Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 25, 2013

NCAA WOMEN'S BB TOURNEY: Coale's Sooners determined UCLA won't control paint again

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The names on the front of the jerseys are the same, yet the people wearing them may not be.

It's been 4 1/2 months since UCLA and Oklahoma last met on a basketball court. Both sides say what happened then has almost no bearing on their NCAA women's second-round showdown Monday night at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

"That was the second game of the season,'' Bruins power forward Alyssia Brewer said. "There's been a lot of games in between for both of the teams.''

Circumstances have dictated change for both the sixth-seeded Sooners (23-10) and third-seeded UCLA (26-7).

"We've grown exponentially since that game,'' Sooners coach Sherri Coale said of the 86-80 home loss to the Bruins back on Nov. 14. "I can go down a litany of areas in which we've improved. The biggest difference is the identity of our team, though. We weren't hard-fired at that time. We hadn't been through all that we've now been through.''

The Bruins have undergone change, but a lot of it may have stemmed from that night in Norman, Okla.

"I do think it was a major turning point for us as a program,'' said second-year UCLA coach Cori Close, who had seven new players on the court in that game. "I remember walking behind the players out to the bus after that game and listening to them talk. I leaned over to one of my assistants and I said, `This is a formidable day.' Because I could hear how they were processing the experience: `That was fun.' `That meant something.' `We were so together.' They were reliving not only the win but the way it happened.''

The differences for Oklahoma, ranked No. 11 at the time, were more tangible. Less than a month later, the Sooners lost perhaps their best player, versatile guard Ashley Hand, to a season-ending knee injury. Top freshman sub Maddie Manning also went down with a torn ACL.

"We lost two big-minute players, so a lot of us have had to take on new roles,'' said Oklahoma forward Joanna McFarland. "That changed the complete makeup of our team.''

Nothing has come easy for the Sooners, it seems, including their 78-73 win over pesky Central Michigan in Saturday's first-round game.

But the experience of so many close calls has helped meld and mold the team.

"We've had our backs squarely against the wall repeatedly throughout the course of the season, and we've learned how to fight our way out. At that time, we were just trying to figure out who we were,'' Coale said. "We did fight back in that game and we made a run at the end and it was close and made some big shots and made some big plays.

"It was like (we were saying), `Hey, I didn't know I could do that.' Now we do. We've done that over and over and over. Now it's a part of who we are, a part of our character as a team.''

The details of the first meeting could be revealing. The Bruins pulled away early in the second half to build an 18-point lead, then hung on at the finish. UCLA dominated the Sooners inside, scoring 46 points in the paint. Much of that damage was done on putbacks, with 23 points coming off a staggering 24 offensive rebounds.

"We got whipped on every single offensive board that they got,'' Oklahoma guard Morgan Hook said. "Everyone knows how to rebound; it's just a want-to. That's what we need to have in our mind, is we have to want the ball more than they do.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0114web.jpg SOCCER: JV Lady Zebras edge Verdigris, 2-1

    Claremore sophomore forward Brylee Brasher may have felt a little out of position Monday night during the junior varsity game against Verdigris.
    Normally, starting in the goal for the Lady Zebras varsity team, Brasher came out of her comfort zone to start at forward for the Claremore JV.
    The position switch proved to be a great decision for head coach Robin Sutherland, as Brasher showed a tenacity on offense that led to Claremore’s 2-1 win over Verdigris.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Claremore’s Stone leads NSU tennis to MIAA title

    Amanda Stone was a player the last time Northeastern State won a conference title in tennis. This time, she’s the coach.
    Thanks to a 9-0 rout of Lindenwood on Saturday, No. 31 Northeastern State claimed no worse than a share of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship.

    April 16, 2014

  • Vian's Rowdy Simon seeks playing time in Tulsa backfield

    The Tulsa football team practiced for two hours on Saturday and finished the workout with a 102-play scrimmage.

    Whereas last Saturday's scrimmage was dominated by the Tulsa defense, today's scrimmage session was a more balanced. The Tulsa offense scored on 10 of 21 possessions, including six touchdowns and four field goals, and the Tulsa defense had two takeaways.

    April 16, 2014

  • FOOTBALL: Tulsa-Tulane season opener moved to Aug. 28

    The American Athletic Conference announced today that the Tulsa-Tulane football game, scheduled for the first weekend of the 2014 season, will be played on Aug. 28 at The University of Tulsa's H.A. Chapman Stadium.

    April 16, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas cruises past SFA, 7-2

    The Arkansas baseball team (23-15) jumped out to an early lead Tuesday evening and never looked back, picking up a 7-2 win over Stephen F. Austin (15-21) at Baum Stadium.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hornbeak leaving OU men's basketball program

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rave reviews following OU's spring game

    Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent.

    April 16, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Sooners outlast Cowboys in 18-inning marathon

    The longest game at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium lasted 18 innings between the Bedlam rivals. The Oklahoma Sooners converted three runs in the top of the 18th to come away with a 12-9 victory.

    April 16, 2014

  • Locust Grove cleans house, ousts four coaches

    Locust Grove High School has relieved head wrestling coach Johnny Cook and head boys basketball coach Ronnie Maple of their coaching duties, school sources said Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video