Bears Wallop Sooners

NORMAN, Okla. — The Lady Sooners battled, but the Lady Bears just had too much firepower for them, triumphing over the Crimson and Cream 89-58 Thursday night at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Well, I thought we did a really good job early of penetrating and kicking and sharing the basketball, moving it around, moving off penetration," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "But we just got worn down and we don't have anywhere to go. Guys are playing multiple, multiple minutes and it's a real challenge obviously to try to defend them and then that carries over and there's just a snowball."

Guard Aaryn Ellenberg played 37 minutes, guard Morgan Hook 35.

Guard Whitney Hand played 34 minutes, totaling 106 minutes between OU's three starting guards.

Meanwhile, Baylor looked as fresh as could be, rolling out player after player.

"Well, they're the No. 1 team in the country," Coale said. "They have incredible athletes at every position. They come in off the bench with incredible athletes, and we're just really, really thin right now due to injuries. So, yeah it's a combination."

Baylor's balanced scoring attack featured six players in double figures, including star center Brittney Griner, who finished with a team-high 18 points.

Guards Odyssey Sims, Terran Condrey and Kimetria Hayden added 14, 14 and 10, respectively, while forwards Destiny Williams and Brooklyn Pope had 13 and 10, respectively.

"They're all really good players," Coale said. "They're good at every position. And you know, Odyssey Sims is just tough and hard-nosed and she makes big plays and it's hard to keep Destiny Williams off the board when you're trying to keep Griner off the boards and same thing with Brooklyn Pope and it's the depth at those positions, too."

For a majority of the night, however, the Sooners did hold Griner in check.

In fact, she only had five points and five rebounds at halftime.

Still, she ended up being a big factor in the second half, largely on the defensive end as she blocked six of her seven shots in the final 20 minutes.

Griner contested shot after shot and even produced on the offensive end in midst of that as well with 13 second half points.

"Just keep running our offense really," said Griner, when asked how they responded to OU's defensive plan of locking down two defenders on her in the post. "When Terran hit that three [in the second half], it definitely gave us a boost. That was the spark that was able to get us going. After that, I felt like everybody was just ready to increase our lead."

Hand served as one bright spot for the Sooners.

She had her best shooting night in a while, going 7-for-13 on her way to leading all scorers with 19.

Guards Sharane Campbell and Aaryn Ellenberg finished as the only other Sooners in double figures with 12 and 11, respectively.

"Ellenberg and Hand are two of the best in the league at coming off screens and shooting 3," said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey. "I just thought if you look at their stats from the 3, we had a hand in their face every time they shot and every time they came off screens. I was most proud of our defense."

Baylor took the initial lead and jumped out to an 11-5 advantage in the first 5:43.

OU then went on an 11-4 spurt to seize its only lead of the game at 16-15.

From that point, the Bears took control and leapt out to a 15-point intermission lead.

But OU made a furious sprint back into it early in the second half.

A 10-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer and runout layup from Hook, shaved a 46-30 advantage to a 6-point game.

That's when Baylor took over, though.

Condrey's three that Griner referred to quickly sparked an 8-0 spurt and that helped them score 19 of the game's next 22 points to go up by 22.

It was never remotely close again, as Baylor led by as much as 34.

"Kind of like Coach was talking about in the locker room--you get punched, you come back and fight back," Hand said. "You get punched, come back. That last punch, I don't know. We just didn't do a good job on the court of staying together, fighting together. For us, one point turned into 10 points, and next thing you know, you're down by 20."

The Bears outshot the Sooners 49.3 percent to 36.7 percent and dominated the glass 45-30.

Because of that, they won the points in paint battle 36-20.

OU will look to get back on track when it heads to Missouri for a 4 p.m. Saturday tipoff, while Baylor takes its perfect 20-0 record back home to face Kansas at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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