Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 29, 2013

OU women have ‘it’ right now

NORMAN — Having it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily maintained. It can’t be mandated nor picked up in St. John Arena and brought to Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Still, the Sooners have it right now. And right now, that’s all they can ask for.

What is it?

It.

Some call it the zone.

“We call it the ‘It’ factor,” Oklahoma women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale said.

And it doesn’t come around very often.

You can win big games without it. You can play so collectively hard that you overcome not having it. You might even, if everything falls just right, find a way to upset Tennessee in the Oklahoma City Regional semifinal at 3:35 p.m. Sunday without it.

Still, it’s much better to have it than not have it.

It makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Call it cohesion or chemistry, focus or being dialed in, it’s the synchronicity of urgency and purpose the Sooners put on display in their 85-72 victory over UCLA Monday night in Columbus, Ohio.

“They’ve been really good. Even when they’ve not been good, they’ve been good together,” Coale said. “There’s an energy that’s circulating among them … That synergy that we saw in the UCLA game, I have seen on a constant basis since we’ve gotten home.”

Coale didn’t want to put a number on how many times she’s seen it since taking over the Sooner program, but said “it is rare” and one time her team had it was on its run to the 2002 national championship game.

“We caught it at the Big 12 tournament (that year) and we had it until we lost to Connecticut in the championship,” she said. “To the final buzzer, we had it.”

A couple other times OU might have had it?

Probably at the 2004 Big 12 tournament, when they became the only team ever to win without a first-round bye, topping Texas A&M, Colorado, Kansas State and Texas back-to-back-to-back-to-back on four straight days. And maybe during the 2005-06 regular season, when they went 16-0 in the conference, the freshman seasons of Courtney and Ashley Paris.

It had OU playing at its highest level of the season during the second half of its victory over the Bruins.

After the half, the Sooners scored 43 points, committed only three turnovers, earned an amazing 30 attempts from the free-throw line and, after UCLA tied the game 45-45 with 16:59 remaining, the Sooners were back up 11 points less than 6 minutes later and never allowed the Bruins any closer than nine.

“It’s just everybody dialed in,” senior forward Joanna McFarland said. “It’s everybody focusing on what we’re doing, each time we’re doing it. We don’t have to stop and tell somebody something multiple times … You mess up once, but it’s not happening again. Everybody’s just really focused and it’s really fun.”

Coale’s not even sure how you go about keeping it, though she’s pretty sure trying to strangle it to hold onto it is a surefire way of losing it.

“I think you let it go,” she said. “You sort of shepherd it, but you let it go.”

Then hope it doesn’t leave.

“We’re all really on the same page,” shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg said. “Our connectedness to each other and wanting to stay together is really what’s driving us this time around.”

The Sooners will have to hope that’s enough to keep it going. It would be a shame to let it go now.

“I don’t think it’s the kind of thing you can have for 30 games. I really don’t,” Coale said. “So, we’ll see if we can maintain it this weekend.”

Everything may depend on it.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Stocks