The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

March 26, 2013

OU tops UCLA to advance to Sweet 16

COLUMBUS Ohio — If a program can only break through once, coach Sherri Coale’s Sooners did it at Purdue 13 years ago, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time on the defending national champion Boilermakers’ home floor.

But it couldn’t have felt a whole lot better than it felt Monday night inside St. John Arena.

Down three starters and two team captains since the first week of December, the Sooners, in their 14th straight NCAA tournament, are somehow playing Cinderella after stopping UCLA 85-72.

All in one night, OU bucked the odds, gained revenge and proved more with less isn’t that impossible a concept.

The Sooners did it by getting an All-American performance from Aaryn Ellenberg, who’s been chasing greatness for a long time but caught it against the Bruins; by getting another huge game from Joanna McFarland, who must be playing her way into a professional career somewhere if she wants it; and by getting the X-factor performance from Sharane Campbell that Coale had foreshadowed only the day before. And, individual accolades aside, by playing murderously hard for 40 minutes on both ends of the court.

Play like that and losing’s just not an option. You can only get beat, but not very often.

Play like that and you might play more than one game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Sooners meet Tennessee Sunday.

“Their belief, their resilience and their perseverance all came to a head tonight,” Coale said of her players. “They were in sync with one another, determined and absolutely refused to lose that game.”

Even as it ended, OU was building its lead. Even the Sooners could have relaxed, but they didn’t entertain the option.

Case in point, the score 75-62 with 2:21 remaining, when UCLA’s Allysia Brewer hit a shot, got fouled and missed the free throw, only for it to lead an offensive rebound and a Nirra Fields’ jumper: the rare four-point possession. That made it 75-66, but the Bruins never got closer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook