Oklahoma basketball: Sherri Coale's Sooners try to get back on track against Samford

After falling to the Red Foxes, the Sooners had four days off before returning to practice on Thursday, leaving a lot of time over the holiday to think about their latest defeat and difficult start to the season.
by Trent Shadid Modified: December 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm •  Published: December 28, 2013

photo - Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale schools her freshman guard T'ona Edwards as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) play the Wichita State Shockers in NCAA, women's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale schools her freshman guard T'ona Edwards as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) play the Wichita State Shockers in NCAA, women's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

— It's been a rough Christmas for the Oklahoma women's basketball team.

A 76-69 loss at Marist on Dec. 21 gave No. 25 OU (8-4) its fourth setback before January for the first time since 1998.

After falling to the Red Foxes, the Sooners had four days off before returning to practice on Thursday, leaving a lot of time over the holiday to think about their latest defeat and difficult start to the season.

The Sooners will finally have the chance to get the losses off their minds when they take on Samford at 2 p.m. Sunday inside Lloyd Noble Center.

“It's about that identification process,” said OU coach Sherri Coale said. “They have to learn what their trump card is. They have to learn what that thing is that they have to be able to hang their hat on, that they can do better than anybody else in the world.

“I think it's always a reflection of leadership issues when you play a third of the season and you don't have an identity yet. I take as much responsibility as the supposed leaders of our team do.”

The Sooners have been potent on the offensive end with regular starters Aaryn Ellenberg, Morgan Hook, Nicole Griffin, and Sharane Campbell all averaging double figures scoring per game.

But the defensive end hasn't been as effective. In its four losses, OU has surrendered an average of 87 points per game.

“We've not been consistent in any phase of the game,” Coale said. “We have to guard people together. It sounds like an easy answer, and it is very simple, but we're not guarding people together. We're not committed to the mission of keeping the ball out of the paint. We have to show a consistent commitment to that.”

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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