DALLAS — The Oklahoma women thought they were picking up momentum at the right time. Entering the Big 12 tournament coming off two wins over Kansas and Texas Tech, everything seemed to be coming together.
The Sooners fell behind West Virginia 19 points at the half and came back to win, setting a new conference tourney comeback standard. The next day, against Iowa State, they fell behind 19 at the half again. They were never any closer than 18 and lost by the same 19.
Still, it’s all a part of the learning experience for OU coach Sherri Coale.
Sunday, in her post game media session, after ticking off all that went wrong with the Cyclones, the Sooner coach said the following:
“That being said, I’m really proud of my team, I’m really proud of our progress this year, I’m proud of our growth,” she said. “We’ve got a lot left to play for. Looking forward to a few days off where we can recover.”
It is an insight into the way Coale looks at her team. Down to eight able-bodied players not counting late-arriving volleyball transfer Eden Williams, it has been an up and down season for the Sooners.
For a while, they looked like the conference’s second team, behind Baylor, after opening league play with four straight wins. Later, they looked like a team adrift, losing four games in five tries before closing the regular season — after a four-day break — with two wins.
Now, they get a much longer break, with NCAA bids coming out Monday and the Big Dance opening the following weekend.
“I think it’s good for all of us to recover a little bit from all this beating that’s been going on,” Ellenberg said. “That’s going to be great for us.”