Women’s College Basketball Offering Glamour, Excitement

WINNING DISCUSSION: From left, Tulsa Head Coach Kathy McConnell Miller, TU graduate Kim Chiconas and Steve Scott chat on the post-game radio show on 91.3 FM after TU defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the Bertha Teague Classic.

GTR Newspapers photos

Women’s college basketball is becoming more and more popular, drawing interest from fans and supporters across the nation. Events like the Bertha Teague Classic, which feature teams like Oklahoma and Tulsa, do their part to spark local interest. Universities such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Oral Roberts are resolute and steadfast with their support of women’s basketball programs.

Over the past three seasons, the University of Tulsa women’s basketball program has won 50 games, and has advanced to the WAC Tournament semifinals in three out of the last four seasons. TU has also produced one All-America player and WNBA First Round selection, three all-WAC First Team performers and one WAC Newcomer of the year. As a team, Tulsa has participated in both the preseason (2002) and the postseason (2004) Women’s National Invitational Tournaments. Not bad for a program that will begin its ninth season of existence in 2004–2005.

Excitement and anticipation swirl around the Oklahoma women’s basketball locker room. The hunger for another championship season burns inside seniors Dionnah Jackson and Lauren Shoush, the only two Sooners remaining from the 2002 team that played in the National Championship game. Head coach Sherri Coale has a strong belief that it’s important for this year’s team to return to the Final Four in order to keep a championship atmosphere around the program. This experienced and exuberant squad has their work cut out for them as they face a grueling Big 12 schedule. “Our goals are to win championships,” says Coale, who will try to blend youth and experience together in an attempt to make the tournament for the sixth straight time and reach a second NCAA Final Four.

The Oral Roberts University women’s basketball program is off to a blazing start. The Golden Eagles have tremendous scoring ability shown by scoring 93, and 103 points over Texas State, and St. Gregory’s respectively. The women’s program has made two NCAA Tournament appearances in the past six years. The Golden Eagles also played in their third Mid-Con Tournament Championship Game last year. Jerry Finkbeiner is in his ninth season as head coach, starting the season with an overall record of 117–113. During the 2002–2003 season, Finkbeiner became ORU’s all-time coaching victories leader.

Updated 12-18-2004

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