The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 3, 2012

Defense sparks Sooners’ win vs. Red Foxes

NORMAN — It wasn’t pretty, but Oklahoma will take it. That was coach Sherri Coale’s sentiment after watching her Sooners defeat Marist 66-58 on Sunday at Lloyd Noble Center.

The 12th ranked Sooners improved to 7-1 on the season and won their sixth-straight game. They did this despite shooting a season-low 42.2 percent from the field and committing 19 turnovers.

“Good win,” Coale said. “All wins are good. It wasn’t quite as pretty as we would have liked for it to be. But give them credit. Marist plays really hard, very well coached and are hard to guard. We didn’t shoot it very well. So a double-digit win, shooting as poorly as we did, we will take that.”

Marist coach Brian Giorgis was proud of the way his team kept the game close. But he understood the Sooners just had too much talent that allowed them to take over down the stretch.

“I thought we played a great game for about 30 minutes, and then we ran out of gas,” Giorgis said. “I think OU turned it up and showed why they’re the team they are, why they’re No. 12 in the country.”

The Sooners came into the matchup against Marist (4-4) with a size and speed advantage at almost every position. But the Red Foxes banged away in the opening 10 minutes and kept the score tight.

Oklahoma was unable to keep Emma O’Connor out of the lane, which opened up shots for her teammates.

However, led by Whitney Hand, the Sooners found their touch from the outside. As a team, they knocked in 5 for 12 from behind the arc in the first half. OU grabbed a double-digit lead with five minutes remaining in the half.

The Red Foxes stormed back and closed the gap to 32-28 when Elizabeth Beynnon was fouled on a layup. She knocked down both free throws to get them to within two points.

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