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October 29, 2013

Injury bug bites Coale’s Sooners

NORMAN — Monday, coach Sherri Coale’s Oklahoma women’s basketball program’s fears were realized. Further, that should serve to make the Sooners’ exhibition schedule significantly more interesting.

As though, redshirt freshman guard Maddie Manning has lost her second consecutive season to injury after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, OU confirmed.

The Manning, from Ankeny, Iowa, played in six games her true freshman season, even moving into the starting lineup for the last three, before tearing the ACL in her right knee.

The injury occurred in an intrasquad scrimmage last Friday night at Lloyd Noble Center. Also during the scrimmage, senior point guard Morgan Hook dislocated her right thumb.

Hook is being fitted with a device to protect the thumb and wearing it will keep her out of each of the Sooners’ exhibition games, the first set to be played at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center against in-state NAIA program Cameron. OU’s second and last exhibition game arrives at 7 p.m., a week from today, when Central Oklahoma visits Lloyd Noble Center.

Following the exhibitions, Hook’s availability will be re-evaluated.

In real terms, it means OU will send out two true freshmen to run the point-guard position in its exhibitions and possibly into the regular season, which begins Nov. 8, against Stetson, also at home.

Coale intends to play both Gioya Carter (5-9, Midwest City, Carl Albert) and T’ona Edwards (5-5, Spencer, Northeast Academy) at the position.

Carter, who averaged 18.3 points and 7.4 rebounds her senior year of high school, was already under consideration to play major minutes her true freshman season even prior to Manning’s and Hook’s injuries, just not at the point guard position.

Edwards, the smaller of the two, who averaged 16.7 points, seven rebounds and six assists for a 30-0 Northeast team last season, may be a more traditional fit at the position, though her immediate readiness to play Division I and Big 12 Conference basketball right out of high school has been a bigger question than Carter’s.

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