Sooners Gaining Momentum, Win 5th Straight

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From OU Sports Info
NORMAN, Okla. — Aaryn Ellenberg led four Sooners in double-figure scoring as Oklahoma won its final tune-up before conference play begins, defeating TCU 82-54 Wednesday, Dec. 28, at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Ellenberg scored a game-high 24 as Oklahoma (8-3) jumped on the throttle at tip-off, opening with a 15-2 lead over the first five minutes. The sophomore had 18 in the first half, hitting seven of nine unanswered points in OU’s opening spurt and then nine more in an 11-2 run to end the first half.

“She comes out and is just in rhythm,” OU head coach Sherri Coale said. “You can tell. We have been around here long enough to know when it is going to be one of those games just based off the first two or three shots. Her teammates did a great job of finding her to right places, right times. She converted on them.”

Freshman Sharane Campbell provided 17 off the bench and guards Whitney Hand and Morgan Hook had 12 each as Oklahoma won its fifth straight game. Hand and Hook combined for eight of the Sooners’ 17 assists, often finding Ellenberg for a fast-break layup or wide-open 3-point opportunity.

“We’re all great shooters so I have confidence in all of them,” Ellenberg said. “Whether I’m the one shooting the ball or they are. We’re going to make shots. That’s just something we do and it’s part of our team.”

TCU closed the lead to 21-16 when a seven-point swing put the game back in OU’s favor. Two deflected passes out of bounds forced the Sooners to a in-bound from under the basket with just one second on the shot clock. Hand connected with Hook, who nailed a 3-pointer as the buzzer expired, but the play was protested by TCU head coach Jeff Mittie long enough for two officials to assess technical fouls, resulting in his ejection.

Hand sank the resulting four free-throw attempts as the Sooners finished the half with a 20-4 run. Oklahoma led 41-20 at halftime.

“When anything like that happens to a team,” Hand said, “I’m sure they’re kind of like…not sure what to do. I think we took advantage of them being on their heels like that.”

Oklahoma built its lead to 35 points and then emptied its bench for the final eight minutes.

Since dropping three straight games for the first time since March 2008, OU has not trailed in five straight victories.

More OU Notes
Since suffering its first three-game losing streak since March 2008, Oklahoma has not trailed in five consecutive victories.

OU has held at least a 26-point lead in each of its past five wins.

The Sooners shot better than 40 percent (8-of-20) from 3-point range for the third consecutive game.

Campbell scored 17 points, her second highest total as a Sooner, in just 18 minutes off the bench. Campbell was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Ellenberg followed just her second career game without a 3-pointer with a 4-for-7 effort from beyond the arc Wednesday. Ellenberg’s 24 points were her third most in a single game this season behind 28-point performances against Sacramento State (Nov. 13) and Fresno State (Dec. 8).

Ellenberg now has made 128 3-pointers in her career, joining Roxanne Long (1994-97) and Rosalind Ross (2001-02) in a share of 10th on OU’s all-time career charts in the category.

Ellenberg’s 10 made field goals was season high.

Griffin matched her season high with nine rebounds.

Hand is 4-of-8 from the 3-point line in her last two games following an eight-game stretch in which she hit just five of 33 3-point attempts.

Hand’s three steals were the second most of her career behind four against Sacramento State in OU’s season opener.

Hook had five assists to two turnovers, her 10th game of 11 this season with an equal or positive assist-to-turnover ratio.


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