OU went up against a very confident Texas Tech team Wednesday night in Norman and showed the Lady Red Raiders that they still have a little work to do before then can jump ahead of our Sooners. Tech had won their first three conference games and moved into the top 25, but OU simply would not be denied in front of a spirited crowd.
First if you were not fortunate enough to have caught this game, you can check out a good collection of highlights here. It was a pretty sloppy first half due to some sketchy officiating and OU shooting an abysmal 29% from the field. OU went to the break down two and Sherri Coale's halftime interview was not one she'll put on the birthday reel (Coale celebrated a birthday yesterday, I'll respect the time honored tradition here). She was furious with her team's performance in the first half, specifically the complete lack of a presence in the post. Normally Joanna McFarland contributes heavily to the Sooners success, not always with points mind you but her ability to rebound and defend the post. Couple all that with the fact that the Lady Red Raiders were scorching (over 60%) from the field in the first half and OU was probably fortunate to only be down two points (26-28).
The second half was a completely different story, with the Sooners coming out clearly motivated from what I can only assume was a very animated halftime "pep talk" from Coach Coale. Where as OU had zero post presence in the first half, throughout the second half OU continually came up with some huge rebounds (primarily on offense, finishing with 17 offensive rebounds) that lead to many second chance points.
OU was led in scoring by freshman Aaryn Ellenberg and her 24 points, but the MVP of this game was definitely Danielle Robinson. I shudder to think how different this team will be next year after she graduates, but we've got plenty of time to worry about that later. Robinson, as she is almost every night, was the key to the OU offense and she was able to settle down both herself and the team in the second half allowing the Sooners a fairly comfortable lead after the opening couple of minutes.
As I mentioned, Ellenberg had 24 points but did it on 19 shots. She finished 6-19 from the field, 4-9 from three, and chipped in with a very nice six rebounds (she's 5'7" so that's no small feat, pardon the pun). Robinson was next with her 16 points and five assists. Hand had another off shooting night, 5-17 and 3-8, but managed to get into double digits with 14. Her shot just seems to be off by the slightest of margins, which I'm sure she'll work through here in the next couple games and get back to drilling some big 3's for OU. Carlee Roethlisberger finished with 11 points and McFarland tallied six. That was the starting five and if you do the math, that equals the Sooners total points on the night. So easily the most disturbing stat of the night is the zero, that's right zero, points OU got from their bench last night. No one off the bench took more than one shot, with the exception of Morgan Hook who has gone from red hot to bitterly cold. Hook finished 0-6 from the field and all her attempts were from behind the arc.
So needless to say, these last couple of wins haven't been of the pretty variety but I'm quite sure Coach Coale and our Sooners will gladly take them. That said, they will definitely need to get more consistent both on the offensive and defensive end and will absolutely need more production (or any) from their bench in the coming weeks. OU travels to my neck of the woods this weekend to take on KU this Sunday at noon. The game will be on Fox Sports, so if you're really lucky you'll see me cheering on our Sooners! I'll be the one in Crimson and Cream!