NORMAN — As late as the 11:49 mark of the second half back on Jan. 26 at Ferrell Center, the Oklahoma women were within 10 points of No. 1 Baylor.
Also, that day, the Sooners closed against the Lady Bears on an 11-2 run. And shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg finished with a career-high 33 points. And forward Joanna McFarland scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, doubling up reigning player of the year Brittney Griner on the glass.
These are the things OU might want to think about today as it takes the court against Baylor for a special 6 p.m. tip at Lloyd Noble Center.
The Sooners remembering they went on that 11-2 run just to lose 82-65 probably isn’t advisable. And remembering what happened two days ago in Stillwater, where they were routed 83-62 by Oklahoma State might not be either. Unless, perhaps, it might be used a source of motivation.
“We have to regroup and go compete,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “We really competed against Baylor at their place, and that’s what I want our guys to do.”
“Regroup” is the right word.
Saturday, at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Sooners scored four points the first 8 minutes of the first half and only two the first 41⁄2 minutes of the second half.
They survived the first lull and actually owned a three-point edge before the first half was complete. After the second slowdown, they were never any closer than six points to the Cowgirls and, after that, only fell further behind.
The handicap OU (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) faces after incurring so much injury was a topic in Coale’s post-Bedlam media session. She acknowledged it, but also appeared to show some frustration with the able-bodied players on the roster who remain.
“We know that our margin of error is really thin, really small and that everyone has to show up and fight and stay focused, and when they’re not you call timeout and yell and scream and turn a cartwheel and do what you can,” she said. “At some point, people have to make decisions.”