They spotted TCU the first 11 points and found themselves scoreless for the first 4:25 of the contest.
“Yeah, that was interesting,” said OU head coach Sherri Coale. “I didn’t think that we were playing in a lackluster way, which I thought we did in Fort Worth. I thought we were lacking in energy. I thought we were passive, and that wasn’t the case tonight. We just didn’t make any shots and we settled. We shot quickly. We rushed everything a little bit. They came down and made big plays and you look up and, you know, we’re in a hole and we had to dig out.”
But that changed and by late in the first half, OU had covered up all the ground it had lost in that opening time frame.
With 4:53 remaining in the first half, the Sooners had already tied things up at 22.
They were in midst of a 14-0 run that helped turn a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead with just three minutes to go in the opening frame.
Strong defense, including holding TCU to 28.9 percent field goal shooting in the first half after that early flurry, had something to do with them climbing back into it as well as blowing the floodgates opening in the latter 20 minutes.
“Well, I thought what we did was we took away their first look,” Coale said. “We took away the thing that they wanted out of their sets, and that frustrated them a little bit. Jasmine Hartman, I thought, really set a tone defensively. Boy, she was good on the ball and the longer the night went on, the more confident she got and the better she got on the ball. But I thought we disrupted what they wanted to do offensively and made them go into option B or C and that affected their confidence and their rhythm.”
With that momentum, OU carried a three-point advantage into the halfway point at 30-27.
In the second half, the Sooners used all that momentum to really extend things, and even without star guard Aaryn Ellenberg.
Despite Ellenberg exiting the game with a tweaked ankle at the 17:17 mark—Coale said she’s expected to be fine—the Sooners still pushed a single digit lead to as much as 23 over the next five minutes.
Guard Sharane Campbell, who finished with a game-high 23 on 7-of-12 shooting, was a large part of that.
“No, not really, Just kept playing,” said Campbell, when asked if there was a connection with Ellenberg’s injury and her increased production.
OU was able to milk that to the finish thanks to 11 points from center Nicole Griffin and board dominance from forward Joanna McFarland.
She grabbed 12 boards and narrowly missed out on a double-double in doing so while also appearing to wear out the Horned Frogs.
“I didn’t really notice, I guess,” McFarland said. “It’s just when you’re in the heat of the battle, you’re just playing hard and if they were tired, I didn’t really notice.”
OU’s victory sweeps the season series over TCU and sets up a 12 p.m. CT Saturday battle against West Virginia that will largely impact whether OU keeps pace with Texas Tech in a fight for second or falls back into the middle pack of the Big 12 Conference race.
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