WHoops: San Antonio Is In Sight

The Sooners are just one win away from their second consecutive Final Four, but they must defeat a pesky Kentucky team in order to get there.

And OU is both very aware and used to the hectic, helter-skelter style of play they will have to combat to get the big victory.

"Oh yeah, we're definitely confident in everything that we do," said OU junior point guard Danielle Robinson. "They pressure us, but it's nothing that we haven't seen coming into this game. The best thing is you can attack it and exploit it, and that's something we have to do for 40 minutes."

It's something they've battled before in contests against some of the conference's perennial powers.

"Well, I think we have a pretty good guess because we play in the Big 12 South," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "If anything can prepare you for that, it is that. We've played Texas A&M three times. We've played Baylor three times."

The obvious ingredient that those teams fuel from is forcing turnovers, and that's the same thing for the Kentucky Wildcats.

The Wildcats have forced 56 turnovers in their three NCAA Tournament games, good for nearly 19 per game over that stretch, including 22 against Liberty, 18 against Michigan State and 16 in their most recent game with Nebraska.

And they use that to speed up the tempo on the offensive end.

"I watched them a little bit when they played Michigan State, and I saw a little bit of their fight and fire and how they got out and ran in transition," said senior forward Amanda Thompson.

Thus, their efficiency executing in the transition game makes it even more important to avoid turnovers that force two-on-ones and three-on-ones for OU on the defensive end.

"They're just a team that plays hard," Thompson said. "I mean, they're scrappy. They're going to find a way to get in people and to get baskets. We're just going to have to keep our composure and use our basketball IQ to outwork them and outsmart them."

Within the halfcourt game, OU must find a way to slow down junior forward Victoria Dunlap, who averages 17.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, but the rest of the team, including freshman guard A'dia Mathies among others, poses problems as well.

"All of them are pretty athletic," Thompson said. "They work hard, and you know, they're fast. We've got quickness, too, so I mean, it'll be a great match up. The game will be fun."

It goes without saying that it will be a lot more fun for the Sooners if they could pull it out and head to San Antonio for next weekend.


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