Women's basketball: Griffin has career game in Bedlam victory
It’s been an ongoing thing for the Sooners. One player doesn’t show up and someone else steps up.
Leading scorer junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg was noticeably absent for No. 23 Oklahoma (18-5, 8-3 Big 12) in the first half, scoring only two points.
Enter Nicole Griffin.
The junior center played nearly the entire 40 minutes, and played them like she never had before, leading the Sooners to 80-61 Bedlam victory.
Griffin finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist. It was a career game.
“She did a great hob of putting the ball on the floor and laying out, and not just settling for a jump hook," coach Sherri Coale said. “But what she really did this afternoon that was effective was laying out and using her legs to the rim, or shoot a reverse or get underneath the defense.”
“I’m just so happy for [Griffin] to have the kind of performance she had today. On this stage, it was so appropriate, and I’m so happy for her.”
The Sooners came out rusty to start the game. Their normally on-point 3-point shooting was off. They shot 12.5 percent from behind the arc in the first half. Eventually that picked up, and the Sooners shot 66.7 percent in the second half.
But the story here is simple: Oklahoma relies very heavily on the 3-point game, but today, because of Griffin, they didn’t have to.
Because of Griffin, they didn’t have to panic that Ellenberg was somewhere else.
“It was really more than not making shots," Coale said. "She couldn’t catch it; she couldn’t dribble it; she couldn’t pass it. And really we didn’t have her in any element."
“But these guys, it’s really an extension of what they’ve been through this year. Something happens and oh, we don’t have her for a while? Well OK, we’ll win this way. We don’t have her? Oh, we’ll win this way.”
Griffin stepped up this game, and next game it could be someone else entirely. But that’s the beauty of this team.
“This team is growing,” Coale said. “They’re still getting better; every day they’re getting better.
"I’m just really proud of them.”