Sooner women fall short against Iowa State
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Friday, February 15, 2013
2/15/13 at 5:58 AM
NORMAN - Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale walked into her postgame press conference Thursday night and said: "We shot better from two than they did. We shot better from three than they did. We shot better from the free-throw line than they did. We had more rebounds than they did. We had more assists than they did. And we lost. That doesn't happen very often."
So what caused the Sooners' 72-68 homecourt setback to Iowa State? Coale alluded to another statistic - OU's 26 fouls.
"I don't know when I've had four or five starters foul out," she said. "I've never seen it."
Four of OU's starters sat next to Coale as the game ended. A fifth, center Nicole Griffin, finished with four fouls.
The Sooners did shoot a better percentage from the line. But Iowa State went there 34 times, making 27. The Cyclones were 15-of-17 over the final 7:10, when they stretched a 52-51 lead into something easier to manage.
That made a big difference in their improving to 18-5 overall and 9-4 in the Big 12 Conference, and passing OU (18-6, 8-4) for second place in the process.
But so did a few other things. Or players, like Kidd Blaskowsky.
The Iowa State reserve guard buried a 3-pointer from the corner out of a timeout with 7:35 remaining. That gave the Cyclones the lead for good, 52-51.
After two Hallie Christofferson free throws made it 54-51, Blaskowsky struck from 20 feet away on the right wing. Her two triples formed the heart of a game-turning 10-0 run.
The Sooners countered some. Two Aaryn Ellenberg free throws closed the gap to 65-61 with three minutes to play. OU had five chances to make it closer in the next two minutes, but couldn't.
Nicole Kornet missed a 3-pointer. Griffin lost possession under her basket. Ellenberg missed two jumpers. Morgan Hook couldn't convert her drive to the rim.
When they absolutely needed a bucket, the Sooners couldn't get one.
"We tried to run our shooters off screens and got called for illegal screens. We tried to throw it into the post and got called for illegal post-ups," Coale said. "We were a little handcuffed."
OU outshot Iowa State nonetheless, 41 percent to 37.5. The Sooners, as their coach pointed out, also won the rebounding battle 41-37. They had five more assists.
But they also had more turnovers (18-14). That was a problem.
"During crucial possessions we would turn it over," Hook said. "Or when we needed a stop they would get an offensive rebound and immediately take our life from us."
Griffin, Ellenberg and Sharane Campbell led the Sooners with 14 points apiece. Hook finished with 13.
The Cyclones received 15 points and those vital 3s from Blaskowsky. Their best player, however, was Christofferson. She controlled OU down low and closed with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
"The first half was a little frenetic and ugly," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "But the second half both teams made plays. And obviously Hallie was All-Big 12-like tonight."
Original Print Headline: Sooners fall short to Cyclones
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
Iowa State's Kidd Blaskowsky and Oklahoma's Jasmine Hartman chase a loose ball during Thursday's game in Norman. Iowa State won 72-68. NATE BILLINGS/The Oklahoman