NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale saw her team’s long-lost offensive rhythm return during Wednesday’s second half.
“Sharing the ball, changing sides of the floor,” Coale said. “Just looking more confident, more poised with each and every possession along the way.”
The Sooners snapped their only losing streak of the season Wednesday, topping Kansas State 72-57 at Lloyd Noble Center to secure the 39-year old program’s 700th all-time victory.
Junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooners (19-7 overall, 9-4 Big 12) with 18 points. Senior forward Joanna McFarland added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and junior center Nicole Griffin scored 14.
The Sooners’ two-game skid began Feb. 14, when they lost a tough, heartbreaking contest to Iowa State. Then in its last outing at Kansas, Oklahoma came out sluggish, missed shots and fell too far behind to come back to mount a second-half comeback.
Wednesday, though, it was OU’s opponent that struggled to make shots early. Kansas State hit only 7 of its 34 field-goal attempts in the first half, allowing the Sooners to take a 36-21 lead into the break.
“Tonight was fun, and that’s what we were trying to do,” McFarland said. “We were trying to take a deep breath and just go back to having fun. That’s what got us here.”
Griffin’s increasing confidence and production also played a key role; entering Wednesday, she had averaged 15.4 points and shot a team-high 55 percent from the field.
Against Kansas State, she extended her career-long streak of double-figure scoring games to seven.
“I’m confident ... I’ve been a lot better with being more patient,” Griffin said.
Senior guard Brittney Chambers led K-State with 21 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Brianna Craig added 12 points and eight boards. The Wildcats (13-13, 4-10 Big 12) have now lost three straight games.
The skid snapped, Oklahoma shifts its focus to Saturday’s 2 p.m. Bedlam tilt with Oklahoma State inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
OU won the season’s first round of Bedlam, beating the Cowgirls 80-61 Feb. 10 in Norman. OSU snapped an eight-game series losing streak last season in Stillwater.