Tahlequah Daily Press

OU Sports

March 13, 2013

OU women sitting, waiting for NCAA bid

DALLAS — The Oklahoma women thought they were picking up momentum at the right time. Entering the Big 12 tournament coming off two wins over Kansas and Texas Tech, everything seemed to be coming together.


Good question.

The Sooners fell behind West Virginia 19 points at the half and came back to win, setting a new conference tourney comeback standard. The next day, against Iowa State, they fell behind 19 at the half again. They were never any closer than 18 and lost by the same 19.

Still, it’s all a part of the learning experience for OU coach Sherri Coale.

Sunday, in her postage media session, after ticking off all that went wrong with the Cyclones, the Sooner coach said the following:

“That being said, I’m really proud of my team, I’m really proud of our progress this year, I’m proud of our growth,” she said. “We’ve got a lot left to play for. Looking forward to a few days off where we can recover.”

It is an insight into the way Coale looks at her team. Down to eight able-bodied players not counting late-arriving volleyball transfer Eden Williams, it has been an up and down season for the Sooners.

For a while, they looked like the conference’s second team, behind Baylor, after opening league play with four straight wins. Later, they looked like a team adrift, losing four games in five tries before closing the regular season — after a four-day break — with two wins.

Now, they get a much longer break, with NCAA bids coming out Monday and the Big Dance opening the following weekend.

“I think it’s good for all of us to recover a little bit from all this beating that’s been going on,” Ellenberg said. “That’s going to be great for us.”

For Coale, getting crushed in two consecutive first halves is no indictment of her team. Instead, it’s one more thing to overcome; and, perhaps, not entirely unexpected considering the shorthanded youth nature of the roster.

“Everything that you go through, if you approach it in the right way, you can learn and grow,” she said. “These guys have done that all year long.

“It took us until the end of February to figure out how to be mentally tough together when we’re really tight, when we’re really physically worn down, when you face great opponent after great opponent after great opponent … The great performance by Iowa State (gives) us yet another level of something to play through.”

On the face of it, OU must shoot better and rebound. The Cyclones out-boarded the Sooners 49-28. OU shot 37.7 percent against West Virginia and 35.5 percent against Iowa State.

It could also use some high-scoring games from its high scorer. Ellenberg entered the tournament averaging 19 points per game, but scored just 12 against the Mountaineers and 11 against the Cyclones, shooting 7 of 30 between the two games.

The Sooners have bounced back before.

“When we get to the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament, we’ll be better and harder for (our Big 12 tournament experience),” Coale said. “If handled in the right way, it can be a great thing that happened to us."

Text Only
OU Sports

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing