The Norman Transcript

March 26, 2011

Dayton should be a cooler place to play

The Norman Transcript

DAYTON, Ohio — Oklahoma womens basketball coach Sherri Coale said that as soon as she knew the Sooners would be heading to Dayton for the Sweet 16, she went looking for a weather report, saw that it was going to be cool and was very happy. Friday in Dayton, though it didnt stick, it was actually snowing when the Sooners walked into the arena.

Im thrilled with the weather report, Coale said. Im not big on snow, but I like it when Im here.

Coales penchant for frostiness when in Ohio goes back to the NCAA tournament of four years ago, when the Sooners advanced to the Sweet 16 through Oklahoma City.

More of a halfcourt team at the time, with the Paris twins, Courtney and Ashley patrolling the paint, the Sooners next stop was here in Dayton to play Ole Miss. There is no air conditioning inside University of Dayton Arena and, with it around 90 degrees outside, it was almost as warm inside. That, matched with OUs halfcourt ways and the Rebels frenetic full-court pressing defense, made for a bad combination.

I remember ESPN had a thermometer at courtside they were pressing every moment of the game, Coale said. It was the worst possible collection of factors for the type of team we had at that given time.

No history for Hand

The recent history between OU and Notre Dame is a popular storyline, with Saturday making three NCAA tournament games played between the Irish and Sooners the last four season.

Notre Dame beat OU in the round of 32 in East Lafayette, Ind., 79-75, in overtime in 2008. Last season, in the round of 16 in Kansas City, OU topped Notre Dame 77-72 in overtime. There was also another game played last season that isnt being talked about much. The Irish beat the Sooners 81-71 on Nov. 28 at the Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The day before, Whitney Hand tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee against San Diego State.

Ive actually never played against them, said Hand, who has scored 51 points in her last two games.

Paris picked up

Former Sooner Ashley Paris, who has played internationally but never in the WNBA, has signed a training camp contract with the Atlanta Dream, the WNBAs reigning Eastern Conference champion.

Sister Courtney Paris has the same deal with the Los Angeles Sparks after not playing in the WNBA last season. Courtney played her 2009 rookie season for the Sacramento Monarchs, playing in 33 games and starting six.

Clay Horning