“I’m disappointed with our effort and our response to the physical play,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “If that’s the way they’re going to play, then we have to adjust to it and we have to fight back and be just as physical as they’re being. … You don’t beat anybody when you give up 24 offensive rebounds. It’s a number that’s just unheard of.”
OU might have made some of the difference up at the free-throw line but hit only 19 of 31.
Though the Sooners took reasonable care of the ball in the second half, 12 first-half turnovers contributed to a 37-36 deficit. Had OU committed half that many, it might have led by 10.
As it was, the Sooners were trailing at the break, despite a fantastic first half from Ellenberg. The junior finished with a game-high 24 points, 20 coming in the first 20 minutes, when she canned all six of her 3-point attempts.
Hand added 19 points and a team-high six rebounds for the Sooners. Sharane Campbell and Nicole Griffin both finished with 12 points.
Point guard Thea Lemberger led UCLA with 18 points, but it was the Bruins’ front-line forwards that did the Sooners in: Markel Walker with 16 points, Brewer with 15 and Dixon with 11.
“That was one of our three keys to the game,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “To attack them inside.”
Of course, when that attack failed, the Bruins need not have worried. Another chance was only a rebound away.
Clay HorningFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org