NORMAN — Only two days after an emotional Senior Night victory over Kansas, the Oklahoma women's basketball team wraps up its regular season Monday night at Texas Tech.
Junior center Nicole Griffin isn't concerned about the quick turnaround, though, because of what she's seen lately from Oklahoma's bench players.
“It's a relief knowing that if you have to come out, they're gonna come in and handle it,” Griffin said. “When you come back in, it'll be the same.”
Oklahoma's injury problems and thin roster have been well documented, but the bigger issue has been a lack of production from the few reserves the Sooners have available.
Over the last several games, though, freshman guard Nicole Kornet has stepped up her game. Then Saturday, senior Jasmine Hartman was better than ever, scoring a career-high 18 points in a season-high 26 minutes of action.
“It's been five of them working their tails off, and I feel like we've gotta give them something back,” Kornet said. “They deserve it and they need it.”
Before Saturday's career performance, Hartman had only averaged 14.1 minutes and 1.1 points per game.
“We couldn't lose this game,” Hartman said. “We're trying to make the (NCAA) tournament. We have to have better fight than they have.”
Between a Valentine's Day loss to Iowa State and Saturday, Oklahoma has lost four of its last six games entering Monday's regular-season finale.
If the Sooners (20-9 overall, 10-7 Big 12) win in Lubbock, they'll clinch the No. 3 seed for the Big 12 Tournament, which begins Friday in Dallas.
With the third seed, Oklahoma wouldn't meet national No. 1 Baylor until Monday's tournament title game.
“It's gonna help definitely,” Kornet said of the bench's improved play. “Especially against Baylor. I feel like we can beat them if we just go out there, make our shots and help any way possible. I believe in us.”