FRIDAY FACE-OFF: Sooners too weak to make a stand
Heather Brown, The Oklahoma Daily
The OU women’s basketball team has had a good season thus far, despite the adversity the team has suffered. Injuries plagued the Sooners throughout the season, costing them four key players, including their team leader, senior guard Whitney Hand. Nevertheless, the Sooners kept fighting, but this season has been far from perfect.
The Sooners started the season ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and got off to a hot start, going 13-2 and winning three consecutive games to start the conference off strong.
Through the first half of the season, the Sooners looked like a serious contender, not just for the Big 12 title, but to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
However, the second half of the season hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. The Sooners have played inconsistent basketball and looked average at best in certain games. They won big against teams such as Texas, TCU, and Kansas State, but the Sooners lost key conference games to Iowa State (twice), Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor (twice), and West Virginia. Now granted, two of those losses came against No. 1 Baylor, but the losses to Kansas and West Virginia are unacceptable. They are not bad teams; the Sooners are simply better than that.
They are currently 19-9 and 9-7 in the Big 12, which ties them for fourth with West Virginia. At one point, the Sooners were in a three-way tie for second place in the Big 12. Unfortunately, they squandered that opportunity with two consecutive losses which also dropped them out of the Top 25.
Compared to their last six seasons, many would say that this season has been a disappointment, given the talent remaining on the Sooners’ roster.
The Sooners have been uncharacteristically inconsistent against teams ranked in the Top 25, posting an abysmal 1-6 record. That doesn’t resemble a team that is tournament ready. Their lone win against No. 22 Oklahoma State became irrelevant after the Cowboys embarrassed the Sooners in Stillwater in their second meeting.
The Sooners are no strangers to the NCAA tournament — having made the big dance 12 of the last 16 years under the leadership of coach Sherri Coale — but with the lack of depth on the bench and the offensive inconsistency in big games, the Sooners might find more success in the NIT instead of the NCAA tournament.
Disagree with Demetrius? Click here to read sports reporter Julia Nelson's counterpoint.
Demetrius Kearney is a political science junior and women’s basketball beat writer at The Daily.