Women's basketball: Sooners performance results in, 80-61, blowout victory against Cowboys in Bedlam matchup
The No. 23 Sooners (18-5, 8-3 Big 12) woke up from a slow start Sunday night to absolutely dominate Oklahoma State in the first Bedlam matchup of the season.
A crowd of more than 10,000 fans packed Lloyd Noble Center hoping to see a great performance result in a victory. The atmosphere was electric, the stage was set and the Sooners definitely didn’t fail to disappoint.
The players noticed the increase in fan support as well.
"I would say I notice it when we come out for the last time before the game starts," junior center Nicole Griffin. "That’s when everyone is at the game, and you just look up to see people all the way at the top. There are people everywhere and I just think, 'All right, this is the time.'"
After a cold start to begin the first half, OU eventually found its groove and began to heat up, taking the lead with 4:18 left in the first, and never looked back.
Coach Sherri Coale credited hustle plays for the shift in momentum.
“A lot of times those are the results of loose-ball recoveries or getting offensive rebounds," she said. "Then defenders are lost, and you’re able to kick it out and shoot a three. And sometimes it just takes one.”
Junior guard Morgan Hook also played an important role in the Sooners commanding win. She was an offensive floor general, finding open teammates which created positive offensive opportunities, especially in the post.
Hook dished out 10 assists and added eight points herself.
“We didn’t let our missed shots at the beginning affect us, like we have previously," Hook said. "We started moving the ball more and feeding the post and moving in and out. We had more rhythm, and I think it all developed from being able to feed Nicole anytime we wanted to.”
Griffin led the team in scoring with 21 points and helped the Sooners dominate in the paint. But her teammates ultimately helped seal the deal.
Four Sooners scored in double digits, but the two standouts were sophomore guard Sharane Campbell and senior forward Joanna McFarland — each recording a double-double and totaling 27 rebounds between the two. In a game where junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg struggled offensively, it was important for the team to come together and get a win.
“Vegas (Ellenberg) not being present was really more than not making shots," Coale said. "She couldn’t catch it; she couldn’t dribble it; she couldn’t pass it. We didn’t have her in any element there.
"And to just go ahead on, we say that a lot, just take care of our business with the next play and plod and grind and get the lead, I thought was significant.”
The Cowboys couldn’t find an answer for the Sooners in the second half, the Sooners stepped up as a team and came away with a victory in round one of the Bedlam series.