No. 1 Baylor leapt out to an early 15-point advantage and never looked back in defeating a scrappy, resilient OU team 86-64 Monday evening inside Lloyd Noble Center.
”I thought we really fought for 40 minutes,” said OU head coach Sherri Coale. “I’m proud of our guys, thought we played hard. You gotta be able to make a few more shots than that against a team like Baylor or you can’t get to the rim.”
The Bears even managed to do so despite star center Brittney Griner sitting for the final 11:37 of the first half.
OU outscored Baylor 24-16 over that stretch, and perhaps it could have even dug further into what was once a 16-point first half advantage.
”Again, I think we missed some shots,” said OU head coach Sherri Coale. “We had really good looks and obviously you have to capitalize on that. But I think we got a lot out of that time. I mean, we had it at four and a chance, three chances actually to cut it to two and just weren’t able to connect on good looks.”
When Griner was in the game—and especially in the second half—it was a completely opposite story.
Baylor doubled OU up 64-32 over her 25 minutes.
Griner finished with a near triple-double of 15 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks in the contest.
And she was one of six Bears scorers in double figures, which also included guards Destiny Williams, Odyssey Sims and Alexis Prince, forward Brooklyn Pope and guard Jordan Madden with 16, 13, 12, 12 and 11, respectively.
Guard Aaryn Ellenberg led all scorers in the contest with her 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
Guards Morgan Hook and Sharane Campbell joined her with 15 and 14, respectively, while center Nicole Griffin also did so with her 12.
”Any experience playing a different kind of player is gonna help me get better,” Griffin said of the challenge against Griner. “I mean, I don’t know. Obviously it helps. I’ll have to learn how to stretch out, you know, finishing layups stretched out or like my jump hook, taller defender, I gotta shoot over her, jump more.”
Baylor shot a ridiculous 60 percent while limiting the Sooners to 32.9 percent field goal shooting.
It also dominated the rebounding battle 45-37.
Neither team was pretty in the ball handling department, as OU turned it over 19 times, while Baylor coughed it up on 18 occasions.
The Sooners get a nice little four-day break before getting back to action when they host Kansas at 7 p.m. CT Saturday for Senior Day.
”I think this break comes at a great time where we can kind of regroup after the wall and head into the final throws of the season,” Coale said.
They’ll conclude the regular season two days later at Texas Tech.
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