COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The Sooners’ signature moment finished with a 3-pointer from Ellenberg, yet was still all about McFarland.
Sharane Campbell had just ended a string of five straight empty trips with a natural three-point play that re-established OU’s first nine-point lead, 61-52, since the half. On the other end, a three-shot trip for the Chippewas, an opportunity they were too often afforded, Crystal Bradford scored two of her 36 on a putback.
Back the other way, Nicole Griffin missed but McFarland chased down the rebound in the corner amongst all kinds of Chippewa traffic. After the ball came back to her, she found Ellenberg breaking free for a layup that sent the lead back to nine.
You sort of had to be there. It was the moment, more then any other, that told the Chippewas it just wasn’t happening for them today, have a pleasant trip back to Mount Pleasant.
Sooner coach Sherri Coale acknowledged how badly McFarland wants to go home with more basketball to play, but also said something interesting about how McFarland played.
“She played at the right speed, where she could really see what was going on,” Coale said.
The right speed probably had something to do with McFarland escaping the first half foul free. Still, whatever that speed was, it wasn’t so controlled that it wasn’t clear to everybody in the gym who the most important Sooner was.
McFarland’s been saying much the same thing all season.
She’s said she has to show up for her teammates, so many of them unable to play after so much injury.
She’s never made it about herself and yet she’s been able to explain that her time is almost up, if not now, when, and that whole thing.
It makes perfect sense and still it’s different when you watch it right in front of you. Because playing hard, while simple, is never easy. It takes confidence and a quiet mind. It takes living in the moment, even if your greatest motivation lies in giving yourself another game to play.
It’s been said McFarland has figured it out.
Saturday, OU would have been lost without her.
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