The Norman Transcript

January 6, 2014

Sooners rally but can’t close in 82-75 loss to Iowa State

By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Once again, the name of the game for the Oklahoma women is disappointment.

From 10 points down, the 25th-ranked Sooners took Iowa State to overtime Sunday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center. They could not, however, close the deal.

Behind 29 points from freshman sharpshooter Jadda Buckley, the 14th-ranked Cyclones remained unbeaten by a 82-75 count.

OU fell to 10-5 overall, 1-1 against the Big 12 and 1-3 against ranked teams, having also fallen to No. 7 Louisville, also in overtime, and No. 3 Duke, topping only then-No. 25 Gonzaga the second game of the season.

All four of those games have been played at Lloyd Noble Center, yet it’s not location that coach Sherri Coale was thinking about immediately after the game. Rather, it was the avoidable mistakes that have led to those losses. Sunday, it was huge defensive rebounds not secured at the worst possible moments. 

“All we had to do was grab the ball,” she said.

Also, once again, team leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg failed to get off the mark against a good team, failing make a 3-pointer for the third time this season and attempting only one before fouling out after scoring 10 points on 2 of 7 shooting to go with six rebounds.

After Iowa State’s Hallie Christofferson, tied the game 67-67 and OU center Nicole Griffin missed on the other end, Sharane Campbell made one of her many big second-half plays by stealing the ball from Nikki Moody and driving in for a layup that put OU on top with 21 seconds remaining.

Christofferson missed a jumper on the other end, but OU could not grab it, tipping it out of bounds. Moments later, with 6 seconds remaining, Ellenberg fouled out — committing her third foul in the space of 1:16 of clock time — Moody hit two free throws and overtime was forced after OU point guard Morgan Hook rimmed out a shot at the buzzer.

Griffin opened overtime with two missed free throws, was answered by two makes from Buckley and the Sooners were fighting uphill the rest of the way.

A 3-pointer from Buckley put Iowa State up for good, 74-71, with 3:23 left in the extra frame.

“I think it was just when we needed a stop or something that we gave them a layup or we gave them the lane to the rim, and they would dish it out for a 3,” Hook said. “And they knocked down their 3s … Their freshman knocked down big shots when they needed it.

Buckley was a revelation.

Standing 5-foot-8 and not a bit imposing, she canned 9 of 10 shots, 6 of 7 3-point attempts and 5 of 6 free throws. 

“We just run through our sets,” Buckley said. “We know where everyone is going to be off the screens that we set for one another.”

Had it not been for Buckley’s heroics, the stories of the game would have been Hook and Campbell.

Though she struggled to distribute, Hook picked up the slack left by Ellenberg and finished with a career-high tying 26 points and six rebounds. Meanwhile, there were times in the second half Campbell seemed to put the team on her back, finishing with 16 points, five steals and a game-high nine rebounds.

Christofferson added 23 points for the Cyclones. Moody finished with 13 and six assists, but also seven turnovers. 

Gioya Carter added six points, four rebounds and five assists for OU, but also five turnovers.

The Sooners are at Texas Wednesday.

“We just have to go play hard and be hungry,” Campbell said. “There is nothing really to say.”

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning


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