Sooners thrive with scheduleThe Sooners played the nation’s toughest schedule. Of OU’s 37 games, 24 have come against teams that made the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners went 2-2 against teams in this Final Four (2-1 vs. Baylor, 0-1 vs. Connecticut). The Sooners went 10-9 against teams that reached the second round of the NCAAs and 5-7 against teams that reached the Sweet 16. "I think it makes you tough,” OU coach Sherri Coale said of the schedule. "I think it makes you physically and mentally tough. We have had to play every possession all year long. We haven’t been good enough to take any off. We just can’t win if we do that. These guys have figured out how to concentrate more on the possession than the scoreboard.”
Assist totals upOU had 21 assists against Notre Dame and 15 against Kentucky, its fourth-best total this season in back-to-back games. The Sooners had 43 assists total against Cal State-Fullerton and Tennessee, 38 against Texas-Arlington and Notre Dame, and 38 against South Carolina and San Diego State. "I think rhythmic offense is often a result of trust,” Coale said, "and the more you play together and the more you buy into one another, the higher your level of trust, and thus the improved performance. "You can ask our guys, when I come in the locker room after a game, that’s one of the first things I point to, that’s what I talk about at halftime. "I do think our rhythm is good. I think we’re sharing it, and I think that begins with (point guard) Danielle Robinson.”
On the ropesIf not for a wild finish in the Sacramento Regional final, OU would be playing Cinderella Xavier instead of 35-1 Stanford. With the game tied, the Musketeers’ Dee Dee Jernigan missed two point-blank, wide-open layups in the final seconds. Then Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen dribbled nearly the length of the court in 4.4 seconds to sink a game-winning layup at the buzzer. Stanford won 55-53. Even Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer felt bad for Xavier and said, "I know a lot of people felt bad for Xavier, because they really had us on the ropes. But somehow we wiggled out. I think that sometimes you’re lucky. We’re very fortunate to survive that game. I do think it has given us really a second life.”
Double-digit lossesThese Sooners match 1997 Tennessee for the worst record, 27-10, of any Final Four team. Those Volunteers also were a No. 3 seed. And won the NCAA championship.
Quoteboard→Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer: "The Big 12 should be really commended and complimented on their commitment to women’s basketball. You don’t have two teams in the Final Four or that many teams doing so well or even that many teams invited unless you have a great commitment. I think it starts probably at the conference level but also at the individual university level. Seems to me that Big 12 teams value women’s basketball. You have crowds. You do TV. You do promotion. I think the high salaries of coaches are probably the averages in the Big 12.” →OU’s Abi Olajuwon: "It’s one of those things, every (OU) teammate legitimately doesn’t want it to end. When everybody’s on the same page, everyone trusts everyone on the bench to go in and do the job. Doesn’t matter if we’re down 12 or up 14.” →OU’s Amanda Thompson on her fellow seniors: "We’re trying to make it to the end, to the very end. We’ve worked a lot over the past couple years just developing our game altogether, and I think it would mean the world to us and our teammates if we make it to the last game. It would just be fun. You work so hard all year to be at this point, and it’s always nice to go out with a bang.”
No. 3 OKLAHOMA VS. NO. 1 STANFORD→When: 6 p.m. Sunday →Where: Alamodome, San Antonio →TV: ESPN (Cox 29) →Radio: KOKC-AM 1520 →Tickets: All-session tickets are $175 for lower level, $100 for upper-level sideline and $75 for upper-level end zone, available at www.TicketMaster.com or (877) 622-2849.