Ugly Still Counts As a 'W'

NORMAN, Okla. -- It doesn't have to be pretty, but at the end of the day, a victory is a victory.

The Sooners' performance in a 52-45 grinder victory over the Kansas State Wildcats Wednesday night in front of 5,142 at Lloyd Noble Center was the epitome of just that philosophy.

"A win is a win," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "No points were pretty. I'm proud of the guys for the way they gutted it out. They made some big plays down the stretch. Danielle [Robinson] was really good in the second half. We survived. We survived not making a three. We survived shooting poorly from the free-throw line. We survived shooting 30-percent from the field, and we missed a lot of rebounds. So, to survive all that and win you say, ‘thank you,' and run."

And all of that certainly was the case.

Robinson scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half.

In fact, she was the only Sooner in double figures in an abysmal offensive performance for the home team.

OU was a miserable 0-for-9 from long range.

It was a poor 63.6 percent from charity, converting 14 of 22 free throws.

The Sooners struggled to shoot in the 30s, making only 19.4 percent of their shots from the field in the first half.

The thing was, K-State wasn't much better.

Only one player, guard Brittany Chambers, finished in doubles with 11 points.

The Wildcats shot 34 percent in the contest, made only 2-of-12 from behind the arc and were also 63.6 from the free-throw line, making 7-for-11.

"I think we just turned our defense into our offense and we got a lot of deflections and we got a lot of shot clock violations and that was good for us to gain some momentum," Robinson said. "And that's what we needed to take a win."

It sure wasn't easy, though, in this defensive battle.

After taking an early 4-0 lead, the Wildcats used an 8-0 run to take a 4-point advantage of their own and never trailed again in the first half on their way to a 20-15 halftime lead.

Be it the stifling K-State defense or just a lack of efficiency, OU just couldn't generate any type of offense for a majority of the game, especially early, and that's why it stumbled to the second fewest amount of points ever scored in a half under Coale.

"I just think there were two great defensive teams," Chambers said. "We played hard on both ends, and I think that it was just a battle. It was more of a defensive game for sure."

OU scored at a better clip in the second half and took its first lead since it was 4-2 when guard Aaryn Ellenberg converted a layup with 15:05 remaining.

From that point on, there were only two more lead changes, but it was close throughout.

Leading only 46-45 with 1:43 left, forward Carlee Roethlisberger drained a pair of free-throws, spawning a 6-0 run to end the game.

The Sooners' 52 points was the lowest ever in a victory under Coale.

And their inability to hit from 3-point range was the first time this year and first time, in fact, since an 0-for-8 performance in a game at Texas A&M on March 2, 2010, that they failed to do so.

"No, I can't fathom this team playing 40 minutes and not making a three," Coale said. "I mean, I can't. It's just bizarre to me. I don't think it will happen very often, maybe once, maybe we're done with it. I hope so.

"But we had point-blank lay-ups and they're switching all those screens so you've got to go take lay-ups and you take what they give you and we couldn't make a lay-up. It's good for us to find another way to play, another way to score and another way to win. We're going to be better because of this. That's what I like about this team."

They'll take the experience from this one and yet another victory with them, as they head to Austin, Texas for a 12:30 p.m. CT showdown on Sunday against the Texas Longhorns.

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