Aaryn Ellenberg struggled against the Iowa St. Cyclones the last time these two teams played. In fact, she fouled out. The senior finished with more fouls than she did made field goals.
Tonight it was different.
She was aggressive and tenacious on both sides of the ball. She scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half, helping the Sooners pull away in Ames.
Oklahoma (12-7, 3-3 Big 12) beat the Cyclones (14-4, 3-4 Big 12) for the first time in Ames, Iowa since January 9, 2008, a span of six years.
Ellenberg also drew the defensive assignment of Jadda Buckley. The freshman burned the Sooners for 29 points on 90 percent shooting in the overtime match up back in early January. Ellenberg had something to say about it tonight. She held Buckley to 0-of-2 shooting, three turnovers and watched her commit four fouls.
Unlike the previous match up, Nicole Griffin and Kaylon Williams did a number on the First team All-Big 12 performer, Hallie Christofferson. She was held to just 15 points and eight rebounds, and fouled out with over eight minutes left to go in the game.
Ellenberg was instrumental in a 22-5 run blow up early in the second half that watched Oklahoma's 30-26 halftime lead, explode into 56-38 lead with 7:42 left in the game. Williams capped off the run with the lay up.
Oklahoma's largest lead reached 23 points when Ellenberg hit her fourth three-pointer of the game, giving Oklahoma the 65-42 lead with 5:48 left in the contest.
Sharane Campbell continues to be a bright spot on offense, scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Morgan Hook added nine points, five assists and five rebounds. Gioya Carter continues to get better. She shot the ball well tonight, 4-of-5 for eight points off the bench. She's really given the bench a spark since being moved from the starting line up.
Two big categories were swapped compared to their last meeting between these two. Oklahoma lost big in the points off turnovers and points in the paint last time. This time, Oklahoma dominated both categories, outscoring Iowa State 36-22 in the paint and 17-9 with points off turnovers.
For Ellenberg, she continues to close in on the NCAA record for most three-point shots made. She is 51 treys away from the record of 392 for a career. She would have to average four three-pointers a game if Oklahoma does not win any Big 12 tournament games or any NCAA games to break the record. More games Oklahoma plays, the more of a chance she could break the cord.
The schedule is easing up for the Sooners as they will face TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday at 7 p.m. Then, they'll turn around and play the Kansas St. Wildcats again on Wednesday. Oklahoma has already beaten the Wildcats 61-50 earlier this year. The Sooners could be looking at a three game winning streak heading into their match up with rival, the Oklahoma St. Cowgirls.