The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 26, 2013

OU tops UCLA to advance to Sweet 16

(Continued)

COLUMBUS Ohio —

With five seconds remaining, Coale dove into a bear hug with Whitney Hand and Lyndsey Cloman, the two captains who lost their seasons long ago but continue to dress for games, maybe because every one could be their last chance to put on a uniform.

Soon after, the whole team, the Sooner cheerleaders and Boomer (or Sooner, whichever mascot it was that made the trip) huddled and jumped together beyond the Sooner baseline, like they’d rushed the court after their favorite team won a huge one.

So it made perfect sense.

“We played together and we played with a lot of emotion,” McFarland said. “We refused to lose. We knew it was all or nothing. It was a team effort and it felt amazing the whole night.”

Ellenberg finished with 27 points on 8 of 20 shooting and 6 of 13 from 3-point land. Once again she was her hottest in the second half, just in time to bury the Bruins.

At the end, she began flashing a sign with her hand, touching her index finger to her thumb, indicating three points with the other three fingers. It looked like she was flashing the “A-OK” sign.

Like everything was all right.

It was.

McFarland finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds, canning 3 of 4 3-point attempts and 9 of 10 free throws. They’re going to have to drag her off the court. Campbell made 6 of 8 shots and 6 of 7 free throws.

You know how hard it is to beat a team that gets 66 points out of three players? UCLA didn’t either.

It wasn’t that OU began like it was shot out of a cannon. It was that it played every moment like that, right to the end.

Nobody plays like that.

It’d hard to do once and even harder to replicate. But should it be, it’s easy to see OU getting a third crack at Baylor a week from tonight in Oklahoma City.

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