24th-ranked Oklahoma pounded out a 23 point first-half lead en route to a 72-50 win over visiting University of Milwaukee at Lloyd Noble Center, snapping a three-game losing streak to improve to 6-3.
Whitney Hand played 35 minutes and turned in a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds to go with 6 assists and 6 turnovers. Aaryn Ellenberg added 14 points and freshman Sharane Campbell came off the bench to hit all six shots from the field en route to 13 points.
“We don’t expect to lose ever,” said Hand, who was back at full strength after missing time due to injury. “It’s a shock to all of us (to have lost three straight). It’s been a growth week. We’re glad to have a win and stop being depressed around the facility.”
OU exploited size advantages at most positions and pressured the visiting Panthers to just 22.6 per cent first half shooting and 29.2 per cent for the game.
OU led 41-23 at half despite foul trouble that limited starting center Nicole Griffin to just 2 points. Center Courtney Lindfors led Milwaukee (2-5) with 15 points.
Playing without injured Lyndsey Cloman and Jasmine Hartman, Coale says her younger Sooners gained some big minutes of experience.
“That’s what we hope; to go onto the holidays knowing who we are, gaining confidence.”
OU dominated the boards (42-27) as all nine players who played grabbed at least 2 rebounds.
Playing in front of 4,115 home fans, it was OU’s last home game until December 28th versus TCU. OU is off until December 18th for finals. They play in the Duel In The Desert in Las Vegas December 18-20.
“A dear friend of mine said there comes a time in an eight second bull ride you just gotta hang on and that’s where we were,” says Coale when talking about a three game slide entering this game. “Things that are significant are tough to do and we understand we’re on a difficult journey but we’re up for it.”