Oklahoma’s Seniors Shine in Bedlam Blowout
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:14 pm
News On 6
Originally Published: Mar 2, 2011 9:44 PM CDTStephany Speck
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- The No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners hit a season-high 14 3-pointers in their 81-66 Bedlam win over Oklahoma State Wednesday.
The seniors -- Carlee Roethlisberger, Danielle Robinson and Lauren Willis -- all shined in their final home game at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Roethlisberger finished with a season-high 14 points, tacking on seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks to her stat line. The senior forward has averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season, but had an exceptional night against the Cowgirls.
Fellow senior Willis once chased down Head Coach Sherri Coale to hand her a DVD of her playing. Coale was so impressed she let the Kansas native walk on and ultimately gave her a scholarship to play for the Sooners. Willis, who started in the Bedlam matchup, was held scoreless in the first half but came to life in the second. She finished with six points -- both 3’s -- including one from way behind the arc to extend the Sooners’ second half lead to 23 points with 3:40 left on the clock.
Robinson tied her career-high in rebounds with nine in her senior night game. She finished with 13 points, two steals and five assists. The guard has led her team to more than 100 wins during her time at OU, and exited the game to a standing ovation.
The Bedlam game was the perfect platform to display the senior talent on the Sooner roster, despite the scrappy effort by the young Oklahoma State team. OSU Head Coach Kurt Budke has some young, active and effective talent on his team, but they simply couldn’t keep up with the seasoned Sooners.
OSU played a zone defense in the first half, giving OU’s offense a run for their money. Oklahoma struggled to set up a play before the Oklahoma State defense pressured them, holding the Sooners from doing what they so well -- driving to the basket.
Oklahoma, instead, saw an opportunity to shoot from behind the arc. OU dropped 14 of their 28 attempts, seven of which came in the first half alone. By racking up so many treys, the Sooners were able to establish an eight-point lead by halftime.
Sherri Coale’s team came out even stronger in the second half, not only continuing to hit their shots from the three-point range, but the Sooners also matched their first half numbers from the field, hitting an additional 13 shots. The team also took advantage of the charity line, shooting 83 percent to OSU’s 60 percent. It was just a night for Sooner senioritis, as freshman Aaryn Ellenberg continued to show what lies ahead for the program. She finished with 23 points, three assists, one rebound and one steal.
Oklahoma State struggled to stay in the game. It was a battle led by sophomore Toni Young. The Del City native surpassed her career high with 31 points. Her game alone accounted for almost half of the Cowgirls’ total points. She was flanked by the explosive Tiffany Bias, who dished out three assists and recorded one steal.
While she finished with eight points and four boards, her tenacity against the very physical Sooners put the missing spark in OSU’s game at times.
The second half belonged to the Sooners though, who pulled ahead by as many as 26 to clinch its sixth straight 20-win season and secure the third seed in the Big 12 conference tournament.
The Oklahoma Sooners will next travel to Texas Tech to face the Lady Red Raiders at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Oklahoma State Cowgirls will have to finish their season without a road game win. OSU will host Texas on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Stillwater.