Tahlequah Daily Press

November 21, 2013

Wyatt helps OU women wallop UT-Arlington

By CLAY HORNING
CNHI

— NORMAN — Texas-Arlington didn’t figure to give the Oklahoma women much of a game and they didn’t. Indeed, with 8:22 remaining, the Sooners led the Mavericks by 57 points.

Despite the mismatch, true freshman Derica Wyatt, direct from Bretntwood, Tenn., made sure the 3,000 or so in attendance got to see something cool anyway.

The 10th-ranked Sooners exited 99-46 winners, running their season to 4-1 with UCLA coming up Sunday in Los Angeles.

Wyatt, though, was the show, canning her first five shots, all 3-pointers and eventually finishing with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 7 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“She was fantastic,” OU coach Sherri Coale said.

Wyatt didn’t enter the game until 11:49 remained in the first half. After hitting her first 3 at the 9:32 mark, she was off and running.

“After the first one,” she said, “I was breathing a sigh of relief.”

The second came 18 seconds later. The third arrived 7:26 before the half. The fourth swished through the net only 30 seconds later and fifth dropped through 5:47 before the half.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Just 6:02 after entering the game and 3:45 after attempting her first shot, Wyatt was sitting on 15 points.

“At one point she was 5-for-5 from 3 and she passed up a couple and I’m thinking, ‘What in the world,’ because if someone had thrown it to me and I was 5-for-5, I could have been triple-teamed and I would have shot it,” Coale said, turning to Wyatt. “When that’s flowing, sister, keep firing.”

Wyatt did not see the floor against No. 24 Gonzaga and No. 4 Louisville, OU’s previous two games, and played 16 minutes total against Stetson and Wichita State. She thinks she knows what will keep her on the floor and 3-point shooting isn’t atop the list.

“Defense, for sure,” she said. “Transition defense like (Coale) said. I need to talk more. She told me before I even got here that talking’s going to be my problem and she was right.”

For her part, Coale said she can see Wyatt playing a bigger and bigger role as the season goes along.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that she can be an impact player for us this year,” Coale said. “I don’t know how many minutes that means on a nightly basis, but there is certainly something to be said for somebody who can come in the game and make a basket.

“She’s the kind of shooter that when she shoots it, I turn the other way because I’m just pretty sure it’s going in.”

Because Aaryn Ellenberg was also getting her shots up, too, Wyatt did not lead the Sooners in scoring, as Ellenberg finished with 24 points on 9 of 19 shooting, yet only 4 of 12 from 3-point land.

Nicole Griffin added 13 points for OU and Kaylon Williams finished with 10 points in limited foul-plagued action. Freshman Shaya Kellogg led with seven rebounds.

Briana Walker led the Mavs with 13 points. Laila Suleiman and Desherra Nwanguma each scored 12 and Tahlia Pope led both teams with 14 rebounds.

Still, Wyatt was the story.

“Derica can shoot it,” Coale said. “There is no doubt about that, she can shoot it.”