OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma had been playing with house money all season. After suffering through four season-ending injuries, the Sooners had battled, scraped and willed themselves to a Sweet 16 appearance.
However, playing in Oklahoma City with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line, the Sooners’ magic ran out. No. 2-seed Tennessee rolled through OU 74-59 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, putting an end to an already unexpected run.
“Even though we didn’t win the game, the season is over, I could not be more proud of a group of kids,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “These guys have done amazing things this season against really unbelievable odds. I have loved coaching them and I’m so sad that I don’t get to coach them tomorrow.”
The Sooners (24-11) had hoped to ride the momentum that had carried them through the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. But Tennessee (26-7) had too many horses and the Sooners missed too many shots.
The Lady Vols took an early lead and never gave it back.
Senior Kamiko Williams paced the Vols with 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting. She also tallied seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. She was playing with high energy from the start and it took a while for OU to catch up to the pace she set.
Tennessee also got 13 points from Cierra Burdick and 12 apiece out of Taber Spani and Isabelle Harrison.
“We are a great basketball team and we played team basketball,” Burdick said. “When we play that way, we’re hard to guard.”
Joanna McFarland led OU with 14 points and 16 rebounds, including eight off the offensive glass. Sharane Campbell had a game high 22 points while Aaryn Ellenberg posted 13 points on 5-for-21 shooting. As a team, the Sooners had only dished assists.
“I think I just rushed it a little bit,” Ellenberg said. “I was a little excited about being out there and they just weren’t falling. I tried to do as much as I could to adjust to it, but they just weren’t (falling).”