"We are thrilled to have our season continue and to let our seniors play their last game on the Lloyd Noble Center floor [and] let that be a win for them," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "And we're excited as can be to go to Kansas City and participate in the Sweet 16."
They will now square off at 6:30 p.m. Sunday against Notre Dame, who beat them earlier in the year in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and if they are fortunate enough to win that, a likely date in the Elite Eight awaits them against another foe that defeated them this season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
"Yeah, we're definitely excited to be going back to Kansas City first of all to be one of the last 16 teams playing," said junior guard Danielle Robinson. "Notre Dame had a great win tonight. I thought they played awesome. We just got to go in and focus [on Notre Dame]. Of course you remember the game. It was right after Whitney [Hand] got hurt, but we're a totally different team, I feel, than we were in November, so we're definitely making huge strides."
For awhile Tuesday night, though, it looked shaky.
The Sooners committed 22 turnovers against the Trojans, 14 of which were in the first half.
"[I give] a lot of credit to Arkansas-Little Rock," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "I thought they really competed and fought, and they get after you, and they guard you and have great speed and athleticism, and [they are] very well coached. Coach [Joe] Foley does an outstanding job. So, credit them with having a great game plan, playing very hard tonight."
Despite that, OU hardly trailed in a game that featured the No. 3 seeded Sooners against No. 11 Arkansas-Little Rock.
After falling behind 6-4 early, the Sooners turned it on in time to gain a commanding double-digit lead at 28-13 by halftime.
In fact, OU closed the half on an 11-0 and led by 10 at the 3:38 mark in the first.
The Sooners never led by less than 10 again, jumping up as many as 17 points in the waning moments of the game.
Junior forward Chastity Reed led the Trojans and all scorers with 20.