MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

March 18, 2014

Cowgirls earn No. 5 seed; Sooners head to N.C.

(Continued)

Sooners earn 15th straight bid

NORMAN – Oklahoma earned a bid to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship for the 15th consecutive season as the 64-team tournament bracket was announced Monday night.

The Sooners (18-14), an at-large bid and a No. 10 seed in the Nebraska Region, will face No. 7-seed DePaul (27-6), the Big East champion at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Durham, N.C.

“We don’t ever for a second want to lose sight of what a hard thing this is to do,” OU head coach Sherri Coale said, “and what a special accomplishment it is to us to be in our 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

“That’s a reflection of a lot of hard work and the passionate commitment of a bunch of kids over the course of a lot of years. This group has hung in there, and they’ve scratched and clawed and gave themselves a chance to live again. We have another shot at life this basketball season. We don’t intend to take that for granted.”

The Sooners’ streak is the seventh longest active among Division I teams.

Led by 15.3 points per game from senior forward Jasmine Penny, DePaul went 15-3 in the Big East, claiming the conference’s regular season and tournament titles and an automatic bid.

“I know Doug Bruno well,” Coale added. “I know they’re extremely well-coached. They’re fundamental and they stick to their plan. I do know that, but I haven’t watched them play. Our coaching staff is in the office right now figuring that out and they’ll we watching them tonight.”

Oklahoma waited through a nervous selection process Monday, sitting on the tournament bubble while watching the bracket unveiled live on an ESPN broadcast at Coale’s home.

“It was a great feeling,” OU senior point guard Morgan Hook said. “I think a few of us even starting crying. I think we were so relived we still have another chance, another shot at life.”

– Phoenix wire report

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