Need to know
In their home opener, against Arkansas State, the Sooner women’s official boxscore claimed a crowd of 3,106, though the vast majority of the total was school children from across the state, who made field trips to Lloyd Noble Center for the 10:30 a.m. tip. For Tuesday night’s 78-54 victory over Central Arkansas, the official (paid) attendance was 1,133, or at least 600 more than appeared to be inside the arena.
First-year coach Jennie Baranczyk’s program may be making a run at better attendance by adjusting the starting times of night games from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Though it may be harder to get to the arena for the tip, it also means fans are more likely to be home by 8:30 or 9 p.m., which may make the games more user friendly to families with young children.
Perhaps winning will make OU a more desirable ticket no matter the tip time.
The Sooners are 3-0 with No. 9 Oregon coming up at the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas, at 4 p.m. Saturday.
• Llanusa going long: Some may have thought after missing a whole season to injury, Ana Llanusa would be brought back slowly. That’s not happening. She played 33 minutes at South Dakota and though it was 22 against Arkansas State, it was back up to 26 against Central Arkansas, one short of the 27 totals of Madi Williams and Taylor Robertson.
“I’ve sat out a lot of games … a whole year … so it’s just exciting to get out there and play as many minutes as I am playing,” she said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and just glad to be healthy and to be able to be out there with my team.”
Though Llanusa did not shoot well Tuesday — 5 of 14 and 1 of 7 from 3-point land — she led everybody in plus-minus, OU outscoring Central Arkansas by 32 points over the 26 minutes she spent on the floor.
• Going deep: Even without Gabby Gregory, who remains out with an undisclosed medical issue, OU coach Jennie Baranczyk is going deep with her roster. Tuesday, eight players played at least 16 minutes and 10 played at least eight.
After Williams, Robertson and Llanusa, freshman point guard Kelbie Washington went 23, reserve point guard Nevaeh Tot 22, reserve off guard Kennady Tucker 18, Skylar Vann and Nydia Lampkin both 16. Emma Svoboda 12 and Liz Scott eight.
That rotation could get shorter against Oregon on Saturday.
Skylar Vann’s double-double — 12 points, 11 rebounds — was her first as a Sooner … 10 of the Sugar Bears’ 29 turnovers were OU steals … After OU sent Arkansas State to the free-throw line 37 times, Central Arkansas only went there 11 times.