NORMAN — On the last day of the regular season, needing a win in the worst possible way, the Oklahoma women played their best game of the season, routing hapless Texas Tech 87-32.
On that note, the Sooners will enter the Big 12 tournament 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City against Texas.
Whether or not OU must top its Red River rival to reach a 15th straight NCAA tournament remains unknown, though Sooner coach Sherri Coale believes her squad’s 18-13 overall record and 9-9 conference mark is already enough to earn a bid.
“If you do what (we did) in this league, I think it gets you in for sure,” she said. “I think what we did in Oklahoma City this weekend will go a long way toward where we are (sent).”
What’s very clear is OU had to finish strong over the conference doormat, and though the first 71⁄2 minutes yielded only an 8-6 lead, most of the rest of the game felt like an explosion.
“We haven’t seen us play like that in a long time, where everybody’s making shots and we’re playing together and not turning it over,” senior point guard Morgan Hook said. “It’s nice to see we’re still capable of doing that.”
The Sooners made 48.4 percent (31 of 64) of their shots despite slow starts to both halves. They made 15 3-pointers in 29 attempts, more than they’d canned all season. They committed a season-low eight turnovers and they held the Lady Raiders to 20.7 percent (12 of 58) shooting.
The 55-point margin OU’s performance delivered is the biggest victory in program history over a conference opponent.
“Just for everybody to get together and want to play the last game the right way … I think that was really healthy,” senior shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg said.