Sooners head to Lawrence

No. 22 Oklahoma (18-6, 8-4) visits Kansas (15-8, 6-6) for the Jayhawks' Play4Kay game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1:30 p.m. Central.

• The Play4Kay initiative promotes awareness of women's cancers and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Visit Play4Kay.org for more information.

• Holly Rowe (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) have the call on ESPN2.

• The radio broadcast with Brian Brinkley on play-by-play and Colton Coale as color analyst will air on KOKC 1520 AM in the Oklahoma City metro area.

• A webcast of the game is available at WatchESPN.

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR OU HOME GAMES

• Tickets may be purchased online at SoonerSports.com or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-456-GoOU.

• Single-game tickets are available with prices beginning at $5 for general admission seating.

• OU students receive free admission at Oklahoma home games when presenting a valid ID.

NOTABLE

• OU women's basketball is one of 11 Sooner sports currently in season that is ranked in its respective national poll. (Page 4)

• Led by Whitney Hand's 4.0 GPA, a league-high five Sooners were named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. (Page 5)

• A win would give Oklahoma the 700th victory in the program's 39-year history. OU's all-time record is 699-468 (.599).

• Oklahoma and Kansas are meeting for 58th time. The Sooners lead the series 29-28.

• Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale is 375-174 (.683) in her 17th season. She has been the Big 12 Coach of the Year four times.

• Bonnie Henrickson is 153-129 (.542) in her ninth season at Kansas and 311-191 (.620) in her 16th overall.

ACROSS-THE-BOARD ACHIEVEMENT

OU women's basketball is one of 11 of Oklahoma's 13 sports currently in season that are ranked in their respective national polls. Both men's basketball and women's track and field on the cusp of entering their Top 25s. Rowing's preseason poll is released in mid-March.

SOONERS LEAD ALL-ACADEMIC FIRST TEAM

Five University of Oklahoma women's basketball players were named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team, the conference office announced Tuesday. Sophomore Sharane Campbell (zoology), junior Nicole Griffin (multidisciplinary studies), senior Joanna McFarland (chemistry and biochemistry) and graduates Whitney Hand (human relations), Jasmine Hartman (human relations) represented the Sooners on the 35-member academic team.

Hand was one of just two Big 12 student-athletes nominated with a 4.00 grade point average. Hand, a two-time Capital One Academic All-District honoree, and McFarland earned first team selections for the third time in their careers. A total of 26 student-athletes earned first team recognition, while nine individuals comprised the second team. West Virginia led all teams with six total honorees, while Oklahoma paced the first team with five members.

OPENING STANCE

An early advantage is important as OU is 14-0 when leading at halftime and 4-6 when tied or trailing. On average, Oklahoma outscores opponents 34-29 in first periods, holding them to 36.3 percent field goal shooting and 25.1 percent 3-point shooting in first halves. The Sooners have held opponents to 25 or fewer first-half points in eight games and 30 or fewer in 15 games.

DEFENSIVE POSTURE

Of Oklahoma's 18 wins, 16 have a common thread -- the Sooner defense held its opponent to 40 percent or lower field goal shooting. The Sooners won at TCU 85-79 when they shot 44.6 percent on Jan. 9 and at Kansas State against a 40.3 percent clip. In OU's victories, opponents have averaged 33.4 percent from the field. In OU's losses, opponents have connected on an average of 45.5 percent of their shots.

TREMENDOUS TRIO

Sooners Aaryn Ellenberg, Morgan Hook, Joanna McFarland are playing some of the best basketball of their careers:

Junior G Morgan Hook

The Sooners' point guard has had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in 15 straight games (98 assists to 45 turnovers). Hook has not counted more turnovers than assists since a two-assist, three-turnover performance against North Texas on Dec. 6.

Senior F Joanna McFarland

Since returning to the starting lineup full time in the last 15 games, McFarland averages 10.3 points and 11.4 rebounds and has a league-leading seven double-doubles in Big 12 games.

McFarland is the Big 12's rebounding leader and ranks 47th in the NCAA. She is the only player to average double-digit rebounding (11.5) in Big 12 Conference games.

Junior G Aaryn Ellenberg

Ellenberg has entered Oklahoma's top 10 career scoring leaders. With 1,536 career points, the junior guard is 18 shy of passing No. 9 Lynn McCurdy, who scored 1,553 between 1981-84.

FREEZING FEBRUARY

Though Oklahoma has made it through January without racking up consecutive losses since the 2004-05 season, the Sooners have not been as stellar in February. Oklahoma's won-loss record was 8-9 in February for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Wins against Kansas State (Feb. 6) and Oklahoma State (Feb. 10) gave Oklahoma consecutive victories in February for the first time since 2009-10 season when the Sooners won against Oklahoma State, 77-66, on Feb. 6 and in overtime against Baylor, 62-60, on Feb. 10 of that year.

BLOCK PARTY

Aaryn Ellenberg, a 5-7 shooting guard, has seven blocks in her last 11 games. In the 82 career games prior, she totaled only three.

BOARD GAMES

Joanna McFarland averaged 2.0 points, 4.0 rebounds (2-8 FG) before being benched after three games in favor of freshman Maddie Manning. In 21 games since, McFarland averages 9.3 points and 10.7 rebounds (started last 15 games). She has nine or more rebounds in 17 of those 21 games, and double-digit rebounds in 13 of the last 16 games, including a career-high 16 versus Texas Tech on Jan. 12, Baylor on Jan. 26 and West Virginia on Feb. 3.

Since returning to the starting lineup in the last 15 games, McFarland averages 10.3 points and 11.4 rebounds.

INSIDE AND OUT

Juniors Aaryn Ellenberg and Nicole Griffin account for 41 percent of Oklahoma's offense, and they score in different ways.

Ellenberg is the Big 12 leader in 3-pointers made per game (3.4) and 3-point percentage (.441). She ranks third and eighth, respectively, in NCAA Division I in the two categories. More than 55 percent of her points come from beyond the arc.

Griffin is OU's most improved player and finds 73 percent of her points in the paint. Her .515 field goal percentage ranks 11th among Big 12 players.

KORNET BACK IN RHYTHM

Against TCU on Jan. 30, Nicole Kornet shook off a nine-game shooting slump in which she was 3-of-26 (.115) from the field, including 17 consecutive misses for 3-point range. Kornet made three of six attempts (3-of-5 from 3-point range) against the Horned Frogs.

In the last four games, Kornet averaged 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds (11.3 minutes) and shot 46 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.

In the previous seven Big 12 games, Kornet totaled just three points and five rebounds (7.1 minutes) and hit one of 15 field goal attempts (.067) and zero of nine 3-pointers.

Kornet's return has helped OU's bench average 8.2 points in the last four games compared to the 3.7 it began in Big 12 play.

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