April 6, 2009

Recap |  Quotes

Raleigh Regional Champions
Ranked No. 7 by Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN
Record: 34-4, 14-2 BIG EAST (2nd)
At-Large Bid, No. 3 seed

NCAA Tournament Results
First Round def No. 14-seed Liberty, 62-42
Second Round def No. 6-seed LSU, 62-52
Regional Semifinal def No. 2-seed Baylor, 56-39
Regional Final def. No. 1-seed Maryland, 77-60
National Semifinal def No. 1-seed Oklahoma, 61-59

Louisville NCAA Notes
-- The 14-point comeback was the fifth-largest deficit overcome in a national semifinal game and the first time a team rallied from a double-digit deficit since April 1, 2007, when Tennessee overcame a 12-point hole, 48-36 with 8:18 remaining in the game against North Carolina; it's the largest comeback since the 2005 national semifinal games, when both games featured rallies (Michigan State trailed Tennessee, 47-31 (16 points), with 16:03 remaining in the game; Baylor trailed 24-9 (15-points) with 7:42 remaining in the first half)
-- Louisville becomes the 24th different team to advance to the national championship game (Rutgers in 2007 was the last team to do so)
-- There have been two No. 3 seeded teams that have won the NCAA title (1994-North Carolina and 1997-Tennessee)
-- The last time a team won the NCAA title in its Final Four debut was Baylor in 2005, which defeated another first-timer Michigan State, 84-62, in the final
-- The No. 3 seed owns a 7-4 record in national semifinal games and a 2-4 record in championship games
-- Louisville is just the second team from Kentucky to advance to the Final Four since Western Kentucky in 1992. The Hilltoppers also advance in 1985 and 1986, with only the 1992 team reaching the national title game (lost to Stanford, 78-62)
-- Louisville is the 35th different team to earn a spot in the Final Four; seven different teams won the NCAA title in their Final Four debut (Louisiana Tech-1982, Southern California-1983, Texas-1986, Stanford-1990, Texas Tech-1993, North Carolina-1994, Baylor-2005)

Louisville Team Notes
-- After trailing 16-2 to start the game, Louisville outscored Oklahoma 59-43 the remainder of the way
-- Louisville held Oklahoma without a field goal for the first 7:03 of the second half (A. Paris ended the 0-for-7 spell), as the Cardinals mounted a 20-4 run out of the locker room, capped by Deseree' Byrd's 3-pointer with 12:35, giving Louisville a 42-38, its largest lead of the game to that point
-- Sunday's 34-22 halftime deficit was just the fourth time this season Louisville had trailed after the first 20 minutes of play; the Cardinals had a record of 1-2 entering the game after trailing at halftime (defeated Xavier after trailing 28-24; lost to UConn after trailing 45-32; lost to UConn in BIG EAST Championship game after trailing 50-24)
-- Louisville's 34 wins are the most in program history (record was 27 wins in 2006-07 season)
-- Sunday's game marked the first-ever meeting between Louisville and Oklahoma
-- Louisville improves to 8-1 this season when wearing RED uniforms
-- Louisville enters the national championship game having won 13 of its last 14 games, with the only loss coming to UConn, 75-36, in the BIG EAST championship game
-- Louisville's bench outscored Oklahoma's 22-2 in the game, including 15-0 in the second half

Louisville Individual Notes
-- Including Sunday's result, head coach Jeff Walz owns a 7-1 record in NCAA Tournament games
-- Angel McCoughtry is averaging 20.2 points (101 total) and 10.0 rebounds (50 total) through five NCAA Tournament games in 2009
-- McCoughtry, who led the country in steals this season, collected five in Sunday's game, increasing her season total to 161 and her career total to 478
-- McCoughtry was held scoreless until hitting two free throws with 3:54 remaining in the first half; she did not convert a field goal until nailing a long jumper from the left side of the floor at the 16:24 mark of the second half, after missing her first seven shots from the field; she hit 6-of-10 shots in the second half
-- Sophomore Keshia Hines tied her career-high with 10 rebounds, while scoring nine points - just missing her second career double-double
-- McCoughtry's 18 point-11 rebound effort was her 17th double-double of the year
-- McCoughtry is the nation's active scoring leader with 2,756 points through Sunday's 18-point game, just ahead of Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, who finished her career with 2,731 points
-- McCoughtry is Louisville's all-time leader scorer in men's or women's history, just passing Darrell Griffith's 2,333 point total; Nell Knox held the Cardinal's women's record with 1,899 points
-- Jeff Walz is the first coach in their second year as a head coach to guide a team to the Final Four since Pokey Chatman led LSU in 2005
-- McCoughtry was named the Raleigh Regional Most Outstanding Performer
-- Sophomore Deseree' Byrd was named ESPN's Player of the Game in Louisville's Sweet 16 win over Baylor

Oklahoma City Regional Champions: No. 1 seeded Oklahoma (Ranked No. 4 by both AP and ESPN/USA Today)
Record: 32-5; 15-1 Big 12 (1st); at-large bid; 610-426 (.589) all time (35 yrs.)

NCAA Tournament Results
Defeated Prairie View, 76-47
Defeated Georgia Tech, 69-50
Defeated No. 15/16 Pittsburgh, 70-59
Defeated Purdue, 74-68
Lost to No. 7/7 Louisville, 61-59

Oklahoma NCAA Tournament Notes
-- Oklahoma is in the NCAA Tournament for 10th consecutive season and the 12th time overall.
-- The Sooners were previously a No. 1 seed only in 2002, the one season they reached the Final Four, when they were the runners-up to Connecticut. It was also the only previous campaign in which they won 32 games.
-- Oklahoma falls a 21-12 in NCAA Tournament play and lose for just the fourth time in their last 16 contests. The Sooners have been the higher-seeded team in each of those 16 games and are now 19-7 against lower-seeded opponents in their tournament history.
-- This is the fourth consecutive year, as well as the eighth time in its 12 tournament appearances, in which Oklahoma has been a regional top-four seed.
-- The Sooners are 16-8 all-time in NCAA Tournaments to which they have been selected at large.
-- Oklahoma is the first member of the Big 12 to appear in a second Final Four since the league's inception. Texas, twice a Final Four participant during the Southwest Conference era (including the 1986 title), reached the national semifinals in 2003, while Baylor won the 2005 championship.
-- Oklahoma drops to 11-5 against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 this season, including a 4-4 mark versus top-10 teams.
-- The Sooners won 113 games over the past four seasons, more over such a length of time than any team in Big 12 history. -- Oklahoma was held to under 60 points for the fourth time this season.
-- The Sooners lost for just the third time in 26 games this season when leading at halftime (Nov. 23 vs. North Carolina, Preseason WNIT final at Norman; Feb. 23 at Texas A&M), and for the fourth time in 20 contests played away from the Lloyd Noble Center.
-- Oklahoma tallied the game's first 11 points, capped by a Whitney Hand three-pointer that drew Louisville's first time out at the 14:37 mark. After the Cardinals got on the scoreboard with a pair of Candyce Bingham free throws at the 14:13 mark, another trey by Hand gave the Sooners their biggest lead of the half, 16-2, and forced the Cardinals to use their second timeout at the 12:51 mark. Oklahoma kept Louisville without a field goal for the first game's first 7:24 (13 shots). -- Courtney Paris grabbed seven rebounds in the first seven minutes and finished the opening half with 11 boards.
-- The Sooners opened the second half much as Louisville opened the game, failing to record a field goal on their first 13 possessions after the break (seven shots and six turnovers), by which point the Cardinals had finished a 17-2 run to take the lead.
-- Oklahoma had outscored its four NCAA Tournament opponents 159-108 in the second half before being outscored 39-25 in the final 20 minutes by Louisville. Its surrendered 14-point lead on the way to defeat is the largest in an NCAA Tournament game since Baylor came back from a 24-9 deficit against Louisiana State to claim a 68-57 victory in a national semifinal, April 3, 2005 at Indianapolis.
-- This is the second game the Sooners played in the Final Four city this season. They scored an 87-61 victory over Saint Louis on Dec. 30 in first-season Chaifetz Arena, located on the eastern edge of the SLU campus, two miles west of Scottrade Center.
-- Oklahoma appeared in the final AP Top 10 in women's basketball (No. 4), football (No. 5) and men's basketball (No. 7). Only one other Division I athletic program (Florida State) had Top 25 rankings from all three such squads (Nos. 12, 21 and 16, respectively).

Oklahoma vs. Louisville and BIG EAST Series Notes
-- This was the first-ever meeting in women's basketball between the Sooners and the Cardinals.
-- In their first-ever meeting against a BIG EAST team, the Sooners defeated Pittsburgh 86-77, March 25, 1994, at Amarillo, Texas in an NWIT semifinal, en route to their only national postseason crown.

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
-- Sherri Coale, who has led Oklahoma to 10 of its 12 NCAA Championship appearances, consecutively, saw her record in tournament action fall to 19-10.
-- Coale, at the end of her first 13 seasons, is 286-132 (.684).
-- Coale was named Big 12 Coach of the Year this season, marking her record-extending fourth time winning the award, as she also claimed the honor in 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2005-2006.
-- Coale led the Sooners to their sixth Big 12 regular-season title this season. Together with their four tournament crowns, they own a record 10 Big 12 championship trophies, all under their current mentor.
-- Coale is finishing a two-year term as president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

Oklahoma Individual Notes
-- Courtney Paris pulled down 16 rebounds and finished her career with an NCAA career-record rebounding figure to 2,034.
-- C. Paris has grabbed 64 rebounds in five NCAA Tournament contests this season and 175 in 13 career tournament games. Her 13.5 boards-per-game average breaks the record of 12.9 set by Minnesota's Janel McCarville, 2002-04 (129 in 10).
-- C. Paris sits third on the all-time NCAA Tournament career total rebounds list, trailing only Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee, 1996-99 (198 in 22); Sylvia Fowles, Louisiana State, 2005-08 (221 in 21 games).
-- C. Paris remains behind Louisville's Angel McCoughtry, 2,756-2,729, atop the national active-player scoring list.
-- Courtney Paris extended her NCAA record with her 128th career double-double in 137 games, including all 13 of her NCAA Tournament contests.
-- Danielle Robinson handed out 10 assists, equaling the second-highest figure in a national semifinal, and the most since April 1, 1995 at Minneapolis, when Tennessee's Michelle Marciniak had 10 against Georgia (semifinal record: 11, Teresa Weatherspoon, Louisiana Tech vs. Texas, March 27, 1987 at Austin). It was also Robinson's sixth double-digit helper output of her career, all this season.
-- Robinson made 28 of her 32 free-throw attempts in the NCAA Tournament, after making four of five against Louisville, and finished her sophomore season hitting 119 of 132 foul shots (90.2 percent), one year after shooting 68.7 (68-of-99).