Prior to the game, head coach Sherri Coale told the television broadcast crew that the first four minutes of the game were the most important for her Oklahoma team. And the Sooners did well in those first four minutes jumping out to an 11-3 lead. Unfortunately, there was still 36 minutes left to play and with OU coming up on the short end of a 82-63 loss you don't need me to tell you they did not go as well as the first four.
Oklahoma's struggles just so happened to coincide with Joanna McFarland's foul trouble forcing her to the bench and seemingly igniting a West Virginia run to close out the first half. The Sooners managed just seven points in the final ten minutes of the first half and as a result saw their one time eleven point lead turn into a seven point halftime deficit.
The Sooners cut WVU's lead to as few as four points early in the second half, but it was short lived as the Mountaineers quickly began to pull away before winning comfortably.
Easily the biggest difference in this game for the two teams was bench scoring. Oklahoma got all of five points from their injury depleted bench and those were all from Nicole Kornet, but only after the game was well in hand. Meanwhile, West Virginia got 40 of their 82 points from their bench. As many of you are aware, the Sooners have lost four players to season ending injuries so production from the bench hasn't been there pretty much all year long. However, it's one thing to not get it from your side of things while it's another entirely when you allow your opponent's to score nearly half of their team's points.
Another reoccurring problem for this Oklahoma team reared its ugly head in the game where the Sooners looked woefully slow against a more athletic team. At times they struggled just to inbound the ball and finished the game with 17 total turnovers.
Oklahoma had four of their five starters in double figures, but none played particularly well in the game aside from McFarland. Aaryn Ellenberg, playing on a gimpy ankle, struggled throughout finishing with 12 points but on 5-17 shooting (1-7 from three). McFarland tied for the team lead with 14 points and also tied a career high with 16 rebounds. Morgan Hook (14) and Nicole Griffin (12) also finished with double figures, but the Sooners as a team shot just 35% from the field and an even worse 23% from behind the arc.
With the loss, Oklahoma falls to 16-5 on the season and 6-3 in conference play. Also, at No. 21 in the most recent poll they could be in danger of falling out of the Top 25 for the first time all season.
The Sooners will return to action Wednesday night on the road in Manhattan where will face Kansas State in a game that will tip shortly after 7 p.m. (CST).
*Oh, and for those of you keep track of these kind of things Oklahoma allowed West Virginia's Bria Holmes to tie a career high with 17 points. So you can rest easy as the streak is still alive and well!