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February 4, 2014

Foul trouble dooms Sooners; second half fix not enough to overcome Lady Bears

NORMAN — The fans hated the officiating and it probably wasn’t very good on a night the Oklahoma women appeared to get homered in their own gym.

On the other hand, the Sooners fouled a slew of jump shooters in the first half and their two leading scorers, who had to know their foul situation, managed to wear out their welcome before even the first media timeout of the second half.

Also, it’s pretty hard to beat the nation’s seventh-ranked team when exhibiting so little discipline, and that was the biggest reason why Baylor walked out of Lloyd Noble Center with a victory Monday night.

The reason the Sooners only succumbed to the Lady Bears 81-67 was equally interesting.

Because freshman Gioya Carter played well as long as she could keep herself on the floor, and because the littlest Sooner of all, freshman T’ona Edwards, was even better, and because Morgan Hook played one of her best halves after most of the fouls had been called, OU actually outscored Baylor 32-28 over the last 16 minutes.

“The strangest game I’ve ever been a part of,” OU coach Sherri Coale said.

How profound was the Sooners’ fix?

By the time the first-half ended, OU leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg had been whistled for three fouls, as had the Sooners’ second-leading scorer, Sharane Campbell, as had Carter. And, by the time 4 minutes had elapsed in the second half, Ellenberg had fouled out, as had Campbell.

A couple of ways OU might have topped the Lady Bears would have been for Ellenberg to approach or exceed her 19.1-point average and for Campbell to play something like she played against Oklahoma State, against which she netted 28 two days earlier. Instead, the duo combined to play 32 of 80 available minutes, score eight points and make just 3 of 12 shots.

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