Women’s basketball: Sooners beat Longhorns, 69-56, behind second half explosion
The No. 16 Sooners rebounded from Tuesday’s road loss to No. 24 Iowa State by handling Texas, 69-56, Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.
The Sooners recovered from a sloppy first half, shooting just 32.3 percent from the field, to put together an explosive offensive performance in the second half, eventually putting the game out of reach.
OU started off the second half hot, establishing an offensive dominance immediately. Coale attributed the win to capitalizing on offensive opportunities and maintaining tempo.
“It was all about tempo.” Coale said. “The first half we had eight opportunities to run. There was some stoppage in play, so we only had eight opportunities. The start of the second half, we had some opportunities and we found our rhythm and gained our confidence and sort of settled in.”
Junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg and senior forward Joanna McFarland led the Sooners in scoring with 22 and 15 points respectively. However, the Sooners didn’t have a great day offensively, shooting just 39.7 percent as a team.
It was an all-out team effort that helped seal the victory, as junior guard Morgan Hook also added nine assists to go along with seven points.
Overall, Coale was pleased with the offensive performance.
“I think we are doing a really good job of executing what we call,” Coale said. “We had that lull in there where it gets either we are not running and coming down and running a set, or we’re just running and not getting organized after.”
The Sooners also played well defensively, buckling down and forcing 23 turnovers. OU capitalized on the many opportunities Texas gave them — scoring 21 points off those turnovers — which helped build a commanding lead in the second half
Texas had no answer offensively and failed to produce points in the paint. The Sooners held Texas’ post players to just 11 combined points.
Coale attributed the defensive success to pre-game preparation.
“I think what enabled us to do that was preparation in terms of personnel,” Coale said. “I thought our guys did a really good job of knowing who they were guarding and what they wanted to do.”
The Sooners played outstanding basketball on both sides of the ball, resulting in a dominant performance against a Texas team that had no answer.
OU looks to continue its dominant play against Brittney Griner and the No. 1 Baylor Bears at 11 a.m. Saturday in Waco.