NORMAN — Barry Switzer was famous for coining “Sooner Magic” as an Oklahoma battle cry. If “Senior Magic” becomes a favorite, give Jasmine Hartman the credit.
Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooner women with 22 points, but Hartman delivered almost as many and inspiration to burn as OU outlasted Kansas 85-77 Saturday night at Lloyd Noble Center.
Because it was senior night, Hartman was in the starting five for the first time all season. Because she played the game of her collegiate life, Sooner coach Sherri Coale smartly left her in the game.
Hartman entered averaging 1.1 points, 0.8 assists and 11.2 minutes per outing. She played 26 minutes, finished with a career-high 18 points and even led her team with five assists.
“I made a decision before the game,” she said. “I didn’t want to wait. I chose to jump off the bridge or the cliff or whatever you want to call it.”
She played free, but it came at a high price for the Jayhawks.
Hartman scored the game’s first bucket, the first half’s last bucket on a buzzer-beating drive to the basket, the first three points of the second half and OU’s last four points, icing the game with a quartet of free throws.
During postgame festivities Coale said she was so happy when Hartman chose to come back to the program for her fifth-year senior season.
“We probably wouldn’t have beaten Kansas tonight,” Coale said, “if she doesn’t make that decision.”
Fittingly, Hartman received plenty of help from fellow senior Joanna McFarland, who notched her 10th double-double of the conference season, grabbing one last rebound before Coale got her off the court to a hearty ovation with 25 seconds remaining.
More meaningful, though, was her 3-pointer with 5:47 remaining that gave the Sooners their first 10-point lead of the game.