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OU women's notebook: New plateau for OU

By Berry Tramel, Staff Writer, Modified: April 1, 2010 at 7:08 am •  Published: April 1, 2010

OU’s victory over Kentucky put the Sooners in the Final Four for the third time in the 2000s. Only Connecticut (eight appearances), Tennessee (seven), LSU (five), Duke (three) and Stanford (three) have been to the Final Four this much this century.

Coach Sherri Coale credited seniors Amanda Thompson, Nyeshia Stevenson and Abi Olajuwon for creating a "tremendous legacy ... that puts us in a different league. That’s a different deal.

"Back-to-back years, I can’t say that it puts us in a Tennessee and Connecticut league because we haven’t won it yet. But you can’t win it if you don’t keep going. I just think it separates us a little bit, and (it’s) a very special moment for our program.”

Stanford players Jayne Appel and Nnemkadi Ogwumike were named to the John Wooden Award’s women’s all-American team announced Monday. They were joined on the first team by Nebraska’s Kelsey Griffin and Connecticut’s Maya Moore and Tina Charles.

OU’s team charter arrives in San Antonio today and a Fiesta welcoming is planned at 6:45 p.m. at the Sooner team hotel, the Westin Riverwalk, 420 W. Market Street.

Even when star guard Whitney Hand went down with a season-ending knee injury in November, OU didn’t stop thinking about San Antonio.

"We never took our brains and our minds off of going back to the Final Four,” said point guard Danielle Robinson. "We felt that if we did, we would be settling.

"You know, Whitney is not gone, she’s still a captain. She’s still at practice every day. She’s just not playing.”

The Sooners’ regional semifinal victory over Notre Dame on Sunday was the 20-year anniversary of OU dropping the program, only to reinstate it eight days later.

Some of the Sooners weren’t even aware of that dubious event from 1990.

"I saw a special on it the other day,” said OU freshman Joanna McFarland.


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