NORMAN — All three seniors taking the Lloyd Noble Center court tonight when the Oklahoma women meet Texas Tech in the final regular season game for both programs have a fine story to tell.
Playing her last home game, Aaryn Ellenberg has already rewritten a good part of the Sooner record book. She owns about every 3-point mark, season and career, and trails only Courtney Paris on the career points list.
Portia Durrett, though she has played sparingly in her two Soooner seasons, has proven important enough to her teammates to be voted a co-team captain and, just two nights ago, at TCU, started her first game. She may well start again tonight, because that’s part of what Senior Night is all about.
Then there’s Morgan Hook.
She hasn’t scored the points Ellenberg has. And, since conference play began, she hasn’t quite played with the same efficiency against the better competition the Big 12 presents.
She has, on the other hand, done so much. More than everybody else, really.
Indeed, while one way of looking at OU’s season demands the acknowledgement that the last time, and the only time since 2000, the Sooners couldn’t be certain they were heading to the NCAA tournament at so late a date was 2005, the season before the Paris twins arrived.
But there is another way of looking at it, and that way demands acknowledgement that, should the Sooners reach a 15th straight Big Dance, or even if they fall narrowly short, they will have reached it or almost reached it because, without a great deal of help, Hook has kept things together.
Exhibits 1 and 2 could be the Sooners’ last two wins, over Texas and Kansas; losses against each of which might have bounced OU the wrong direction off the NCAA bubble. But Hook was there against the Longhorns with the game-winning free throw after challenging Imani McGee Stafford, the Big 12’s No. 3 shot-blocker, in addition to scoring 15 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing eight assists. And she was there against the Jayhawks, hitting a circus and game-sealing stop-and-pop, driving one direction and letting fly the other.