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February 14, 2014

Second-half mistakes prevent Sooners from knocking off No. 13 Mountaineers

NORMAN — The Oklahoma women, trying to get two games better than even in the Big 12 Conference, trying to follow up a big win with a big win, trying to win the game that had seemingly eluded them all season long … blew a 14-point second-half lead to No. 13 West Virginia Thursday night at Lloyd Noble Center.

The 76-75 loss only occurred after Gioya Carter, Nicole Griffin and Kaylon Williams had all fouled out; and only after both senior point guard Morgan Hook and junior forward Sharane Campbell had both missed a pair of free throws over the final 90 seconds; and only after freshman guard T’Ona Edwards back-rimmed a free-throw that would have sent the game into overtime with 0.3 seconds remaining.

The day before the game, Hook said the team believed it might be in danger of not reaching the NCAA tournament. Right or not, the loss did OU no favors, dropping the Sooners to 15-10 overall and 6-6 in the conference with Bedlam rival and 12th-ranked Oklahoma State waiting in Stillwater for a noon Sunday tip.

The Mountaineers improved to 21-3 and 10-2.

“We bogged down after about the midway point of the second half,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “We had multiple opportunities to stretch our lead and we didn’t. Early in the second half, we just missed a bunch of really good looks.”

The Sooners did much more than that.

Over the game’s final 6:42, OU did not make a field goal, going 0-9, with six of the misses counted as layups in the game’s official play-by-play.  OU also missed 5 of  9 free throws over the game’s final 2:21.

“They made plays,” senior shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg said, “and we didn’t.”

Ellenberg led the Sooners with 18 points, though 14 came in the first half and her last bucket came with 12:01 remaining.

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