A few minutes after Robinson exited the postgame press conference, Coale recalled her comment.
"What’re you doin’ watchin’ that game before we play?” Coale said.
She raised an eyebrow.
"Uh, oh. Busted. Perhaps looking ahead just a bit.”
Maybe so. How else to explain 22 turnovers, most of them of the bumbling, stumbling variety? Players threw passes to no one, stepped out of bounds, dribbled off their foot.
And how else to explain three stars gone south?
Robinson had 13 points but six turnovers.
Amanda Thompson had only six points and three rebounds.
Nyeshia Stevenson had 10 points but three turnovers and missed all of her 3-point attempts.
"I can’t remember the last time Danielle Robinson, Amanda Thompson and Nyeshia Stevenson were all subpar,” Coale said. "I just can’t remember it.”
There have been times when one of the three has been off, but the others have picked up the slack.
It took a 19-point, 11-rebound performance from Abi Olajuwon for the Sooners to survive.
"A win is a win,” Olajuwon said. "We always strive to do our best, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to grind it out and get the W.
"That’s what we had to do tonight.”
What the Sooners will have to do Sunday night is play much better. Can’t have stars go missing. Can’t have twice as many turnovers as assists.
But this team has played its best against the best.
"The Sweet 16 is a big deal to these kids,” Coale said. "This is what our guys have been shooting for.
"I think we’ll be really focused.”