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Oklahoma basketball: Sooners need better offensive rebounding against UCLA

The third-seeded Bruins, who have 6-foot-1 Markel Walker at one guard spot and three others in their lineup who are at least 5-11, will present some of the same matchup issues that hindered the sixth-seeded Sooners in the teams' earlier matchup.
BY JARROD ULREY, For The Oklahoman Published: March 24, 2013

Forward Atonye Nyingifa, who had 10 points and eight rebounds in the Bruins' 66-49 win over Stetson in its first-round tournament game Saturday, is one of six players who average between seven and 12 points per game.

Thea Lemberger had 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting, Walker had 16 points and 6-3 forward Alyssia Brewer, a Sapulpa native, added 15 points and 16 rebounds in UCLA's earlier win over the Sooners.

“I think it's great that we have so many players who can get a double-double,” Nyingifa said. “It shows the versatility of our team. You have to focus on all five players on the court at the same time. We're going to crash the boards. If a team tries to box us out, we'll definitely crash the boards harder.

“It was a great win early in the season, but as coach says, they're a new team and we're a new team playing with new intensity and new energy.”

The fact that the Sooners will have a different look than in the first matchup is undeniable.

Oklahoma got 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting and six rebounds in 38 minutes against UCLA from senior guard Whitney Hand, but a torn ACL ended her career in December.

Another factor that should dictate a different feel during the rematch is the improved play of McFarland.

The 6-3 senior had no points and just three rebounds in 17 minutes in the earlier matchup.

And she's “very motivated right now.”

“I don't want to lose,” McFarland said. “Every game could be my last game as a college athlete and I'm very emotional about that. I want to keep going and go home to Oklahoma City and win.”