NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma women's basketball team honored its own at its annual postseason banquet Monday night at the NCED Conference Center and Hotel.
The Sooners distributed team awards and relived an improbable season inaugurated by adversity and concluded in triumph.
Despite losing four players to season-ending injuries by Dec. 6, and adding two from the volleyball team just to be able to practice five on five, Oklahoma finished the year in third place in the Big 12 Conference and appeared in its 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament, the nation's seventh longest active streak, advancing to the program's 10th Sweet 16.
"This season, coaching this team, never felt like work," OU Head Coach Sherri Coale said. "These guys were an absolute joy to be around on a daily basis and they were believers in the cores of their bellies.
"All of us, we will forever be bound to one another by the special things that we did this year that required courage, commitment and an unwavering belief. Impossibility does not exist for this group of kids."
Junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg garnered the most honors, earning team MVP, offensive player of the year and the Mojo Award for greatest momentum changer
Ellenberg led the Big 12 Conference in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage, setting OU season and career records in the process. Her 115 3-pointers made in 2012-13 was a higher total than 76 Division I teams accumulated.
The program marked the conclusion of four careers as Lyndsey Cloman, Whitney Hand, Jasmine Hartman and Joanna McFarland were recognized for their contributions.
Hand, a four-time team captain, suffered an ACL tear in Oklahoma's ninth game, ending her final collegiate season prematurely.
Coincidentally, her career was given a chance to continue as the San Antonio Silver Stars used their final pick in Monday's WNBA Draft to obtain the rights should she recover for the 2014 season, with Hand learning as a season highlight video was being shown to the banquet audience.