The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 2, 2012

Sooners cruise in exhibition

NORMAN — It was old.

It was new.

It was sloppy.

It was fun.

The Oklahoma women’s 118-53 exhibition victory over Oklahoma Christian Thursday night at Lloyd Noble Center was everything rolled into 40 minutes.

It was old because the Sooners’ starting five included Whitney Hand, Nicole Griffin, Morgan Hook, Aaryn Ellenberg and Joanna McFarland, a starting five that combined on 148 starts last season.

It was new because the Sooners showcased their newcomer trio of Maddie Manning, Portia Durrett and Nicole Kornet: a combined 39 points on 14 of 23 shooting, 24 rebounds and nine assists between them.

It was sloppy because both teams combined on 54 turnovers, 22 of them belonging to OU. And it was fun because, despite the sloppiness, the possibilities for the home team were ever-present.

“We got exactly what we wanted to get out of the exhibition game,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “The last part of that being that we got to play in front of people and work out whatever kind of stage fright we might have associated with that.”

It will be much different against Big 12 and, eventually, NCAA tournament competition, but if OU can repeat some of its success against the Eagles come the regular season, it will enjoy dimensions unseen in recent seasons.

One, Griffin was a machine in the post, finishing with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 7-of-8 foul shooting. And she wasn’t merely effective in the halfcourt, but also in transition.

“I worked on post position and getting the ball where I can score,” said Griffin, who was voted most improved in the offseason by her teammates. “I’ve worked on a couple of moves and on my hands; working on trying to catch the ball and looking to pass at the same time.”

She didn’t have to pass much Monday because she was reaching the block in the 4 seconds she had herself to post up each possession. Griffin didn’t give the Eagles time to double-team her.

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