Tahlequah Daily Press

February 15, 2014

OU, OSU women set for Bedlam clash

By CLAY HORNING
CNHI

— STILLWATER — Most of the postgame analysis regarding the Oklahoma women’s Thursday night 76-75 loss to No. 13 West Virginia revolved around any number of ways the Sooners might have scored two more points.

Several layups were missed. Point guard Morgan Hook and forward Sharane Campbell both missed a pair of free throws in the closing moments. The Sooners missed 12 free throws in all.

However, as OU prepares to meet 12th-ranked Oklahoma State at noon today inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, rather than getting just a little more from everybody, there’s yet another way the Sooners (15-10, 6-6 Big 12) might snare a badly needed victory.

Perhaps one player could simply not let them lose. It is a thought not lost on coach Sherri Coale.

“I think it requires somebody who’s bold, to just say, ‘I’m going to get this done,’” Coale said. “You look at last season and who was that player? (Center) Joanna McFarland, clearly. Time after time, she said, ‘I’m going to get this done.’”

Coale was speaking after practice Friday, one day after the West Virginia loss, and she wasn’t finished, either.

“And you can look (two years) before that, and who was that player,” she said. “Danielle Robinson, time and time again … And this team has, as of yet, (not been able) to present that player.”

Coale’s right.

Nobody has been the kind of player she’s talking about with any consistency.

The Sooners have, though, counted a singular performance they couldn’t have won without this season.

On Feb. 1, at Lloyd Noble Center, the Sooners topped the Cowgirls 81-74 in Bedlam’s first chapter behind a 28-point, eight-rebound performance from Campbell that included 8-of-13 shooting and 11-of-11 foul shooting.

Campbell’s big day, stands alone. OU’s other huge singular performances have come in losses: Aaryn Ellenberg’s 22 points and 12 rebounds against Louisville and her 37 points at Texas; Hook’s 24 points against Duke and 26 at Iowa State; Nicole Griffin’s 23 points at Kansas State.

The Sooners need to flip the script against the Cowgirls (19-4, 8-4 Big 12). They need not only a big performance, but a clutch one, too.

“I think anyone who’s on the floor for us could kind of have that breakout game,” Hook said. “We had Sharane have it against Oklahoma State and we all just kind of fed off of that.”

There’s still time for a player to step forward.

The Sooners have today’s game and five more before the Big 12 tournament begins in Oklahoma City. But if anybody’s going to catapult OU forward, changing the team’s dynamic in time for the postseason, it must begin soon.

The Sooners couldn’t have known they’d be in such a fix. Or how to get out of it.

“That’s one of those things,” Coale said, “you don’t know until the kitchen’s on fire. It’s hard to replicate.”

It’s just OU’s plight.

Today, the Cowgirls are waiting.