Sooners Salvage Season Split Vs Cowgirls

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners let the first Bedlam meeting slip away, but that was not to be this time around, as they took the lead in a tight contest with around seven minutes to go and never relinquished it, defeating Oklahoma State 80-71 Saturday afternoon in front of an electric environment at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Fantastic crowd today, I thought our fans were just phenomenal," said head coach Sherri Coale. "Our kids enjoyed playing in that environment and played well. So, if all of our fans are still listening, come again and we will promise to give you 21 assists to eight turnovers."

Certainly, it's hard to ignore how efficient the Sooners were offensively, especially in the second half when they converted nearly 50 percent of their shots.

But much of that efficiency and a huge reason OU held onto the lead was in large part because of the play from freshman guard Sharane Campbell, who guided OU with a team-high 20 points on an efficient 6-for-9 shooting day.

At perhaps one of the biggest points in the contest, with OU leading 64-61 and just 5:06 to play, Campbell powered to the basket and finished an and-one to double OU's lead.

Later on, she busted a crucial jumper en route to helping OU seal it up.

"Of course I can be that difference maker," Campbell said. "Anybody can be that difference maker. On different possessions, Jelena [Cerina] was a difference maker. Morgan [Hook] was a difference maker. Everybody can be that. I just happened to be that on every other possession maybe."

As she mentioned, though, Celina's presence proved paramount as well.

She finished with 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting and really had the OSU defense off balance in the second half.

"There are lots of things--had it not been for one small thing like suddenly a freshman knowing to seal out on a cover-down when a big helps over---those little tiny things for our team can add up one way which can be very negative if you're not doing them," Coale said. "Suddenly, there is a huge positive when you are doing them. I think this is exactly what has happened with Jelena's personal game. She slows down and is able to read. She is an excellent passer. She has that typical flare of being able to distribute the basketball, which foreign players are often known for.

"She cannot be a great passer if she is not a scoring threat initially. So, slowing down and making some baskets around the rim will then set her up to do the things she is really gifted at."

And it rubs off on the rest of the team, no doubt.

But much of it starts with the leader.

That's the point guard.

"We also got her some easy looks off the ball screens and a lot of that credit goes to Morgan Hook," Coale said. "Being able to establish an interior game, especially on a night when we are cold again from the 3, was incredible."

So, it truly proved to be a complete team offensive and defensive performance, highlighted by the outings of a few individuals.

The Sooners took the first lead in a first half that featured four early ties and five lead changes.

They had a narrow one-point advantage at 35-34 after the initial 20 minutes.

The teams traded the lead four more times and tied seven more in the second half before OU took over with Campbell's key plus-one play.

Along with Campbell and Cerina, guard Aaryn Ellenberg also finished in double figures with 16.

Oklahoma State guard Tiffany Bias and forward Liz Donohoe tied Campbell with a game-high 20.

Guard Jenni Bryan added 11.

The Sooners get back to action when they face Baylor at 8 p.m. Monday in Waco.

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