Nov. 5 | 7 p.m. | Norman
MONDAY’S GAME BASICS
The Sooners play their lone exhibition game of the season as they host Northeastern State on Monday at 7 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma is 31-0 in exhibition contests since the 1999-00 season.
OU is beginning its 23rd season under head coach Sherri Coale and appeared in its 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament last season. The Sooners return two starters from last year’s squad that tied for third place in the Big 12 (11-7 record) and finished with a 16-15 overall record. Northeastern State is under the direction of second-year head coach Fala Bullock.
ON THE AIR
Monday’s game will be streamed on SoonerSports.tv with Jessica Coody, Dan Hughes and Megan McDonald on the call. The contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network with Brian Brinkley calling the action.
Tickets are available for $5 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. Lloyd Noble Center’s north and east ticket windows will open at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. OU students will be admitted free with a valid school I.D.
IN THE BONUS
• The OU Bookstore is offering season ticket holders an opportunity to save on Sooner gear heading into the holiday season. Season ticket holders will receive a coupon for up to 30% off of a purchase. Between OU’s first three games (Northeastern State on Nov. 5, Western Kentucky on Nov. 9 and Northwestern State on Nov. 15), fans can build up their discount, starting with 10% off for attending one game, 20% off for attending two games and 30% off for attending all three. Coupons will be sent in early December.
• Fans are encouraged to #ArriveSooner to avoid delays into the gates with enhanced screenings. For more gameday tips at Lloyd Noble Center, visit the LNC’s information page. The University of Oklahoma instituted a clear-bag policy in Aug. 2018 at all OU Athletics event.
• Beer will not be offered at Monday’s exhibition, but sales are expected to begin at Lloyd Noble Center beginning with the season opener on Nov. 9 versus Western Kentucky.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma plays its lone exhibition game of the 2018-19 season as it hosts Division II member Northeastern State. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. The exhibition game will be streamed on SoonerSports.tv with Jessica Coody, Dan Hughes and Megan McDonald on the call.
• The Sooners earned their 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance last season and tied for third place with an 11-7 mark in the Big 12. The Sooners return two starters from last year’s squad: sophomore guard Ana Llanusa (12.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and sophomore guard Shaina Pellington (13.1 ppg, 2.2 apg). Pellington was the 2018 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, while Llanusa earned a spot on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
• OU welcomes seven freshmen to their 2018-19 squad, the most freshmen to appear on the Sooners’ roster since the 2002-03 season. The Sooners’ signing class was ranked No. 9 nationally by Prospect Nation and No. 17 ESPN Hoop Gurlz. Guard/forward Madi Williams (No. 8 overall), guard Tatum Veitenheimer (No. 24 overall) and guard Taylor Robertson (No. 90 overall) were all top-100 prospects by Prospect Nation. Williams was also a 2018 McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American.
• Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale begins her 23rd year at the helm of the OU program. Coale has a 481-242 (.665) record at OU and has led the Sooners to three Final Four appearances, four Big 12 Tournament titles and six Big 12 regular season championships. Coale is just 19 wins away from her 500th career victory and would join Jody Conradt (Texas), Kim Mulkey (Baylor) and Marsha Sharp (Texas Tech) as one of four Big 12 coaches to win at least 500 career games at their respective school.
• Despite returning just five letterwinners from its 2017-18 team, OU was picked fifth in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll. The Sooners have finished higher than where they picked in the Big 12 Preseason 13 times under Coale. Oklahoma has won at least 10 Big 12 games 12 times in the last 13 seasons.
• The Sooners return five letterwinners from last year’s squad. OU also brings back two starters from its 2017-18 team: sophomore guards Ana Llanusa and Shaina Pellington. The pair combined to score 784 points, the second-most points scored by an OU freshman tandem in program history. The duo of Ashley Paris and Courtney Paris (1,000) are the only two Sooner freshmen that have combined to score more points than Llanusa and Pellington in one year. Courtney Paris scored a program record 788 points as a freshman during the 2015-16 season, while her twin sister Ashley Paris added 212 points.
• Pellington enters the season as a Preseason All-Big 12 selection after scoring 13.1 points per game and shooting .492 from the field as a freshman. The Pickering, Ontario, native was named the 2018 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, the seventh Sooner to win the award. OU leads the Big 12 with seven Big 12 Freshman of the Year winners.
• Llanusa averaged 12.6 points per contest during the 2017-18 season. The Choctaw, Okla., native turned in a pair of 27-point scoring games last season. She joins Aaryn Ellenberg and Courtney Paris as the only three OU freshmen to score 27 points or more in a single game.
• The Sooners also return senior forward Ijeoma Odimgbe, redshirt senior guard Gileysa Penzo and sophomore forward Mandy Simpson. Odimgbe has appeared in 55 career games and ranked second on the team with 25 blocks last season. Penzo led OU with 2.4 assists per game in 2017-18 and became the first Sooner since 2013 to record multiple games with 10-plus assists in one season. Simpson made nine starts and earned Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors on Nov. 13, 2017, for her 12-point, five-rebound performance against Belmont.
Mandy Simpson is one of three sophomores back for the Sooners. She appeared in 25 games and made nine starts last season.
• Oklahoma enters the season with seven freshmen on its roster, the most for an OU team since the 2002-03 season which featured eight freshmen.
• The Sooners are one of two Power 5 teams (Boston College) with seven freshmen on their roster. Among all Division I teams, OU (seven), Boston College (seven), FAU (eight) and Wichita State (eight) are the only four teams with more than seven freshmen on their roster to begin the 2018-19 season.
• The average age of OU’s 12-member squad is 19.1 years old, which is tied for third nationally among all Division I teams with Georgia Tech. Only UMBC and SMU have a younger roster by average age than the Sooners (19.0).
PREVIEWING NORTHEASTERN STATE
• Northeastern State finished the 2017-18 season with a 10-17 overall record and 7-13 mark in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play. The Riverhawks are led by second-year head coach Falla Bullock. Northeastern State was picked to finish 12th in the MIAA Preseason Coaches poll.
• The Riverhawks faced Oklahoma State on Oct. 28 in Stillwater in their first exhibition matchup of the season, falling 70-37 to the Cowgirls. Senior guard Bailee Eldred finished with a team-high 11 points against Oklahoma State.
• Senior guard Cailyn Long returns after leading the Riverhawks in scoring last season with 11.3 points per game. Long is a two-time All-MIAA selection.
• OU opens the regular season on Friday at 7 p.m. CT against Western Kentucky at Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners have won 19 out of their last 20 home openers. OU is 34-7 all-time in home openers.
• Western Kentucky won the 2018 Conference USA Tournament championship to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Hilltoppers finished the 2017-18 season with a 24-9 overall record (12-6 in C-USA).