OBU Women Tip Off with Park Friday
November 3, 2004
Two former NBA players will square off as coaches when Oklahoma Baptist University tips off its women's basketball season Friday against Park at 6 p.m.
Park's Joe Meriweather was selected as a first round draft pick by the Houston Rockets of the NBA. He also played professionally for the Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz, New York Knicks, and Kansas City Kings. OBU's John McCullough was Big Eight Player of the Year at Oklahoma before the Phoenix Suns came calling.
But the game itself will be the focus Friday as OBU starts a new backcourt to go along with returning starters Layla Schwarz, Trena Robbins and Tetyana Klimenko. Tabetha Eaton and Priscila Alves are projected as starters in the 2004-05 season opener.
An All-American in 2003, Schwarz averaged 8.8 points last season in the shadow of All-American Jadrea Seeley, who graduated, married former Bison standout Scott Prater and now is a graduate assistant at OBU.
Trena Robbins averaged 2.9 points and Klimenko 4.9 points last year.
Guards Eaton and Alves will be a large part of the offense with their shooting and quickness. Eaton was a an All-Region selection last year at Northern Oklahoma College and Alves was a highly sought-after point guard from Frank Phillips College, where she was an All-Conference pick.
Park comes into the game with a 1-0 record after a 71-47 win over Missouri Valley College. Park got 17 points from Randi Johnson,a 6-0 senior; 14 from Rachel Bankhead, a 5-9 freshman; and 11 points from Katie Cummings, a 6-3 junior. Cherrale Ricks, a 5-11 freshman, had 10 rebounds. Cummings is a transfer from Wichita State.
The Pirates were 22-3 last year but did not make the tournament, its independent status probably hurting the team. Park received no votes in last year's final poll and independent teams are awarded a national tournament bid based completely on rankings.
This year, OBU is ranked 14th and Park 30th in the preseason poll.
The game is part of the Chili's Classic. At 4 p.m. Friday, St. Gregory's will play Southwestern Assemblies of God University. OBU plays SAGU at 6 p.m. Saturday with SGU playing at 4 p.m. opposite Park. SAGU will be opening the season Friday while St. Gregory's enters at 2-0.