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January 9, 2013

Sooner guard Campbell playing with more confidence

NORMAN — The Oklahoma women are playing very well right now. The winners of four straight games, they’ve opened the conference season with a pair of wins over quality programs, West Virginia and Texas.

Further, it has all happened after senior guard, captain and the longtime pulse of the team, Whitney Hand, became the fourth Sooner and third starter to be lost for the season to injury.

Tonight, in Forth Worth, 16th-ranked OU (12-2, 2-0 Big 12) will try to make it five straight victories when it visits TCU (7-6, 0-2) inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Sophomore guard Sharane Campbell can’t take a lot of credit for the first of those four wins, a 70-46 victory over Cal-Riverside, but she’s clearly been in the middle of the last three and perhaps the leader of the last two.

“I have more confidence now, I guess,” Campbell said. “I guess each game I’m just getting a little better.”

Prior to meeting Cal-State Northridge, Campbell was averaging 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds. She was also getting to the free-throw line for an average 3.3 attempts per game. Since, over her last three games, Campbell has averaged 17 points, 6.7 rebounds and 8.3 free-throw attempts. Also, after missing her first 13 3-point attempts of the season, Campbell has made 6 of 11 from long range.

Two games ago, Campbell scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against West Virginia. Last time out, she got Texas for 24 points.

“I think it’s extra attention to details,” junior guard and Sooner leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg said. “She’s been in the gym before practice and after working on left-hand drives or things she’s not as good at. So little things like that are making a difference.”

Campbell confirms she’s getting to practice early and staying late to work on developing her left hand and that it came in very handy against Texas.

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