Tahlequah Daily Press

November 25, 2013

No. 10 Oklahoma women lose to UCLA

By BETH HARRIS
Associated Press

— LOS ANGELES — Oklahoma knew UCLA was going to crash the boards with the Bruins' typical ferocity.

The 10th-ranked Sooners just didn't do much about it, and it cost them dearly in an 82-76 loss Sunday.

The Bruins (2-2) got rebounds from seven of their eight players in dominating the boards, 49-29, including a 20-5 edge on the offensive glass.

The Sooners (4-2) were outrebounded for the third straight game.

"That's the one thing that was just abysmal," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "We got to figure it out."

Nicole Griffin scored 19 points for the Sooners, who made just 12 of 31 shots in the second half.

Sharene Campbell added 13 points and Kaylon Williams 12 before both fouled out in the team's first road game. The Sooners were in foul trouble much of the second half, when Gioya Carter also fouled out and two others had three fouls apiece.

Aaryn Ellenberg was held to 11 points — 10 below her team-leading average.

"We can't come into places like this and lay eggs," she said. "We should really beat people. We should have won that game easily."

Atonye Nyingifa had career highs of 28 points and 16 rebounds, Nirra Fields added a career-best 17 points and nine rebounds for the Bruins.

The final margin represented the largest lead by either team in the half.

Griffin scored inside to draw the Sooners to 77-76 with 1 minute left. Morgan Hook missed a game-tying layup with 17 seconds to go.

The Sooners lost Nicole Kornet to a knee injury in the first half.

"We got a little bit rocked in the first half when Nicole hurt her knee," Coale said. "We've been through a couple of years with tough situations and it really took the wind out of sails, and we were flat for the remainder of the first half. But that's an excuse."

The Bruins preserved the upset at the line, where they made 11 of 14 over the final 4:45, but were just 23 of 36 for the game.

Oklahoma led 69-64 when UCLA ran off nine unanswered points, including five by Fields, to take the lead for good, 73-69.

"That's going to be our Achilles' heel all season if we don't take care of that pretty soon," Ellenberg said of the rebounding woes.

The Sooners controlled the early part of the game, shooting 61 percent on their way to taking a 30-16 lead that included three consecutive 3-pointers.

The Bruins turned things around over the final 9 ½ minutes of the half, outscoring Oklahoma 27-13 to go into halftime tied 43-all. Nyingifa scored 14 points, highlighted by grabbing her own offensive rebound and laying it in. Two possessions earlier, Lauren Holiday stole the ball and fed Thea Lemberger, who missed, before Holiday cleaned it up to complete a spurt of eight straight points.

Holiday, who had never attempted a 3-pointer in her two-year career, made two in the first half. She broke her nose with 8:25 left in the game.

Oklahoma donated 100 pairs to UCLA's shoe drive before the game.