OU women's basketball schedule released

The Oklahoma women's basketball team will open the 2007-08 season with back-to-back games against the last two programs to win national championships.

The Sooners will open the regular season against 2006 National Champion Maryland in the State Farm Tip Off Classic on Nov. 11. The annual Tip Off Classic is being hosted by North Carolina, which will square off against Arizona State at 2:30 on the 11th. The Sooners and Terrapins will play at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.

Five days later on Nov. 15, OU will face 2007 National Champion Tennessee in the ESPNU Women's Basketball Invitational in Tampa Bay. The made for TV game will be played at the St. Petersburg Forum, which will host the 2008 Final Four.

Women's basketball fans across the country will get to see reigning AP National Player of the Year Courtney Paris face off with Lady Vol and Wooden Award winner Candace Parker.

"Our team has a chance to be really good," said OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "Sometimes it's a fine line and you've got to figure out how much you're willing to risk in order to cross that fine line. We're going to jump out there and play these squads and see where we are and what we need to work on.

"We've got an entire season to build upon the things we find out there. I think our group has a lot of potential. And yet, potential doesn't win you anything, it just gives you a chance. And we're going to take that potential and put it out there and fire it and test it and see what happens."

Coale's program is announcing a portion of its non-conference schedule at this time. OU expects to add five additional non-conference games, including an exhibition. Four of those are expected to be home games.

Sooner fan's first opportunity to see the 2007-08 team will be in the exhibition home opener against Henderson State on Nov. 1.

OU will leave the country and travel to Cancun, Mexico, for the Caribbean Classic on Nov. 23 and 24. Opponents in the tournament have not been announced.

North Texas will serve as the opposition for the regular season home opener on Nov. 27.

In December, OU will travel to Tulsa on Dec. 8 and Michigan State on Dec. 16 prior to hosting South Carolina on Dec. 30.

Michigan State reached the NCAA Tournament last season and will be favorite for the Big Ten Championship. The Spartans are led by 6-8 center Alyssa DeHaan.

OU returns eight letterwinners, including starters Jenna Plumley, Amanda Thompson and Courtney Paris. Courtney's sister Ashley has starting experience as well and has been the second leading rebounder the last two seasons.

The Sooners bring in three freshmen - point guard Danielle Robinson, guard Jenny Vining and forward Carlee Roethlisberger.

Announced Non-Conference Games
Nov. 1 - Exhibition opener vs. Henderson State
Nov. 11 - State Farm Tip Off Classic (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
OU vs. Maryland at 5 p.m. on ESPN2
Nov. 15 - EPSNU Women's Basketball Invitational (Tampa Bay)
OU vs. Tennessee St. Petersburg Forum (Site of 2008 Final Four)
Nov. 23 & 24 - Caribbean Classic (Cancun, Mexico)
Two games vs. TBA opponents
Nov. 27 - North Texas at OU (Home opener)
Dec. 8 - OU at Tulsa
Dec. 16 - OU at Michigan State
Dec. 30 - South Carolina at OU

*All game times and dates are subject to change.