8:00 PM ET, January 19, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. -- The wins aren't easy but they just keep coming for Oklahoma.Aaryn Ellenberg scored 24 points and hit four 3-pointers to lead a second-half charge as the Sooners (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) overcame a third straight poor shooting performance to beat Texas Tech 71-61 on Wednesday night and remain tied for first place in the Big 12.The Sooners (14-3, 4-0 Big 12) shot only 32 percent but won for the third straight time despite making less than one-third of their shots."It's making me really tired," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.Kierra Mallard had 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks and Chynna Brown scored 17 to lead Texas Tech (16-2, 3-1), which made 48 percent of its field goals but committed 25 turnovers and allowed 18 offensive rebounds, both season highs.The Lady Raiders had an eight-game winning streak snapped for the second time this season and have now lost 11 in a row against the Sooners."The difference in the game was just the simple fact of turnovers and offensive rebounds," Tech coach Kristy Curry said. "That's too many missed possessions."Danielle Robinson added 16 points and Whitney Hand scored 14 for Oklahoma, which kept pace with top-ranked Baylor and Texas A&M (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) atop the conference standings. The Sooners are shooting just 34.5 percent in conference play but have forced all four opponents into more turnovers than field goals."I guess the irony involved is that we are kind of backing our way into being a complete team," Coale said. "We've got a long way to go."After a closely contested yet sloppy first half that featured a combined 29 turnovers, Oklahoma came out firing from 3-point range to wipe away a four-point deficit and start taking control. Ellenberg connected four times and the Sooners started out 6-for-10 from 3-point range in the second half to go up 53-45.Oklahoma then built on its lead on the offensive boards, with Joanna McFarland earning a pair of free throws off one rebound and Carlee Roethlisberger putting back another during a 10-2 run. Ellenberg's two free throws extended the lead to 63-50 with 7:03 to play.Roethlisberger had 11 points and five offensive rebounds as the Sooners scored 15 second-chance points -- 12 of them in the second half. The starters provided all of Oklahoma's scoring, with Coale only going to her bench once in the second half when Robinson came out with a bloody nose."It wasn't premeditation involved. We were scoring and we got a double-digit lead and stick with what works," Coale said.Robinson came out of the game for just more than a minute and returned in time to get involved in Oklahoma's game-breaking run. The preseason All-American had been in and out of the lineup in the first half after picking up two fouls in the first six minutes, substituting in on offense and out on defense.With their top-flight lineup together throughout the second half, the Sooners found enough of a groove to come out ahead. They had only two turnovers after committing 13 in the first half and had a 17-7 scoring edge at the foul line."I think we battled them more on the boards, we challenged them in transition like we didn't do in the first half and I think that we just played together," Robinson said.Texas Tech had been pulling down a Big 12-best 74 percent of rebounds on the defensive glass but got just 58 percent against the Sooners despite holding a 28-12 scoring edge in the paint."Something that has gotten us to this point has been our defensive boarding, and 18 offensive rebounds and too many second possessions I thought really hurt us," Curry said.The Lady Raiders held Oklahoma scoreless for a stretch of more than six minutes midway through the first half while putting together a 10-0 run to move ahead. Mallard and Brown each had four points in the run, and Kelsi Baker's two foul shots put Tech up 18-15.The Lady Raiders were up 30-26 after Mallard's basket to start the second half, but it was all downhill from there.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||23-48 (.479)||19-59 (.322)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-10 (.200)||9-29 (.310)|
|FT Made-Attempted||13-16 (.813)||24-30 (.800)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||15 (0/0)|