The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 20, 2013

Second-half effort ensures Longhorns won’t climb out of Big 12 cellar

NORMAN — The surprise team in the Big 12 Conference is the Texas women and for Longhorn fans there’s nothing pleasant about it.

Oklahoma’s job Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center was making certain Texas didn’t find itself in time to land an upset.

The Sooners sputtered for a while but locked up a 69-56 victory with a strong second half that kept the Longhorns winless in league play.

Coming off its worst shooting night of the season OU hit 9 of 14 from the floor to begin the second half, including 4 of 5 3-point attempts, pushing its lead out to 19 points. Texas was never any closer than the final margin.

Though OU didn’t shoot very well most of the game — 23 of 58; 39.7 percent — that flurry was the difference.

“It was all about tempo,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “The first half we had eight opportunities to run. Eight … The start of the second half we had some opportunities and we found our rhythm and gained our confidence.”

The Sooners scored on seven of eight possessions to begin the second half, getting 3-pointers from Aaryn Ellenberg and Morgan Hook along the way. That turned a six-point game into a 48-34 advantage.

Another stretch saw the Sooners convert on three of four trips, including 3-pointers from Sharane Campbell and Joanna McFarland, making the score 56-37.

“In transition it was easy to confuse them and run,” Hook said. “(Joanna), I think, outran their post every time … It was transition and tempo that got us going.”

Style aside, what the Sooners got four days after falling by 21 points at Iowa State, Tuesday, was three solid games from their three most important players.

Ellenberg hit 8 of 13 from the field and 3 of 6 from 3-point land to finish with 22 points. Hook only made of 1 of 8 shots but led the Sooners with seven rebounds and nine assists. McFarland stayed out of foul trouble, played 36 minutes and canned 5 of 7 shots, two of them 3-pointers, on the way to 15 points.

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