Lady Sooners Get Back on Track

NORMAN, Okla. — Guard Whitney Hand described it as a long week and one without much sleep as OU was in midst of a three-game losing streak.

Perhaps that will change as the Sooners finally snapped it and got back into the victory column with a 72-50 triumph over Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sunday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Yeah, it is [a relief]," said head coach Sherri Coale. "It's really nice to score more points than the guy you're playing. And I saw some really good things, especially the first half. Our execution was solid, and we knocked down shots."

Their first three 3-point attempts, in fact.

Guard Whitney Hand, who was in a rhythm and finished with a team-leading 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting, had one of those, one of her two on the day.

"I heard Ray Allen once say, ‘I'm shooting good, but they're just not falling," Hand said. "I think that's where I am right now and I'm getting really good looks," said Hand, who finished So, that's a good thing."

That quick scoring flurry aided by Hand allowed the Sooners to open up a quick 9-3 lead in the opening 2:23, an advantage it would never concede.

By the 7:35 mark of the first half, OU had built a 24-5 lead with a 13-0 spurt.

With 4:08 remaining it the opening frame, the lead swelled to 23, and OU led it 41-23 at the break.

Although the Sooners played stingy defense early in the second half, they couldn't extend the advantage momentarily due to a 3:23 drought to start things off.

"We're still just a little bit immature in that our intensity level and the sharpness of our execution hinges upon whether or not we make shots," Coale said. "You know, we came out in the second half and we got a couple of real nice possessions and missed shots and then we didn't quite have the cadence that we had before."

"And we got to grow up and understand that we have to control the ways that we can and not allow ever our intensity level or sense of discipline to be dictated by things we can't control."

They got back into gear, though, midway through the second half and proceeded to go up by 25 three times and 26 at their largest point with 3:22 left en route to the victory.

Along with Hand, guards Aaryn Ellenberg and Sharane Campbell also finished in double figures for the Sooners with 14 and 13, respectively.

Campbell, the former star guard at Star Spencer High, showcased her athleticism with a perfect 6-for-6 outing from the field.

"It's been pretty difficult [transitioning from high school]," Campbell said. "In high school, I was doing everything. I come here and think to myself, ‘Oh, I can pass the ball now.' It's a lot easier that way, but I'm not going to lie, the transition has been hard. But, you have to come in here with an open mind and that's what I've been doing."

Center Courtney Lindfors was the only Panthers player in double digits with 15 points.

The Sooners (4-3) now get ready to head to Las Vegas for the Duel in the Desert Dec. 18-20, where they'll face Ohio, Syracuse and Xavier.

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