DALLAS — One game after the Oklahoma women turned in the most improbable and dramatic comeback victory in the Big 12 tournament’s history, the Sooners proved how futile falling behind by 19 points at the half tends to be as well as how fragile a team they can still be.
A day later, Sunday, against Iowa State, back inside American Airlines Center, there wasn’t even the hint of a rally as the Cyclones cruised by the Sooners 79-60.
OU couldn’t stop Iowa State defensively, allowing 46 percent shooting (29 of 63) shooting; couldn’t mount anything offensively, shooting 35.5 percent (22 of 62) from the field and 29.2 percent (7 of 24) from 3-point land; couldn’t stand up to the Cyclones on the boards, getting outrebounded 49-28; and couldn’t get to the free-throw line, making 9 of 12 less than 24 hours after earning 33 attempts against West Virginia.
OU coach Sherri Coale gave most of the credit to the Cyclones.
“How they’re not ranked,” she said, “I have no idea.”
The Cyclones did
something on Sunday that West Virginia did not do Saturday: play a 40-minute game.
After trailing 41-22 at the half, the Sooners never got any closer than 18 in the second half.
“They manhandled us on the inside, had great poise on the perimeter, knocked down open looks. We didn’t do the same,” Coale said. “We didn’t come with the same aggression … They deserved to win the game and have a chance to play in the championship.”
Anna Prins, the Cyclone center with Brittney Griner-like size and a deft touch from the outside, finished with 32 points on 11 of 20 shooting and nine rebounds.
Chelsea Poppens, smaller than Prins yet more physical, added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Hailey Christofferson added 10 and nine boards.
They dominated OU early on both sides of the court, scoring on one end and clearing the glass on the other.