The first five minutes of the second half epitomized some of the ups and downs Oklahoma had during its 78-73 win over Central Michigan on Saturday.
After the Sooners led 43-34 by halftime, the Chippewas grabbed the first four offensive rebounds and forced two turnovers early in the second half to rally to within 45-41.
Also during that sequence, however, Central Michigan went just 2-for-7 from the floor, including a missed layup.
The Chippewas never got closer than four during the game's remainder, and the Sooners took their biggest lead at 71-60 with 3:10 remaining.
“We opened up the second half by giving up about five offensive rebounds and five turnovers,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “We just kind of panicked a little and handed them the ball a few times. It sort of snowballed from there. But we regained some poise and just started to steady things.”
FIRST-ROUND JITTERS GET BETTER OF CMU
Although Central Michigan hasn't been to the NCAA women's tournament since 1984, coach Sue Guevara believed her team was mentally ready for the experience.
A 10-0 run that gave Oklahoma a 20-10 lead with 11:15 left in the first half made her question that assumption.
“I was surprised at a couple people who were as tight as they were,” Guevara said. “We were able to get to the rack but missed some layups. I thought we were ready for the game mentally because of what we did last week (while winning the Mid-American Conference tournament). I thought we were doing what we wanted to do (in the first half).”