It’s a funny thing.
Every time somebody goes down for the Oklahoma women, somebody seems to step up. Even better, Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center, nobody had to be lost for the season for it to happen.
It took the Sooners almost five minutes to finally crack the scoreboard and, to borrow one of coach Sherri Coale’s favorite terms, there was some recess at the end.
In between, especially after Aaryn Ellenberg left with a sprained right ankle, OU was golden and it led to a 74-53 victory.
“They just turned up the intensity,” Coale said, saluting her players. “They paid attention to detail and had a tremendous run in the second half. I keep saying this, but these guys are fun to coach.”
Time stopped inside the arena with 17:17 remaining. Ellenberg, going for a rebound, was fouled by TCU’s Ashley Colbert and fell awkwardly backward, landing in a heap.
A couple minutes later, she walked gingerly off the court before removing her right shoe and being carried, both feet off the ground, to the locker room. She returned to the bench with her shoe back on but was done for the night.
“She’ll be fine,” Coale said.
Though Ellenberg departed, taking her 22.9-point conference scoring average with her, the Sooners took off.
A Sharane Campbell layup put OU on top 37-30 right before Ellenberg was hurt. Next, Campbell turned around and canned 3-pointers on OU’s next three possessions, spurring herself toward a game-high 23 points and spurring the Sooners along a 20-1 run, 17 coming after Ellenberg’s fall.
“I remember looking up at the clock and thinking, ‘Wow, we have 17 minutes left and Aaryn’s hurt.’ Then we just went off and we didn’t even notice that she wasn’t on the court,” junior forward Joanna McFarland said. “That makes a big statement about our team.”
Campbell didn’t draw a connection between her teammate’s fall and her own ascension.
“No, not really,” she said. “Just kept playing.”
But it follows a pattern. Both Ellenberg’s and McFarland’s production have risen considerably in the wake of season-ending injuries to Maddie Manning and Whitney Hand. This time it was Campbell’s turn.
“It’s necessity,” McFarland said. “We need everybody to be on their A-game every night for us to do what we want to do.”
Campbell wasn’t the only one to raise her play.
After OU (16-4, 6-1 Big 12) missed its first eight shots and trailed 11-0, Jasmine Hartman entered to begin a long night off the bench. She didn’t score but settled the team down and finished with a career-high nine assists against a single turnover. Also, freshman Nicole Kornet, who had scored three points total since conference play began, added nine, hitting three of five 3-point attempts.
OU led for the first time, 23-33, with 4:27 before the half. The Sooners took their first 20-point lead, 51-31, with 13:45 remaining and achieved their biggest edge, 23 points, the next trip down the floor on another 3-pointer from Campbell.
Zahna Medley led the Horned Frogs (7-12, 0-8) with 18 points. Veja Hamilton added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Sooners got 11 points and seven rebounds from center Nicole Griffin. McFarland led everybody with 12 rebounds.
It didn’t start very well. Then it got scary. OU responded.
“No matter what happens,” Coale said, “they believe they can go win games. That proved to be true tonight.”
It’s a funny thing.
3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah
Verdigris senior guard Caitlyn Hanslovan drained two key 3-pointers during Saturday’s Class 3A Regional Finals that provided a spark and a huge win over Vian.
Hanslovan, who is accustomed to winning state championships in soccer, will look to move the No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals one step closer toward a berth in the 3A State Tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the area finals against Tahlequah Sequoyah at Checotah High School.
Catoosa HS set to host Class 6A Girls Area; 5A Boys Area tourneys
For high school basketball enthusiasts in Rogers County, Catoosa High School is the place to be on Thursday and Friday.
Catoosa High School will host the Class 6A Girls Area and Class 5A Boys Area over the two-day period.
Class 3A Regional Champions
It’s takes two to tango and the Verdigris basketball teams are dancing their way to the Class 3A Area Finals.
With a state tournament berth on the line Friday night, both Verdigris teams return to a familiar place on the road to state in Oklahoma City.
The Class 3A No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals waltzed past Vian, 58-46 and the No. 4-ranked Cardinals decked Eufaula, 66-53 to cap off the regional championship night Saturday inside the Jack Collins Fieldhouse.
Claremore set to host 4A Area Basketball Tournament
Claremore High School will be a busy place Thursday through Saturday with several of the state’s top Class 4A basketball teams competing in the area tournament.
Forte key to OSU's postseason success
Phil Forte stands 5-foot-11, according to information provided by Oklahoma State, making him the smallest member of the Pokes' roster — and among the shortest in Big 12 Conference.
Waiting for best dunk
Markel Brown had to know Monday’s game against Kansas State would be special after knocking down a half-court shot for his only warm-up right before the National Anthem.
The moment came just minutes after the senior guard was recognized before the game in Gallagher-Iba Arena, which marked his last in an illustrious four-year career on the Stillwater campus.
MIAA MEN'S BB TOURNEY: NSU knocks off Washburn 79-75
The Northeastern State men’s basketball team ended the season for Washburn with a 79-75 victory Tuesday night in Lee Arena in the opening round of the 2014 MIAA Championship.
Adair rolls past Chelsea to win 3A Girls Basketball Regional Title
Keni Lippe scored 16 points, a quartet of teammates each had nine and the top-ranked Adair girls blazed past Chelsea, 70-23, to claim a 3A regional tournament title.
WRESTLING: Pryor pair makes state podium
It wasn’t exactly what Pryor head wrestling coach Roger White wanted, but two podium placements at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament this weekend in Oklahoma City is no small feat.
SOFTBALL: Arkansas-OU game rescheduled for April 30 in Fayetteville
Due to inclement weather and conditions, Wednesday's game between the University of Arkansas softball team and No. 13/19 Oklahoma has been rescheduled for April 30 at 3 p.m. (CT) at Bogle Park.
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- 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah