It was always going to be a significant challenge for this Oklahoma women's basketball team to beat Tennessee on this Easter Sunday afternoon. The Sooners shooting 30% for the game and 5-for-29 from three point range for the game made it an impossible challenge.
Oklahoma would go on to put up a season low 59 points in their 74-59 loss and outside of the opening minutes and a brief run to start the second half, the Sooners were really never in this one. Their hot shooting streak came to a screeching halt at an obviously unfortunate time.
Losing point guard Morgan Hook in the first half to a concussion certainly did not help Oklahoma's chances either. Hook fell to the floor hitting her head on a Tennessee player's knee after an incredibly reckless defensive play from UT's Meighan Simmons needlessly dove head first and tripping Hook.
Eerily reminiscent of men's opening round loss against San Diego State, Joanna McFarland was playing the role of Romero Osby. For the better part of the forty minutes played, McFarland was the only OU player capable putting the ball in the basket. She finished with yet another double-double (14 points, 16 rebounds) and while ending her career with a loss, closed out an incredibly impressive senior season.
Like McFarland, OU's Sharane Campbell deserves credit for continuing to play extremely hard even after the game was clearly out of hand. Anyone who has watched this team play knows what a scrapper Campbell is and Sunday only reinforced that. Taking numerous hard fouls while making baskets, Campbell would help keep things respectable. She would finish with a game high 22 points, six rebounds, and two steals.
To say Aaryn Ellenberg struggled in this one would be a considerable understatement. Oklahoma's leading scorer finished with just 13 points, but went 5-for-21 from the field and 2-for-10 from three. Both of which were stat lines that the Sooners simply could not afford and obviously could not overcome.
Tennessee was the better team and deserving of the victory Sunday afternoon. That said, this loss, even with how poorly Oklahoma shot the ball, does absolutely nothing to take away from the season the Sooners had. It does nothing to take away from the accomplishments made and the significant obstacles this team overcame.
Obviously, the players and coaches are disappointing with the season coming to an end but there is still plenty to be proud of for all that they did this year.