, a basketball coach himself, who would tell his six children to "do something that you love."

That message stuck with Pebley, who went on to play for the University of Colorado from 1994-1997. She was later selected as the 21st overall pick in the first-ever WNBA Draft in 1997, becoming one of the first basketball players of the league during its inaugural year. Pebley spent two years in the WNBA, playing for the Cleveland Rockers and the Utah Starzz (now known as the San Antonio Stars), before leaving to pursue a career in coaching.

Pebley would coach at George Mason, Colorado State, Utah State and Fresno State before landing at TCU in 2014.

She brought a new philosophy to the team, known as CLIMB
C stands for Collective Commitment, meaning to stay committed to one's teammates and the basketball program as a whole;
L stands for Learn to Lead, or discovering one's leadership capabilities;
I stands for Invest, putting time and effort into schoolwork and relationships;
M is for Mental Toughness, or "being excellent at controlling the controllables" and "not getting distracted by uncontrollables"; and
B is for Believe, or putting faith into what one is doing.

"That final whistle, when it blows for a woman, can be an identity crisis, and you don't know who you are without the game," Pebley said. "What we try to really stress to [the players] is basketball is not who you are it's what you do with who you are."

The CLIMB philosophy is especially important for the team this season, she says. Last year, the Frogs were solid, finishing with an 18-15 record and winning two games in the Women's NIT. But after losing senior stars like Zahna Medley and Veja Hamilton, the Frogs entered the 2016-2017 season as one of the youngest teams in the Big 12, having six freshmen and just two seniors on the roster. With such a young team, the Frogs' season was less than ideal.

Still, Pebley says this season has been about learning the process focusing on the details that separate a win from a loss and mastering those details. But, like everything else, it takes time.

"That's a strong message for a young team to learn, that the details are the separators between good and great," Pebley said.

There's another philosophy Pebley says she wants to instill in her team the idea that "strong is beautiful."

She talks to her team about personal branding and carrying oneself in a way that shows confidence and personality, especially when leaving college to enter the workforce or professional playing arena. But the idea that "strong is beautiful" isn't just for the players. It's for Pebley, too.

"Clothes don't make the person," she said. "When somebody walks into a room, and they're confident in yoga tights and a baggy t-shirt, that can be just as beautiful as somebody in the most high-end outfit."

- Staff, FW Inc.
Pale Rider
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I enjoy these personal stories. A great thing I love about sports is the personal stories behind the action and the game.
Hairy Bear
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Pale Rider said:

I enjoy these personal stories. A great thing I love about sports is the personal stories behind the action and the game.
How can you truly care about the players and staff unless you are fully acquainted with them.
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Pale Rider
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Hairy Bear said:

Pale Rider said:

I enjoy these personal stories. A great thing I love about sports is the personal stories behind the action and the game.
How can you truly care about the players and staff unless you are fully acquainted with them.

Are you serious?
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The Fightin' Elly Mays of West Virginia pounded the Aggettes 70-56 in CS this evening.
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The Fightin' Elly Mays of West Virginia pounded the Aggettes 70-56 in CS this evening.


"The No. 11/12 West Virginia University women's basketball team won their seventh consecutive game with a 70-56 victory over No. 18/21 Texas A&M in the Big 12 / SEC Challenge at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, on Sunday.

The win marked the second straight victory for the Mountaineers in the Big 12/SEC Challenge after defeating Ole Miss, 66-61 in 2016.

Teana Muldrow led the Mountaineers with a game-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Kristina King notched a double-double grabbing 13 rebounds and adding 14 points. Chania Ray (16) and Katrina Pardee (10) also scored in double figures. Ray also dished out six assists to lead both teams. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Aggies, 43-41, while also holding a 21-10 advantage in assists. WVU scored 20 points off Texas A&M turnovers while scoring 36 points in the paint to the Aggies' 28.

"I don't think both teams played well. It was a kind of sloppy game, but I told our team in there that I would rather win sloppy than lose pretty, WVU coach Mike Carey said. "We are not very deep. Texas A&M is not very deep, and we got in a little bit of foul trouble there that concerned me. Our players did what they needed to do to win. It is a tough place to play and we played a real good team. To come in here and win that game is big for us."

King and Ray scored 15 of WVU's 17 points in the first quarter. King put the Mountaineers on the board with an early jumper, then added another before a bucket from Ray tied the score at 6-6 with 6:03 to play in the first quarter. A triple by Ray put WVU ahead 9-6 soon after. Back-to-back buckets from King following a 4-0 Aggie run put the Mountaineers on top once again, 17-16, to cap the first quarter.

A pair of layups from Muldrow made it a 21-17 WVU advantage to start the second quarter. Muldrow nailed a jumper again to end a two-minute field goal drought by both teams, stretching the Mountaineer lead to five at 23-18. She added another to push the advantage to 25-18 with 5:29 to play in the second. Pardee drained a three to make it an eight-point lead for West Virginia, but Texas A&M countered with a 6-0 scoring run that cut the Mountaineer advantage to two at 30-28 with just under two minutes to play in the second. Neither team scored to end the quarter, with WVU keeping the 30-28 lead at the half.

Muldrow started the third with a 3-point play, but an 8-0 run from the Aggies put them up 36-33 on a free throw with 6:59 to play in the third. Muldrow and Pardee scored in the paint as WVU scored nine straight to take a 42-36 lead midway through the third quarter. Muldrow drained a jumper with seven seconds remaining as WVU closed the third with a 10-point advantage, 48-38.

After a Texas A&M layup to open the fourth, Davenport opened the scoring for the Mountaineers. Ray then drained a three, drawing a foul on the play. She made the ensuing free throw to convert the 4-point play and give the Mountaineers a 54-42 lead.

WVU climbed to its largest lead of the game, a 19-point advantage, with a layup by Ray with 4:02 to go in the game. The two teams traded a pair of buckets before Texas A&M hit a three to make the final score 70-56."

- WVU Team, West Virginia Illustrated, 3 Dec 2017

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Sunday - Dec 3


Oklahoma State 76 @ Mississippi State 79
Arkansas 60 @ Kansas 71
Florida 80 @ Oklahoma 61
Texas 81 @ Georgia 53
West Virginia 70 @ Texas A&M 56

.. Big 12 split the 2017 Big 12 / SEC Challenge with a 5-5 mark
.. Big 12 won both Top 25 match-ups
..... No. 9 Baylor defeated No. 20 Kentucky 90-63
..... No. 11 West Virginia defeated No. 18 Texas A&M 70-56

Non - SEC Challenge
Stanford 57 @ Baylor 81
Texas Tech 71 @ Houston 77
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Whew, glad WV won! And, I like Raegan Pebley, too. Have thought hiighly of her since she arrived at TCU though not a fan of TCU.
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BIG 12

Tuesday - Dec 5

North Dakota 43 @ Baylor 105
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December 6, 2017

"Women's basketball teams from Iowa and Iowa State are both hoping to capture a little "Hilton magic'' tonight when the instate rivalry is renewed.

The Hawkeyes haven't beaten the Cyclones on the road since 1989, while ISU is looking for the game to shake the sting of three-point losses on the road at Drake and Vanderbilt last week.

"We're putting ourselves in positions to win games. At UNI, at Drake, at Vanderbilt, we were right there,'' Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "We've got to get the big defensive stop, the rebound, hit the big free throw and shift that close game into a win.''

Those three road losses, by a combined total of 10 points, have left the Cyclones with a 3-4 record heading into the Cy-Hawk match-up against an 8-1 Iowa team which has lost this season only to 13th-rated Florida State by a 94-93 score. Neither Fennelly nor Iowa coach Lisa Bluder expect those records to matter much tonight.

Bluder, who was coaching her final season at St. Ambrose when C. Vivian Stringer's Iowa team won a 75-55 game at Hilton Coliseum, hasn't won in the eight times she has coached the Hawkeyes at ISU but she remains as confident as her team.

"Whenever you go on the road, it's a little harder and we understand that. Knowing that we haven't had a victory there in a long time, I like where our team is right now,'' Bluder said. "I like how we're playing and the confidence and chemistry of our team. We know every game anything can happen, especially on the road, but we like our chances. We know it's going to be tough.''

Iowa has lost in its last 10 visits to Hilton Coliseum, six times by double figures, although it took an Iowa State rally to keep the streak alive with a 69-66 win there two years ago.

"It used to be when we went over there, it wasn't fun. We were getting double-digit losses,'' Bluder said. "About the only common theme is that the home team seems to win a lot.''

The home team has won 15 of the last 16 games in the series although Fennelly, whose team is 2-0 at home this season, labels the Cyclones as "decided underdogs'' against an opponent that defeated Iowa State 88-76 last year in Iowa City.

"We've got to find a way to turn things around, change those close road losses into games where we find ways to win at the end,'' Fennelly said.

- Steve Batterson, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

BIG 12

Wednesday - Dec 6

TCU 58 @ Texas A&M 71
Iowa 61 @ Iowa State 55
Nebraska 66 @ Kansas 49
UT Arlington 56 @ Kansas State 70
Oklahoma 61 @ South Dakota State 67
Texas Tech 56 @ New Mexico 90
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Big 12 Non-Conference
as of December 06, 09:42 PM CT

7-0 Texas
7-0 West Virginia
8-1 Baylor
7-1 Kansas
6-2 Kansas State
6-2 Oklahoma State
6-2 TCU
3-5 Iowa State
3-5 Oklahoma
3-5 Texas Tech
Pale Rider
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Sooners have sunk pretty low.
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Pale Rider said:

Sooners have sunk pretty low.

December 3, 2017

"Coach Sherri Coale had a message for Sooner fans immediately following Oklahoma's home loss Sunday against Florida in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

"I haven't seen an OU team play that poorly in 15 years," Coale said. "I want to apologize to our fans, to the (reporters) who had to cover that game and to the Big 12 conference, because our representation in this was very poor."

Coale said she was very disappointed in the Oklahoma squad, which suffered its worst defeat of the season in the 80-61 loss. She said the team has to change across the board.

"The best apology is changed behavior," Coale said. "We have to figure it out and change a lot of things, obviously. We were a pretty good basketball team about 10 days ago, so it's not like everything's broken."

It seemed like pretty much everything was broken Sunday afternoon. Florida (5-3) outplayed Oklahoma (3-4) in nearly every aspect of the game. The Sooners shot a season-low .346 from the field and only 3-of-20 from deep, whereas the Gators made 12 of their 26 three-pointers. Senior Dyandria Anderson led Florida with 29 points, including six threes.

Florida also dominated Oklahoma on the glass, outrebounding the Sooners 55 to 32, OU's worst rebound deficit since Feb. 17 against Baylor. Florida's sophomore Delicia Washington pulled down 15 boards and senior Haley Lorenzen added 11.

Oklahoma tallied only seven assists in the game, compared to Florida's 16. Coale credited many of the Sooners' offensive struggles to a lack of ball movement.

"I'm very disappointed in the application of the offense tonight," Coale said. "The game plan was 'reverse the basketball.' We got our first reversal with two minutes left in the first, when you should have multiple every possession."

Oklahoma's senior core did not help the stagnant offense. Guard Gabbi Ortiz and center Vionise Pierre-Louis shot a combined 1-of-16 from the floor. Both were averaging more than 15 points per game coming into Sunday. Ortiz went scoreless for the first time since her sophomore season.

Coale called out her upperclassmen after the game, saying the team lacks a true leader.

"We need someone who's going to put the anchor in and say, 'This is who we are,'" Coale said, banging her fist on a table. "We were rocked, obviously, and when you're rocked, you look for a leader. Who's your leader?"

Perhaps in an effort to evoke leadership, Coale changed the starting lineup before the game, putting in junior guard Gileysa Penzo over graduate guard Maddie Manning for Penzo's first career start. Coale said the change was due to Manning's lack of effort in Oklahoma's road loss to Little Rock on Tuesday.

"Maddie didn't compete in Little Rock," Coale said. "Gileysa did. She took two charges, she adhered to the game plan and she did all that she could do physically, so she earned that spot."

Going forward, Coale said she would look for leadership in any of her players, including freshmen. In fact, the Sooner freshmen were one of the only bright spots in the game for OU. Freshman guard Shaina Pellington led the team with 22 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while freshman Ana Llanusa was second in scoring, with 13.

With Coale showing she's not afraid to bench an established starter for poor performance, more possible lineup changes could be coming in the future.

"(Pellington) is going to be a really good player," Coale said. "She's got a huge upside. Anybody could decide to be the guy who says, 'This is the way we're going to do it,' so it could be her. That's a lot to put on a freshman, but I'll take it from anybody."

Sunday's loss drops the Sooners below .500, giving them their worst seven-game start to a season since 1997."

- article by Erickson Dembowski, OU Daily

- photo from Florida WBB website
Pale Rider
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Wow! Just wow!
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Coale's staff needs an enema.
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Pale Rider said:

Sooners have sunk pretty low.

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Lady Raiders still hurting.
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Thursday - Dec 7

Pittsburgh 52 @ West Virginia 73


"Growing up in nearby Clarksburg, Mike Carey was aware of the Backyard Brawl but he was never really consumed by it. He got his first real taste of it when he was hired to coach the West Virginia University women's basketball team in 2001 and he brought some recruits to the football team's season opener against Ohio University.

"The first football game I ever went to when I was hired here, after the national anthem everybody yelled 'Eat $h!t Pitt' and we weren't even playing Pitt!" he laughed. "I had some recruits, and they kept asking me why they were saying that and I really didn't know why they were saying that."

Carey said the West Virginia-Pitt games when the two were playing in the Big East were usually pretty competitive.

He won his first one against Traci Waites at the WVU Coliseum in 2002, and he had a stretch of success against Pitt in the mid-2000s once he got his program going. But there were losses, too, particularly in 2008 and 2009 when former coach Agnus Beranato, now coaching at Kennesaw State, was leading the Panthers. Her 2009 Pitt team was nationally ranked and swept the Mountaineers that year by scores of 72-63 in Pittsburgh and 72-60 in Morgantown.

"When Agnus was there, they had some good teams and the games were always very competitive," Carey recalled.

But toward the end of the series, Carey's WVU teams had the upper hand. West Virginia won five out of the last six before the series ended in 2012 when Pitt left the Big East for the ACC and West Virginia moved on to the Big 12. Four of West Virginia's five victories were by double-digit margins.

Current series will run two years
.. first game tomorrow night in Morgantown
.. return trip to Pittsburgh the following year
.. nothing has been established after those 2 games

"We've talked about playing, but it hasn't worked out," Carey said.

And while the fans, especially those 40 and older, are well-indoctrinated in the history of the Backyard Brawl, West Virginia's younger fans, the students and Carey's players have a different viewpoint of the series.

Following his team's 70-56 victory over 18th-ranked Texas A&M Sunday night in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Carey began to talk to his team about the historical significance of the West Virginia-Pitt rivalry.

Some of them looked at him like he had three eyeballs.

"I tried to explain it to them as soon as the Texas A&M game was over, 'Now we've got to get ready for Pitt' and they just looked at me like I was crazy," he said. "They don't have any idea. I don't think I can go that route with them. It's, 'Hey, we need to win this game. They are going to come down here fired up. We're an hour apart. They will bring fans' that type of thing."

Carey said Pitt coach Suzie McConnell-Serio is likely going through the same thing with her players.

The two schools don't really recruit against each other so there is not much familiarity among the players, and they don't have many common opponents. A bus ride down Interstate 79 to Morgantown, then a bus ride back up I-79 to Pittsburgh. The proximity of the two programs makes the game beneficial, plus, both are in major conferences.


.. Thursday night's game will be West Virginia's 46th against Pitt.
.. Mountaineers hold a 26-19 advantage.
.. Carey is 12-6 against Pitt and 5-3 against the Panthers in games played at the Coliseum.
.. Carey and Suzie McConnell-Serio will be meeting for the first time.
.. Carey said before Wednesday's practice there is nothing new to report on Martin's injury status.
.. Six-foot-six Ohio State transfer Theresa Ekhelar will become available for West Virginia's Dec. 16 game against Radford in Charleston. Carey said Ekhelar is capable of spelling Muldrow some at the five.
.. Mountaineers returned to the Top 10 in this week's AP poll and sit at No. 11 in coaches' poll. Since Nov. 12, 2007, Carey's teams have been ranked at least once each year with the exception of 2015, 2013 and 2009, reaching a high of No. 5 on March 10, 2014."

- WVU WBB website
Pale Rider
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RioRata said:

Pale Rider said:

Sooners have sunk pretty low.

Hairy Bear
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I have been tracking OU during this current slide. One issue that has been raised by their fans is the number of road games. Otherwise, they seem as bewildered as I am. This is a proud WBB program. There is talent on their roster. The 2018 recruiting class also looks good. No one knows quite what to think.
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Pale Rider said:

RioRata said:

Pale Rider said:

Sooners have sunk pretty low.

How long do you want to ignore this user?
Hairy Bear said:

I have been tracking OU during this current slide. One issue that has been raised by their fans is the number of road games. Otherwise, they seem as bewildered as I am. This is a proud WBB program. There is talent on their roster. The 2018 recruiting class also looks good. No one knows quite what to think.

Paid a visit to today. Vivi didn't make the trip to South Dakota (down to 8 players now) and no official explanation as to why.

Their next game is @ New Mexico. The Lady Lobos are 9-0 and playing good ball. Things aren't looking good for Sherri. UConn will shame them.

Wish SoonerNorm would start posting on that site again.
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Soonernorm has moved to his own site but I have no idea what it is and no one on ouhoops will say
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74Bear said:

Soonernorm has moved to his own site but I have no idea what it is and no one on ouhoops will say

Thanks for the info.
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BIG 12

Friday - Dec 8

UCLA 72 @ Oklahoma State 87

December 8, 2017

"Oklahoma State may be unranked, but on paper, the Cowgirls' head-to-head season stats are very similar to UCLA.

"Oklahoma State is a great team I saw them play against Mississippi State," said UCLA senior guard Jordin Canada. "They only lost by three at (on the road), and they're a great team as well. So we know it's going to be a battle."

No. 7 UCLA women's basketball (7-1) will kick off a five-game road trip by visiting Oklahoma State (6-2) on Friday. Both teams are holding opponents to just under 60 points per game and lead their conferences in steals, tallying 12.1 and 11.5 per game, respectively.

Oklahoma State will face its third top-15 opponent in just two weeks, after falling to both No. 12 Tennessee and No. 6 Mississippi State in close games. However, the Cowgirls will have a chance to pull off an upset in front of their home crowd.

"That's what we love to do I'm like 'Bring it on,'" said UCLA head coach Cori Close. "If you're a competitor, that's exactly what you want. You want situations that are going to force you to rise up."

UCLA will be playing its first road game of the season.

"Obviously playing on the road is always very hard," said UCLA senior guard Kelli Hayes. "But our defense has prepared us very well to play road games like this."

Close often reminds her players that defense wins games. The Bruins have been playing stifling defense by limiting opponents to just 35.9 percent from the field.

"I think it's been motivating to be a great defensive team (because) we've never been a great offensive team," Close said. "As a lot of coaches have said, offense is up and down, but defense travels. It will be the same whether you're in your own court or somebody else's gym."

Hayes also agreed the team's defense has led to getting everyone involved.

"It's definitely us finding those easier shots in transition, (making sure to look) in the paint for people posting up like (senior forward Monique Billings) or (Canada) penetrating in transition taking her shot," Hayes said. "Everyone on the team working on their strengths, that's something that's been going well for us this year on the court."

Billings is continuing to dominate the paint, averaging 15.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Last Wednesday, she joined Canada on the 2018 Citizen Naismith Trophy watch list. The duo was nominated among 50 candidates, including Oklahoma State's center, Kaylee Jensen. UCLA will have the opportunity to showcase its game plan of attacking the paint coming off Sunday's confident win, scoring over half of its points inside the paint in its 74-44 win against UCSB.

The Bruins, however, still struggled to find the bottom of the net shooting from behind the arc and sit tied for second to last in the Pac-12 at just 30.2 percent. On the other hand, Oklahoma State leads the Big-12 in defending the 3-point line, limiting opponents to just 23.5 percent.

"If they take away the 3-point line, we're still going to have killer inside game and just (focus on) getting those offensive boards," Hayes said.

The Bruins also lead the Pac-12 in offensive rebounding, hauling down 16.8 per game.

Canada said the team was unable to squeeze in a practice before traveling to Oklahoma due to complications caused by the Skirball fire near UCLA's campus, and said coaches will work out little details and run through the game plan with the players once they arrive."

- Joy Hong, Daily Bruin

NOTE from Oklahoma State WBB webpage
"OSU has won 53 consecutive regular-season home games against non-conference opposition. The streak dates back to a Dec. 12, 2010 loss to No. 5 Duke."

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