CNHI News Services
It was old.
It was new.
It was sloppy.
It was fun.
The Oklahoma women’s 118-53 exhibition victory over Oklahoma Christian Thursday night at Lloyd Noble Center was everything rolled into 40 minutes.
It was old because the Sooners’ starting five included Whitney Hand, Nicole Griffin, Morgan Hook, Aaryn Ellenberg and Joanna McFarland, a starting five that combined on 148 starts last season.
It was new because the Sooners showcased their newcomer trio of Maddie Manning, Portia Durrett and Nicole Kornet: a combined 39 points on 14 of 23 shooting, 24 rebounds and nine assists between them.
It was sloppy because both teams combined on 54 turnovers, 22 of them belonging to OU. And it was fun because, despite the sloppiness, the possibilities for the home team were ever-present.
“We got exactly what we wanted to get out of the exhibition game,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “The last part of that being that we got to play in front of people and work out whatever kind of stage fright we might have associated with that.”
It will be much different against Big 12 and, eventually, NCAA tournament competition, but if OU can repeat some of its success against the Eagles come the regular season, it will enjoy dimensions unseen in recent seasons.
One, Griffin was a machine in the post, finishing with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 7-of-8 foul shooting. And she wasn’t merely effective in the halfcourt, but also in transition.
“I worked on post position and getting the ball where I can score,” said Griffin, who was voted most improved in the offseason by her teammates. “I’ve worked on a couple of moves and on my hands; working on trying to catch the ball and looking to pass at the same time.”
She didn’t have to pass much Monday because she was reaching the block in the 4 seconds she had herself to post up each possession. Griffin didn’t give the Eagles time to double-team her.
Two, the Sooners made a point of working their transition game. That’s how they scored 67 points in the second half, it was the way Morgan Hook finished with nine assists and it was in overdrive as long as Manning was leading the break, which tended to be whenever she grabbed a backcourt pass or a defensive rebound.
“Maddie has a really high motor,” Coale said. “It’s important to get her playing at the right speed. I love that push.”
Manning matched her five assists with five turnovers and scored nine points to go with a co-team high eight rebounds. Hook, who finished with 18 points, joined her in getting the offense moving.
“We are trying to push the ball early in transition,” Hook said.
Everybody had their moments.
Hand led OU with four steals and grabbed seven rebounds in just 19 minutes of court time. Durrett finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while Kornet added 14 and matched Manning’s eight boards. Aaryn Ellenberg was her unbashful self, finishing with 15 points on 5 of 17 shooting.
As a team, OU hit 58.3 percent (42 of 72 ) from the floor, while limiting OC to 24.7 percent (18 of 73) floor accuracy.
Katy O’Steen led the Eagles with 12 points.
The Sooners hit the century mark with two free throws from Sharane Campbell with 7:08 remaining.
They weren’t nearly done.