NORMAN — For at least two days, Sharane Campbell saved the Oklahoma women’s season.
Given the game she played Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center, she probably deserves more for her stunning effort. However, Baylor will be in Norman Monday night, so the Sooners will take what their junior forward from Star Spencer delivered to them and like it.
“Sharane Campbell was unbelievable,” Sooner coach Sherri Coale said.
Without her, OU doesn’t earn its biggest win of the season, at least to a date, 81-74 over Bedlam rival and 11th-ranked Oklahoma State.
Without Campbell’s 28 points — 8-of-13 shooting, 11 of 11 free throws — eight rebounds and even three drawn charges, the Sooners weren’t sniffing victory over the Cowgirls.
“She beat us off the dribble,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “I wish I could give you some fancy, long drawn-out answer, but she beat us off the dribble. And when she didn’t make it, we fouled her.”
As has long been her way, Campbell also led the Sooners in floor spills, with the first one coming in the middle of the first half when, taking a charge, Campbell hit her head on the hardwood. She left the game, but only for a few possessions.
Later, with about a minute remaining, Campbell stepped on teammate T’ona Edwards foot and went down in a heap. Eventually, she limped off the court to a standing ovation. OU was nursing a 79-68 lead and the fans thought Campbell was done for the day. Instead, she was back on the court only a second later and long enough in real time for Gioya Carter to make a free throw.
In the game for Carter’s next charity toss, a miss, Cambell stole the ball from rebounder Liz Donahoe, got fouled, went to the free-throw line and knocked down her last two points. She appeared not to understand the kind of game she’d played.