AUSTIN, Texas — It may not have been the way coach Sherri Coale drew it up, yet that may make Saturday afternoon’s 78-70 victory over Texas that much more satisfying for the 17th-ranked Oklahoma women.
Despite enduring two quick fouls from both Joanna McFarland and Nicole Griffin, decimating the Sooners’ inside presence, OU turned back its Red River rival with relative ease nonetheless.
The victory is the Sooners’ fourth straight, moving them to 12-2 overall and 2-0 since Big 12 Conference play began. Texas fell to 7-6 and 0-2.
“I thought our resilience was fantastic,” Coale said. “We just fought them off. We had early foul trouble. We fought our way through it.”
The Sooners picked a fine time to enjoy one of their best shooting days of the season. OU canned 50.9 percent (27 of 53) of its field-goal attempts and a terrific 64.7 percent (11 of 17) from beyond the 3-point arc.
With McFarland and Griffin limited to a combined 42 minutes, four rebounds and 14 points, OU needed help to come from an additional source other than leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg and point-guard Morgan Hook. They got it from Sharane Campbell, who made all three of her 3-point tries, hit 7 of 11 shots and 7 of 9 free throws to finish with a game- and career-high 24 points.
“We were just taking open shots,” Campbell said. “You can’t be scared to shoot it. If you don’t shoot the shots, you miss them all.”
Hook also hit all three of her 3-point tries and finished with 17 points to go with four assists. Ellenberg added 18 points, hitting 3 of 8 from long range, but driving to the basket for several points in the paint.
“We have really, really good shooters,” Coale said, “but those numbers are pretty impressive. You enjoy it when it happens. Some nights it’s going and some nights it’s not. And tonight it was.”
OU trailed 25-21 9:41 before the half, but scored the game’s next 11 points to lead by seven. The Sooners pushed the lead to nine before settling on a 36-31 edge.
Texas pulled within 45-44 on a 3-pointer from Chassidy Fussell with 16:44 remaining, but the Sooners responded with their best few minutes of the game, going on a 23-6 run to lead 68-50 with 8:01 remaining. OU led by 14 points with 2:20 remaining and coasted in for the victory.
Texas received 14 points and 10 rebounds from Nneka Enemkpali and 12 points and nine rebounds from Imani McGee-Stafford. Empress Davenport added 12 points and seven rebounds. The Longhorns shot 39.5 percent (30 of 76) from the field.
OU had an answer for everything but the rebounds McFarland and Griffin couldn’t grab while sitting on the bench, prevailing despite Texas’ 48-25 advantage on the boards.
OU will try to keep the good times rolling at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the Sooners try to make it five straight wins at TCU.