1:30 PM ET, February 5, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. -- Ten days earlier, Danielle Robinson -- one of the best free-throw shooters in Oklahoma history -- misfired on the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with the score tied in the final minute against Texas A&M.The Sooners eventually lost the key conference game.On Saturday, Robinson scored 20 points and came through in the clutch, combining with Jasmine Hartman to go 6 for 6 from the line in the final 45.5 seconds and lifting Oklahoma (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) past Iowa State (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) 65-62. Oklahoma (17-5, 7-2 Big 12) scored just one basket in the final 11 minutes and blew a 14-point halftime lead, but rallied to remain in sole possession of third place in the conference behind No. 1 Baylor and No. 6 Texas A&M."Danielle Robinson proved why she was a first-team All-American at the end of that game," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "She made some great plays. They executed a lot better than we did down the stretch and that was the result of the game."We talked a lot about not fouling down the stretch and we put Danielle on the free-throw line six times and she's not going to miss any."Iowa State (16-6, 4-4) had a chance to tie but didn't get a shot off after Hartman's two free throws with 8 seconds left. The Sooners moved to 19-3 all-time against Iowa State at home despite being outrebounded 38-26.The key for the Sooners was the turnover difference; they had 11 while Iowa State had 24.Free-throw shooting also proved pivitol -- Iowa State went 7 of 10 from the line, but missed the front end of their only two one-and-one opportunities in the second half. Meanwhile, the Sooners went 14 of 16 from the line."We've just been grinding along, finding ways to win games," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "Maybe we put up one too many 3s early in the second half but they were good looks. That's the way we play so you stay with that and stay with who you are."Kelsey Bolte scored 23 points, including a 3 that gave the Cyclones a 60-59 lead with 2:23 left. Chelsea Poppens' bucket a minute later made it 62-59, but they didn't score again.Still, the way the Sooners were shooting, that three-point gap seemed enormous. Enter Robinson, who came into the game ranked No. 2 on Oklahoma's career free-throw percentage list. The 5-foot-9 guard skied between two taller Iowa State players to rebound a missed 3-point attempt by Whitney Hand, then was fouled and made both free throws with 45.5 seconds left.After Hand forced an Iowa State turnover by tipping an inbound pass by Lauren Mansfield off of Bolte, Robinson drove to the basket and was fouled. She hit two more free throws with 27.7 seconds left to give Oklahoma a 63-62 lead."I was confident the whole time," Robinson said. "I was confident in the A&M game but they just didn't fall. I just knew I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice."Coale said at one point, she inquired how many consecutive possessions Oklahoma had failed to score. Told it was 13, she opted to try to have Robinson score from the free-throw line, a strategy that proved sound.Mansfield missed a 3-point attempt for Iowa State and Hartman rebounded and was fouled. The 50-percent foul shooter made both free throws. Iowa State didn't get a shot off in the final eight seconds, for which Fennelly took the blame."The last play, we practice all the time, but it's my fault," he said. "For some reason, we ran it the wrong way. We ran it backwards."Oklahoma led 38-24 at halftime despite going more than 5 minutes without scoring during one stretch. The Sooners closed the half on a 14-3 run, capped by three straight 3-pointers by Aaryn Ellenberg, Ellenberg again and Carlee Roethlisberger. Oklahoma didn't have a 3-pointer after that as the Cyclones clamped down on the Sooners' outside shooters."Defensively, we started switching a little bit more," Fennelly said. "We went a little smaller. I thought we did a good job gapping people and making them do shots over the top."Iowa State never led until Hallee Christofferson, who scored 14 points, hit two free throws to put them ahead 57-56 with 4:31 left. She scored 14 points.Ellenberg scored 15 points for Oklahoma while Hand had 10, along with five steals.Former Oklahoma star Rosalind Ross, who died last Sept. 15, was honored at halftime of the game, attended by dozens of the program's former players. The Sooners warmed up before the game in outfits bearing Ross' No. 33.Ross, who started on the Oklahoma team that reached the 2002 national championship game, was shot to death while in a vehicle at a fast-food restaurant in her hometown of Milwaukee. She was a first-round WNBA draft pick in 2002 but did not play in the league.Robinson's 20 points moved her past another star of the 2002 team, Stacey Dales, and into fifth place on Oklahoma's career scoring list.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||25-51 (.490)||23-57 (.404)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-14 (.357)||5-18 (.278)|
|FT Made-Attempted||7-10 (.700)||14-16 (.875)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|