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Big 12 women's basketball: Iowa State too much for Sooners

OU fails to make adjustments, eliminated from Big 12 Tournament. Sooners now await March 18 assignment from NCAA.
BY GINA MIZELL Published: March 10, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma's Joanna McFarland (53), at right, wipes her eyes beside Aaryn Ellenberg (3) and Sharane Campbell (24), at left, during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Iowa State University at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Sunday, March 10, 2012.  Oklahoma lost 79-60. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Joanna McFarland (53), at right, wipes her eyes beside Aaryn Ellenberg (3) and Sharane Campbell (24), at left, during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Iowa State University at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Sunday, March 10, 2012. Oklahoma lost 79-60. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

That lead grew to 22 by the end of the first half and to 26 on a layup by Nicole Blaskowsky with 12:58 remaining.

“We just went bone dry, just like (Saturday) night,” Coale said. “And that's really, really hard, to summon that emotion to get back up that hill again. You need made baskets to give you some energy and some life, and we just couldn't get a ball to roll in.”

McFarland tallied 12 points and nine rebounds for OU, while Morgan Hook also scored 12 and added five assists. Aaryn Ellenberg totaled 11 points but made just three of her 16 shots from the floor.

Coale said after the game that her team plans to take a few much-needed days off before the NCAA Tournament field is announced March 18.

And she plans to use the overall weekend — both the dramatic comeback against West Virginia and Sunday's struggles against Iowa State — as another teaching tool in a season that has largely been about growth when faced with adversity.

“It took us until the end of February to figure out how to be mentally tough together when we're really tired,” Coale said, “when we're really physically worn down, when you've faced good opponent — no, great opponent — after great opponent after great opponent. And we figured that out.

“We put that all together, and we were really good against Kansas and we were really good against Texas Tech and we really good in the second half (Saturday) night against West Virginia.

“This quick turnaround and the great performance by Iowa State gave us yet another level of something to play through. When we get to the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, we'll be harder and better for it. It was a golden opportunity and I think if handled in the right way, it can be a great thing that happened to us.”


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