Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

March 4, 2014

OU women head to Big 12 tournament by blowing out Texas Tech

NORMAN — On the last day of the regular season, needing a win in the worst possible way, the Oklahoma women played their best game of the season, routing hapless Texas Tech 87-32.

On that note, the Sooners will enter the Big 12 tournament 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City against Texas.

Whether or not OU must top its Red River rival to reach a 15th straight NCAA tournament remains unknown, though Sooner coach Sherri Coale believes her squad’s 18-13 overall record and 9-9 conference mark is already enough to earn a bid.

“If you do what (we did) in this league, I think it gets you in for sure,” she said. “I think what we did in Oklahoma City this weekend will go a long way toward where we are (sent).”

What’s very clear is OU had to finish strong over the conference doormat, and though the first 71⁄2 minutes yielded only an 8-6 lead, most of the rest of the game felt like an explosion.

“We haven’t seen us play like that in a long time, where everybody’s making shots and we’re playing together and not turning it over,” senior point guard Morgan Hook said. “It’s nice to see we’re still capable of doing that.”

The Sooners made 48.4 percent (31 of 64) of their shots despite slow starts to both halves. They made 15 3-pointers in 29 attempts, more than they’d canned all season. They committed a season-low eight turnovers and they held the Lady Raiders to 20.7 percent (12 of 58) shooting.

The 55-point margin OU’s performance delivered is the biggest victory in program history over a conference opponent.

“Just for everybody to get together and want to play the last game the right way … I think that was really healthy,” senior shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg said.

The contributions came from everywhere.

Ellenberg led with 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Nicole Kornet netted 15, making five straight 3-pointers after drawing nothing but air on her first attempt. Sharane Campbell added 11 after the half to also finish with 15. Hook finished with 12 and four assists against a single turnover.

Kaylon Williams finished with seven rebounds, four points, two assists and two steals. Porita Durrett, Kornet and the smallest Sooner, T’Ona Edwards, all pulled down six rebounds.

“I thought we played hard and I thought we helped each other,” Coale said.

After scoring just eight points over almost the first 8 minutes, OU came back with 28 over the next 12.

After needing 1:58 to knocked down its first field goal of the second half, OU went on to score another 49 more points the rest of the way, even as Coale substituted liberally with a huge lead.

During one five-possession, second-half stretch, Campbell knocked down a trio of 3-pointers and two free throws, while Gioya Carter also hit two free throws. Later, during a six-possession stretch, Kornett hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, followed by a Griffin layup, a jumper from Durrett and a 3-pointer from Ellenberg.

In those 11 possessions, the Sooners scored 29 points.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the court, OU held Tech scoreless from the 12:14 mark of the second half until just 2:20 remained.

It was OU’s best game against the conference’s worst team. The idea is to keep it going.

“We did a lot of things well,” Coale said.

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