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November 20, 2013

True freshman Wyatt puts on shooting exhibition from deep

NORMAN — Texas-Arlington didn’t figure to give the Oklahoma women much of a game and they didn’t. Indeed, with 8:22 remaining, the Sooners led the Mavericks by 57 points.

Despite the mismatch, true freshman Derica Wyatt, direct from Bretntwood, Tenn., made sure the 3,000 or so in attendance got to see something cool anyway.

The 10th-ranked Sooners exited 99-46 winners, running their season to 4-1 with UCLA coming up Sunday in Los Angeles. 

Wyatt, though, was the show, canning her first five shots, all 3-pointers and eventually finishing with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 7 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“She was fantastic,” OU coach Sherri Coale said.

Wyatt didn’t enter the game until 11:49 remained in the first half. After hitting her first 3 at the 9:32 mark, she was off and running.

“After the first one,” she said, “I was breathing a sigh of relief.”

The second came 18 seconds later. The third arrived 7:26 before the half. The fourth swished through the net only 30 seconds later and fifth dropped through 5:47 before the half.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Just 6:02 after entering the game and 3:45 after attempting her first shot, Wyatt was sitting on 15 points. 

“At one point she was 5-for-5 from 3 and she passed up a couple and I’m thinking, ‘What in the world,’ because if someone had thrown it to me and I was 5-for-5, I could have been triple-teamed and I would have shot it,” Coale said, turning to Wyatt. “When that’s flowing, sister, keep firing.”

Wyatt did not see the floor against No. 24 Gonzaga and No. 4 Louisville, OU’s previous two games, and played 16 minutes total against Stetson and Wichita State. She thinks she knows what will keep her on the floor and 3-point shooting isn’t atop the list.

“Defense, for sure,” she said. “Transition defense like (Coale) said. I need to talk more. She told me before I even got here that talking’s going to be my problem and she was right.”

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