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January 22, 2008

The little things add up for Sooners

Small details have led to Sooner women’s recent struggles

NORMAN, Okla. — With 3:01 to play and the Oklahoma women trailing Baylor 72-68 Sunday afternoon, the teams came out of a timeout and Sooner forward Ashley Paris walked to the free-throw line to shoot twice.

Here’s some of what happened the rest of the way.

Paris hit one of two free throws.

Baylor’s Jessica Morrow scored and went to the free-throw line for a 3-point play having been fouled by Courtney Paris. She missed the free throw, but Rachel Allison grabbed the board. Baylor did not score again, yet possessed the ball for 53 seconds.

OU committed a turnover.

Between the 3-minute mark and the 33-second mark, the Sooners attempted two shots, missing both.

Danielle Robinson broke the drought with a layup. Only 21 seconds remained.

It added up to the Bears’ 84-73 victory.

The errors may appear small. Sooner coach Sherri Coale even called them “little bitty things here and there.”

However, it was in the context of their correctability. She knows better than anybody how collectively damaging such miscues can be.

“I think there are lots of places where we’re just real close,” Coale said. “You know, we miss a key blockout at a certain time, or fail to go to the right spots to execute an offensive entry, or make a bad decision on an inbound (play). Just little bitty things here and there.

“We’re not very far away from being really good, but we’re not there yet.”

It’s worth recalling that OU (11-4 , 2-2 Big 12) isn’t nearly as experienced as it might appear.

With the Paris twins, Amanda Thompson and Jenna Plumley returning from last season, the Sooners brought back 80 percent of their starting lineup. What they lost, though, was a bench that included, depending on which one of the group started amongst the youth, some five-headed combination of Leah Rush, Erin Higgins, Chelsi Welch, Britney Brown, Kendra Moore and Krista Sanchez.

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