The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 22, 2013

For change, Sooners have luxury of time

NORMAN — A year ago, the longest space the Oklahoma women had between two games after conference play began was five days, Jan. 21 to Jan. 26.

If that wasn’t enough, the situation was made worse by OU’s agreement to squeeze in a game with Connecticut, leading to a stretch in which the Sooners played Missouri Feb. 11, Connecticut Feb. 13, Kansas State Feb. 15, Iowa State Feb. 18 and Texas A&M Feb. 21.

Five games in 11 days.

Nobody’s facing such a slate this season. For OU, Connecticut is off the schedule. Also, Big 12 schedule-makers didn’t have to scramble (as they did a year ago) to fit an 18-game conference schedule into what used to be space for a 16-game conference schedule.

Long story short?

The 20th-ranked Sooners are off this week until meeting No. 1 Baylor at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ferrell Center in Waco.

The coach likes it.

“You settle down, let your body settle down, let your mind settle down for a little bit,” Sooner skipper Sherri Coale said. “You just kind of get a chance to breathe. These games come so fast. Now, there’s a little sense of familiarity and we sort of have an idea what this grind is about. I think this break comes at a really good time.”

The Sooners are in a good spot.

Though they’ve fallen a few notches in the polls thanks to last week’s 82-61 loss at Iowa State, they’re still 14-4 overall and 5-1 in Big 12 play after Saturday’s 69-56 triumph over Texas.

The Sooners are all alone in second place behind Baylor in the conference standings.

Baylor will be a bear, and two of OU’s next three games following Saturday are on the road at West Virginia and Kansas State. Nonetheless, given a chance to catch their breath, Coale believes the Sooners will soon be ready to take off again.

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