The Norman Transcript


December 18, 2013

Coale’s Sooners could be in for a trap or a cake walk

NORMAN — On the one hand, Oklahoma should really crush Fairfield tonight, even inside Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., where, apparently, the Stags play host to only their marquee opponents, most of their home games taking place at Alumni Hall in Fairfield, Conn.

On the other hand, the Stags are 5-3 this season, start three seniors and are not horribly outsized the way many smaller Division I mid-major women’s programs tend to be when they step up in class. After point guard Felicia De La Cruz, who measures 5-5, the rest of the Stag starters are 5-10, 6-0, 6-2 and 6-1.

On yet another hand, the 20th-ranked Sooners really should crush the Stags. The two teams have a common opponent in 25th-ranked Gonzaga. OU beat Gonzaga 82-78. Farfield fell to Gonzaga 82-42.

On still another hand, it’s the same old story for the Sooners, who continue to believe they can be one of the best teams in the nation and can take another step in becoming such a team by handling the Stags in a fashion not entirely unfamiliar to how they handled Maryland-Eastern Shore three days ago at Lloyd Noble Center, routing the Monarchs 105-46.

Of all those hands, it’s the last one on which OU wants to concentrate.

“We were aggressive and yet weren’t out of control,” OU coach Sherri Coale said of her squad’s Sunday victory.

That led to 50 percent shooting, 103 points not scored by leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg, who left 4 minutes into the game after straining her knee, a reasonable 15 turnovers despite the Sooner bench logging more minutes than the starters, and some contributions from sources whose productivity had been inconsistent at best heading into the game. Of those, Nicole Kornet was the most notable, finishing with 26 points, seven rebounds and six steals.

Still, it was more than that for Coale.

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