The Norman Transcript

March 23, 2014

Sooners rally but come up short after offensive onslaught

Staff & Wire Reports
The Norman Transcript

DURHAM, N.C. — One more narrow defeat. One more comeback that ultimately wasn’t enough. One more tight fit against a very good team that did not go Oklahoma’s way.

So ends the Sooner women’s season.

Never before had the losing team in an NCAA women’s tournament game scored so many points only to come up short, yet that’s what happened inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, where OU, which trailed by as many as 19 points, fell 104-100 to DePaul.

It’s a record the Sooners would have rather not set.

In what Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale called “a great showcase of what women’s basketball is all about,” her Sooners easily surpassed the previous record of 94 set by Michigan State in 1991.

The overall record is held by Duke, which lost 121-120 to Alabama in four overtimes in 1995.

“I would imagine, for the fans who were in the arena ... that was a very entertaining basketball game,” Coale said. “Lots of points scored, lots of big plays, very talented offensive players. ... We could have hung our heads and gone to the corner, and we didn’t. We fought back.”

Megan Rogowski scored 24 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40.5 seconds left for DePaul.

Chanise Jenkins added 21 points and Brittany Hrynko had 19 for the seventh-seeded Blue Demons (28-6), who earned a spot in the second round against second-seeded Duke (28-6).

Aaryn Ellenberg closed a prolific collegiate career with seven 3-pointers and 36 points for the 10th-seeded Sooners (18-15).

“The most I can take away from it is my effort,” Ellenberg said. “I gave all I had for 40 minutes. I don’t have anything to hang my head about.”

Portia Durrett pulled the Sooners even at 97 with a layup with 48.2 seconds remaining.

Hrynko drove into the lane and found Rogowski in the left corner for an open 3 that put DePaul ahead for good.

“’Rogo’ hit the shot,” Bruno said, “but Wryngo created the shot.”

Oklahoma rushed up two 3s on its next possession, and the rebound of Morgan Hook’s attempt went to teammate Gioya Carter — who had her foot out of bounds with 18 seconds left.

Rogowski extended the lead to 102-97 with two free throws with 15.7 seconds left before Ellenberg swished a 3 with 7.1 seconds to go to make it a two-point game.

Jenkins hit two free throws with 6 seconds left and Ellenberg missed a 3 as the buzzer sounded.

Jessica January scored 14 points for DePaul, while Podkowa had 13 and Jasmine Penny finished with 11.

The Blue Demons trailed by five points before using a 12-2 run led by guards Hrynko and January to take a five-point lead. Jenkins started the burst with a layup before Hrynko hit back-to-back 3s, and Podkowa’s free throw put the Blue Demons up 91-86 with 4:24 left.

Sharane Campbell had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Kaylon Williams had 12 points and Hook finished with 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting for the Sooners.

Oklahoma — which last month nearly rallied from 32 points down against Big 12 champion Baylor — trailed this one by 19 with under 16 minutes left before clawing its way back to single digits with a 15-4 run.

Ellenberg’s big 3 from the corner with 13 minutes to go made it 69-61.

The Sooners then reeled off 10 straight points during the 20-4 run that gave them their first lead since midway through the first half. They went up 84-79 on Campbell’s layup with 6 minutes left, and scored on 22 of 27 trips downcourt.

“We got that lead,” Ellenberg said. “We should have built on it.”

But it didn’t happen.

Once again Oklahoma proved the kind of game it was capable of playing, even against a very good team. Also, winning remained a different matter.

 

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