The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 30, 2012

Sooners crush Lady Demons without Manning

NORMAN — The Oklahoma women are bound to miss Maddie Manning, the 6-2 freshman point guard who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee at practice Wednesday. It is a question of how much.

Thursday night at Lloyd Noble Center, the Sooners didn’t miss her at all. And if they play the rest of the season as they played against Northwestern (La.) State, they may not merely survive without her services, but thrive despite not having them.

OU crushed the Lady Demons 98-35 behind a quick and crisp offense, active defense, hot shooting and a willingness to keep its foot on the accelerator.

“I was proud of our team … I thought we shared it well as evidenced by our high number of assists,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “(We had a) fairly low number of turnovers and a lot of guys got in on the action.”

It is the third straight blowout victory for OU (6-1), which took down Oregon 100-61 and Hawaii 74-49 last week at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu. The Sooners believe it’s part of a trend of offering sustained effort that began during their time in the islands.

“I think we started building that in Hawaii,” senior guard Whitney Hand said. “And today was a better all-around game.”

Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooners with 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting, including 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Nicole Kornet, who replaced Manning in the starting lineup, added 19 on 7 of 10 shooting, including 5 of 7 from long distance.

Center Nicole Griffin added 12 points and point guard Morgan Hook 10, in addition to dishing five assists without a turnover.

OU shot well over 50 percent (35 of 61) from the field, a fact not unrelated to the intensity they maintained throughout the game.

“It makes it a lot easier when everyone else is scoring and creating and it’s not falling all on my shoulders or Whitney’s shoulders.” Ellenberg said. “It loosens everything up.”

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