K-State strikes from distance to record first win in Norman in 11 years

Emily Addington / For The Transcript

OU's senior forward Ijeoma Odemgbe reaches for the ball Sunday during the Sooners' game against Kansas State at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

During the 1996-97 season, Sherri Coale's task of rebuilding Oklahoma's struggling women's basketball program was in its infancy.

OU finished 5-22 that season with only one conference victory, but three years later won 25 games while blossoming into perennial Final Four contenders for the next 20 seasons.

Now, 23 years later, the Sooners are headed back in the opposite direction.

Kansas State used a 3-point barrage to beat Oklahoma 83-75 Sunday at Lloyd Noble Center, extending the Sooners' losing streak to 10 games and breaking the previous mark of nine straight losses set in Coale's first season.

Kansas State's Rachel Ranke poured in 24 points on 8 of 14 shooting from 3-point range while Christianna Carr added 15 more as the Wildcats won in Norman for the first time in 11 tries.

The Sooners are 5-17 overall and 1-10 in Big 12 play, now with seven conference losses by 10 points or more. Road dates at Baylor and West Virginia are still to come.

Momentum, even in short stretches, was hard to find for the Sooners Sunday. It didn't take much to get OU off track against the Wildcats, head coach Sherri Coale said.

She described her team as fragile afterwards.

"When something bad happens right now, instead of dropping a notch, we drop all the way to the bottom. That's youth getting beat over and over and not feeling success," she said.

Oklahoma trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, but used a 13-0 run to pull within seven on a 3-pointer from sophomore Ana Llanusa. She led the Sooners with a career-high 33 points to go with five steals.

Llanusa brought Oklahoma to within seven again in the final minute of regulation with a 3-pointer in transition. b=But Ranke answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to provide the fitting dagger.

K-State made 14 of its 28 3-point attempts, with many of them coming off of open looks.

"We made it pretty easy. We didn't communicate very well defensively," Coale said. "I could tell you six different reasons on six different possessions why they got open looks, but it all stems from not communicating defensively."

Offensively, Oklahoma shot 45.5 percent for the game, but struggled to finish possessions with shots. OU committed 26 turnovers that led to 21 points for KSU (15-9, 6-6).

Oklahoma opened the game by making just one of its first nine shots and turned the ball over seven times in just over seven minutes.

Until Madi Williams found success scoring off the dribble in the second half, Llanusa was OU's only consistent threat. Llanusa drained 15 by half, but no other Sooner scored more than two points. Williams finished with 10 points.

Gileysa Penzo checked in and helped ignite OU's offense midway through the first period when she dished off a pair of assists and connected on a basket of her own. The Sooners cut a 7-point deficit to 13-12 with her on the floor.

The spurt was short-lived. The Wildcats answered with a 13-2 run capped by a Kayla Goth 3-pointer that forced a timeout from Coale with 6:25 left in the first half.

Goth put back a missed 3-point try with a second left in the first half to take K-State to a 42-29 lead in the locker room. OU committed 16 first-half turnovers while making just 11 field goals.