NORMAN — Aaryn Ellenberg collapsed near the baseline early in the second half of Wednesday's game against TCU.
Oklahoma's leading scorer was helped off the court, examined on the Sooners' bench and carried into the tunnel for an X-ray on her injured ankle.
All the while, her Oklahoma teammates responded to another injury with familiar resolve; the Sooners exploded for a 17-1 run that effectively ended TCU's upset bid and lifted Oklahoma to a 74-53 victory at Lloyd Noble Center.
Ellenberg — who sprained her ankle but is “fine,” according to coach Sherri Coale — walked back to the Oklahoma bench on her own power. By then, the game was well in hand, allowing the junior to kick back and watch her team secure the win without her.
“We just went off, and we didn't even really notice that she wasn't on the court,” said senior forward Joanna McFarland, who scored seven points and grabbed 12 rebounds Wednesday.
“That makes a really big statement for our team.”
Oklahoma's attrition has been well-documented this season; since preseason practices began, four Sooners have suffered season- or career-ending injuries.
Still, Oklahoma enters its next game — Sunday at West Virginia — 16-4 overall and 6-2 in Big 12 Conference play.
“They just move ahead unfazed,” Coale said of her team's resolve. “(Ellenberg) goes down in the second half, and they didn't panic — matter of fact, they just turned up the intensity and attention to detail — had a tremendous run there in the second half.
“These guys are fun to coach because they believe in each other, and they believe they can win games.”
Oklahoma missed eight field goals to begin Wednesday's game, allowing the Horned Frogs (7-12, 0-8 Big 12) to take an early 11-0 lead.
Ellenberg's 3-pointer around five minutes into the game halted the Sooners' slump, though, and Oklahoma grabbed the lead for good a few minutes before halftime.
Sophomore guard Sharane Campbell, a former Star Spencer standout, led all scorers with 23 points, including nine straight following Ellenberg's injury.
Freshman Zahna Medley led the Horned Frogs with 18 points.
“We don't need any more situations to make us prove that,” Coale said when asked about her team's continued resilience in the face of adversity.
“That's just sometimes the way it goes. Kids — people, in general — have to give themselves permission to be great, and sometimes necessity enables them to do that.”