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March 8, 2014

Ellenberg may be hitting another gear

NORMAN — Yet again, senior shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg was named to the All-Big 12 First Team earlier this week.

Voters appeared to have little choice.

They had already made her a first-team selection in the preseason, and she’s about to enter the Big 12 tournament at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Oklahoma women begin tourney play against Texas, with an 18.7 point average.

But they did have a choice. The season has not been all it was cracked up to be for Ellenberg.

The maker of 179 of 437 shots, her 40.1 percent shooting percentage is down from last season’s 42.4 percent mark, and her 35.4 percent (81 of 229) accuracy from 3-point land is well off last season’s clip of 41.4 percent.

Also, Ellenberg has struggled to show up in several games her team badly needed her. She scored a career-high 37 in an overtime loss at Texas Jan. 8, but just 10 and 12 in the Sooners’ previous two losses, at Iowa State and Marist.

Perhaps OU’s worst loss of the season, at UCLA, a team whose season ended Thursday at the Pac-12 tournament with a 13-18 record, Ellenberg played every minute, made 2 of 13 shots and scored 11 points.

Still, in her final hour as a collegiate athlete, Ellenberg appears to be coming on one more time.

“Most seniors feel a sense of urgency that’s unique to anything they have ever felt,” Sherri Coale said. “I don’t think they can predict it or describe it aptly, nor (can) you call it up until you become a senior.”

Could it be that simple?

After missing two games to a concussion suffered at Oklahoma State, Ellenberg returned to the floor three games ago at Baylor, where she hit just 3 of 13 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, yet finished with 29 points by hitting 6 of 11 from within the arc and 8 of 9 free throws.

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