NORMAN — Texas Tech senior Chynna Brown's 3-point bucket pulled her team within four points of No. 16 Oklahoma with five minutes left Saturday inside Lloyd Noble Center.
Aaryn Ellenberg responded by doing what she does best. The OU junior scored her team's final 13 points — half of her game-high 26 — in the game's final 3:35 as the Sooners remained unbeaten in Big 12 Conference play with a 65-55 win over Texas Tech.
“Just credit her for stepping up and making big plays,” said Texas Tech coach Kristi Curry. “I think at that point, you have to credit Oklahoma. Certainly, they were able to make big plays and big shots.
“We know that she does that very well.”
But it wasn't Ellenberg's point total that made OU coach Sherri Coale most proud; it's her continuing evolution as an all-around player, as evidenced by her zero turnovers Saturday.
“She will never get enough credit for how much she's improved; I can promise you that, because that's the way it is,” Coale said. “When you're a great player ... who goes and talks about how much better Peyton Manning got from one year to the next?
“She's always been able to make 3s. ... Now, she jumps to the ball defensively. She's in the right place. She's anticipating on the weak side. She's moving without the basketball off of penetration. She's not standing and watching. She's talking in defensive transition. She's communicating with her teammates. She's forcing herself outside of her comfort zone and becoming a great player.”
Ellenberg said her improvement as a ballhandler boils down to improved patience.