The Norman Transcript

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January 5, 2013

Rivals moving different directions

(Continued)

NORMAN —

OU has done that and hasn’t lost.

It began with a 70-46 victory over Cal-Riverside that was notable for many good stretches and continued with a 79-57 triumph over Cal State Northridge that wasn’t nearly so close.

Then came West Virginia, a team that offered a test very similar to the one UCLA administered Nov. 14, when the Bruins beat the Sooners 86-80. Against the Mountaineers, OU traded blows over the game’s first 30 minutes before prevailing down the stretch.

“I think it’s just how close our group is,” senior forward Joanna McFarland said. “With all the adversity we’ve had, we’ve had to really grow up fast.”

Players and coaches agree that their rise began with good practices, particularly over the holiday break.

“I think every individual really understands the importance of their immersion in the moment,” Sooner coach Sherri Coale said. “That sounds really simple, but it’s a hard thing to do.”

Not that OU can’t be a lot better. Friday, just before leaving for Austin, Coale said exactly that, but she also repeated something she said all the way back in the preseason.

“This group really has a high ceiling,” she said.

Lately, it’s playing like a team that might reach it.

Clay HorningFollow me @clayhorningcfhorning@normantranscript.com

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