It’s a funny thing.
Every time somebody goes down for the Oklahoma women, somebody seems to step up. Even better, Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center, nobody had to be lost for the season for it to happen.
It took the Sooners almost five minutes to finally crack the scoreboard and, to borrow one of coach Sherri Coale’s favorite terms, there was some recess at the end.
In between, especially after Aaryn Ellenberg left with a sprained right ankle, OU was golden and it led to a 74-53 victory.
“They just turned up the intensity,” Coale said, saluting her players. “They paid attention to detail and had a tremendous run in the second half. I keep saying this, but these guys are fun to coach.”
Time stopped inside the arena with 17:17 remaining. Ellenberg, going for a rebound, was fouled by TCU’s Ashley Colbert and fell awkwardly backward, landing in a heap.
A couple minutes later, she walked gingerly off the court before removing her right shoe and being carried, both feet off the ground, to the locker room. She returned to the bench with her shoe back on but was done for the night.
“She’ll be fine,” Coale said.
Though Ellenberg departed, taking her 22.9-point conference scoring average with her, the Sooners took off.
A Sharane Campbell layup put OU on top 37-30 right before Ellenberg was hurt. Next, Campbell turned around and canned 3-pointers on OU’s next three possessions, spurring herself toward a game-high 23 points and spurring the Sooners along a 20-1 run, 17 coming after Ellenberg’s fall.
“I remember looking up at the clock and thinking, ‘Wow, we have 17 minutes left and Aaryn’s hurt.’ Then we just went off and we didn’t even notice that she wasn’t on the court,” junior forward Joanna McFarland said. “That makes a big statement about our team.”
Campbell didn’t draw a connection between her teammate’s fall and her own ascension.
“No, not really,” she said. “Just kept playing.”
But it follows a pattern. Both Ellenberg’s and McFarland’s production have risen considerably in the wake of season-ending injuries to Maddie Manning and Whitney Hand. This time it was Campbell’s turn.
“It’s necessity,” McFarland said. “We need everybody to be on their A-game every night for us to do what we want to do.”
Campbell wasn’t the only one to raise her play.
After OU (16-4, 6-1 Big 12) missed its first eight shots and trailed 11-0, Jasmine Hartman entered to begin a long night off the bench. She didn’t score but settled the team down and finished with a career-high nine assists against a single turnover. Also, freshman Nicole Kornet, who had scored three points total since conference play began, added nine, hitting three of five 3-point attempts.
OU led for the first time, 23-33, with 4:27 before the half. The Sooners took their first 20-point lead, 51-31, with 13:45 remaining and achieved their biggest edge, 23 points, the next trip down the floor on another 3-pointer from Campbell.
Zahna Medley led the Horned Frogs (7-12, 0-8) with 18 points. Veja Hamilton added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Sooners got 11 points and seven rebounds from center Nicole Griffin. McFarland led everybody with 12 rebounds.
It didn’t start very well. Then it got scary. OU responded.
“No matter what happens,” Coale said, “they believe they can go win games. That proved to be true tonight.”
It’s a funny thing.
All the hours and hard work of keeping the Claremore Zebra athletes injury-free in order to reach their dreams at the highest level helped graduate Averey Brace fulfill a huge accomplishment in her athletic training career.
Brace, a recent 2013 graduate of Claremore High School, received All-State honors from the Oklahoma Coaches Association earlier this month for her three-year commitment to the Claremore High School athletic training program.
Sign up now for OSU Baseball Camp
Oklahoma State Baseball will be holding a pair of camps in June for players in grades 1-8, and registration is now open.
Session I of the camp is June 17-19, with Session II set for June 24-26, and cost for each camp is $200. Camp runs from 9 a.m.-noon each day.
Lady Zebra volleyball camp set for May 20
The Claremore Lady Zebra volleyball camp will take place on May 20-23 at the Claremore High School gymnasium.
Under the direction of Lady Zebra head coach Lindsey Renfroe, campers will receive instruction in fundamentals — passing, setting, hitting and serving.
Green Country All-Star Games start May 23 in Catoosa
Area senior all-star athletes from 21 schools in northeastern Oklahoma will lace up their high tops, hoist their bats and dust off their pom-poms in preparation for the 2013 Green Country All-Star Games held May 23-24 in Catoosa.
SEC BASEBALL: Auburn blanks No. 13 Arkansas, 3-0
Conner Kendrick and Terrance Dedrick combined on a five-hit shutout as Auburn defeated No. 13 Arkansas, 3-0, in the series opener on Thursday night at Plainsman Park.
Arkansas drops to 34-18 overall and 17-10 in Southeastern Conference play, while Auburn is now 32-21 and 12-16 in league play.
GOLF: Bradley gets course-record 60 at Byron Nelson
Keegan Bradley had no thoughts of a course record, or the possibility of a 59, after consecutive bogeys in the middle of his opening round at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Until his 136-yard wedge shot on his final hole Thursday.
“It was going right at it. (A 59) crossed my mind for a second, and it would be unbelievable if I buried this,” Bradley said. “But I had 3 feet to shoot 60. I was actually very nervous, uncomfortable over it and thank God I made it.”
Cowboys rock Mountaineers, 7-4
Oklahoma State showcased its offensive ability in its series opener against West Virginia on Thursday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Whether it’s small ball or the long ball — both of which came into effect — the 16th-ranked Cowboys are proving they can find a way to win here late in the season with a 7-4 mauling of the Mountaineers.
OU baseball closes out regular season play at K-State
Moods were light as Oklahoma boarded a bus for Manhattan, Kan., Thursday afternoon. What they’ll be like by Sunday depends on what transpires over the next three games.
The Sooners’ season hinges on the outcome.
Westbrook's injury hinders Thunder's playoff run
The way Kevin Martin describes it, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost the “vision” of a potential championship run the morning they learned All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook would be out for the rest of the postseason.
NSU women's golf in 8th place at NCAA Division II Championship
The Northeastern State women’s golf team sits in eighth place after Thursday’s second round of the 2013 NCAA Division II Championships on the par-72, 6,228-yard Legends Course at LPGA International.
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