Monday, August 6, 2012

Sooners Prepare for Land Down Under

Head coach Sherri Coale of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts at the end of the game on April 5, 2009 during the Womens Final Four Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. Louisville defeated Oklahoma 61-59. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) * Local Caption * Sherri Coale (April 5, 2009 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
NORMAN, Okla. -- Like every year, the OU women's basketball team uses its preseason to prepare for its winter schedule. Only, this year, winter comes in August.

The Sooners are headed to southern hemisphere as part of an overseas tour in which it will travel the east coast of Australia and play four exhibition games against teams from the nation's premier women's basketball league, the WNBL.

Thursday, Aug. 10, Oklahoma will face the Townsville Fire then play the reigning WNBL champion Dandenong Rangers Tuesday, Aug. 14. OU completes its Australian schedule facing the Maitland All-Stars on Aug. 15 and Sydney Flames on Aug. 17.

The preseason trip is not limited to basketball, however, as the Sooners will get to explore the land down under. Snorkeling around Great Barrier Reef, shopping at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne and touring the Sydney Opera House are among the adventures planned.

The trip is funded by the Fast Break Club and with it the NCAA allows for 10 additional preseason practices. The Sooners began practice July 31 and will leave for Australia Tuesday.

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International basketball rules vary from the game played at the collegiate level in the United States. FIBA regulations offer differences in court dimensions and clock management. Among the major difference are those explained below:

RulesFIBANCAA Women
Duration of GameFour, 10-Minute QuartersTwo, 20-Minute Halves
Size of Lane16-by-19 Feet12-by-19 Feet
Shot Clock24 Seconds30 Seconds
Backcourt Violation8 SecondsNone

/// SoonerSports PR
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