NORMAN — Great crowd.
That was the experience Sunday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center where the 11th-ranked Oklahoma women appeared to lose, before they appeared to win, before fifth-ranked Louisville made them pay in overtime.
The Cardinals prevailed 97-92 by scoring nine of the overtime’s first 10 points, and all of that after going from 73-68 up with 3:57 remaining, to 83-77 down with 1:28 remaining, to 86-86 at the end of regulation.
A classic to the end, even after falling behind eight points in the extra frame, the Sooners still had two chances to tie it in the final seconds, yet both Morgan Hook and Aaryn Ellenberg were off target, part of a 7-of-29 beyond-the-three-point-arc performance from OU.
“We just kind of got rushed in there and it was hard to slow down and get the ball where we wanted to,” Ellenberg said.
There were three huge moments in regulation. The first arrived with about 12 minutes to play in the opening half, when Nicole Griffin picked up her second foul for OU, putting both her and her back-up, Kaylon Williams, on the bench with two fouls. Eventually, they were joined by Sharane Campbell with two fouls 5:38 before the half.
OU, which had been up 17-2, was still on top 19-9 when Griffin made her first-half exit. The rest of the half the Cardinals outscored the Sooners 39-24.
“I felt like it went forever,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “That’s when you look back and think if we can keep those guys in the game, that might be a 25-point lead at halftime instead of being down.”
The second came late, after OU fought just to remain close enough to make a run at Louisivlle, which finally happened with 3:57 remaining, when the Sooners went on a 9-0 run in 2:28 of clock time.