Sooner women blast past OSU
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 10, 2013
NORMAN – Oklahoma didn't so much beat Oklahoma State Sunday afternoon as teach the Cowgirls a thing or two.
Listen to OSU coach Jim Littell explain the turning point in his team's 80-61 loss: "We played pretty well for 17 minutes, then we had a little adversity and we did not handle it. That's what disappoints me. We were right in the game.
OU led 27-26 three minutes before halftime. Then the Cowgirls missed four layups and three jumpers. It didn't cost them more than a 31-28 halftime deficit at the time, but the damage would come.
"We came into halftime looking like we were getting killed," OSU guard Brittney Martin said.
That attitude hadn't changed when the second half started. OU center Nicole Griffin scored an easy one. OSU's Liz Donohoe missed a shot. OU's Aaryn Ellenberg converted an uncontested layup off an inbounds play. Martin lost the ball.
The Sooners, after shooting just 13-of-31 in the first half, were building both a lead and confidence. The Cowgirls were about to fall hopelessly behind.
It was 45-35 after Joanna McFarland stole the ball from OSU center Kendra Suttles and set up Mogan Hook's three-point play. It was 56-41 after Ellenberg scored five points in 22 seconds. Then 65-46 when reserve Nicole Kornet took another inbounds pass and drilled a 3 out of the corner.
"I was proud of our guys' poise," coach Sherri Coale said after her Sooners improved to 18-5 overall and 8-3 in the Big 12 Conference. "At the start of the night we didn't shoot it very well, but we didn't let it affect our energy level. We didn't let it affect our confidence. We continued to defend and rebound, and just had a huge second half."
OU was smoother as the game continued, going 6-of-9 from 3-point distance after halftime. The Sooners played harder as well, outrebounding OSU 28-15.
"In our huddles we'd say, 'The ball's going to go in next time,'" Hook said. "We started moving the ball more. We started feeding the post and kicking it in and out. We had more rhythm."
Griffin had it from the start and finished with a career-high 21 points. Ellenberg caught it in the second half, when she hit 5-of-6 shots and scored 15 of her 17.
The Sooners were mature enough not to let their star's slow start affect them.
"They have a lot of kids that have experienced a lot of success within their program, and I think their leadership showed," Littell said. "They kind of saw we were on the run and they took it to us."
The Cowgirls could not overcome the sluggish start of their leading scorer.
Toni Young played just three first-half minutes after two quick fouls. Martin picked OSU up for a while, with 10 points in the half. But as Young labored to get herself going, so did the Cowgirls.
They shot 35 percent and finished with the same number of turnovers as assists (12). That helped lose the game and put them at 16-6 on the season, 5-6 in the Big 12.
The Oklahoma bench celebrates during Sunday's Bedlam basketball game against Oklahoma State at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. OU won 80-61. Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman