Women's basketball: Sooners ride Ellenberg, McFarland and win against Texas
The Sooners gave coach Sherri Coale the best present she could have asked for as she celebrated her birthday Saturday afternoon: a 69-56 win against Texas.
“It’s always good to beat Texas, whether it’s my birthday or not,” Coale said. “But watching these guys have success is the best present you can get.”
After losing on the road to Iowa State on Tuesday, the Sooners achieved that success by riding the offense of junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg and senior forward Joanna McFarland.
“We talked about responding, and the only way we wanted to respond was having a lot of energy and fight,” McFarland said. “I think in the first half it kind of lulled a little bit. In the second I think we really wanted to focus on fighting really hard.”
McFarland finished with 15 points and four rebounds. More importantly, however, she continues to be a main source on energy for the Sooners down the stretch.
Ellenberg compliments that energy by leading the offense in scoring, finishing with a game high of 22 points.
“It’s fine with me,” Ellenberg said. “It does not really matter who does it. If I have an open look or if I am feeling good, I am definitely going to take that shot.
“I’m not afraid to (shoot the ball).”
That attitude helped the Sooners pull away in the second half and better control the game tempo, junior guard Morgan Hook said.
“Just like coach said, transition is our game, and that is what we love to do,” Hook said. “With the tempo, when there is a dead ball they are already back set and know who they are guarding. In transition, it was easy to confuse them and run. Jo (Joanna McFarland) outran their post every single time.
“So, I think it was transition and tempo that got us going,”
In the end, Ellenberg, McFarland and the rest of the Sooners overcame a loss earlier in the week to win against a young Texas team. Texas remains winless in Big 12 play.
“We responded to the loss and we did what we had to do to take care of our business,” Ellenberg said.