Oklahoma basketball: Loss of Whitney Hand leaves Sherri Coale with eight healthy players

The Sooners have a tough road going forward, but coach Sherri Coale says she was floored by her team's maturity after leader Whitney Hand went down Thursday night.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 7, 2012
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photo - UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL / OU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Only three substitutes are available in the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) play the North Texas Mean Green in NCAA, women's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012  in Norman, Okla.  Oklahoma's Jasmine Hartman (45), Nicole Kornet (1) and Portia Durrett (31) are the only healthy Sooners not on the floor.   Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL / OU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Only three substitutes are available in the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) play the North Texas Mean Green in NCAA, women's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma's Jasmine Hartman (45), Nicole Kornet (1) and Portia Durrett (31) are the only healthy Sooners not on the floor. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

How can this team carry on with so few healthy players? Are there options to add another body to the roster?

“Last time I checked, you can make it with five,” Coale said. “That's all that have to be on the floor at a time.”

It was 10 seasons ago when Coale last had a team with this much attrition.

The 2002-03 Sooners lost Erin Higgins and Caton Hill on the same November day, both with torn ACLs.

That team still earned an NCAA Tournament berth; Coale's Sooners have gone 13 straight seasons.

“I would not doubt the character of these kids,” Coale said. “They will find a way. We will piece it together.

“People of Oklahoma are gonna be really proud of our basketball team. If I was just Susie Q on the street, and wanted to feel better about everything in my world, I'd buy a ticket to go watch the women's basketball team play.”


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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