Oklahoma basketball: No. 17 Sooners beat West Virginia

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: January 2, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma Sooner's Joanna McFarland (53) congratulates Sharane Campbell (24) after a rebound and is fouled with seconds remaining during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers 71-68 in NCAA, women's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Sooner's Joanna McFarland (53) congratulates Sharane Campbell (24) after a rebound and is fouled with seconds remaining during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers 71-68 in NCAA, women's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

The Sooners went 17 for 21 from the free throw line in the first half.

Early in the second half, McFarland helped revive the Sooners, who trailed by nine points. She had three layups from the right side of the basket in three consecutive possessions.

OU (11-2) continued to tie the game or fall behind by a basket over the next seven minutes. Then with 4:55 remaining in the game, Aaryn Ellenberg gave Oklahoma its first lead with a pair from the free throw line. A layup from Campbell and two more sets of free throws built Oklahoma's lead to six.

“We talked about it before the game that we had to go attack the pressure, and spacing exposes that,” Coale said about the Sooners' game plan to get to the line.

During the last five minutes of the game, three West Virginia starters — two guards and the center — fouled out.

“We were holding too much,” Mountaineers coach Mike Carey said. “We were pushing too much with two hands. ... I just thought the last five minutes we didn't play smart.”

OU's last five scoring chances of the game were off free throws. The game appeared decided with 4.7 seconds left until West Virginia's Brooke Hampton put up a 3-pointer. The referee called one last foul and five-tenths of a second were placed on the clock.

Hampton missed the first free throw, eliminating any chance of winning on a tip-in.

Taylor Palmer had 24 points for West Virginia (8-4).

Oklahoma next plays 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Texas.

by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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