Oklahoma women's basketball: Depth, bench struggles present problems for Sooners

Injuries have sliced into OU's depth. Still, the reserves the Sooners do have must produce.
by Jason Kersey Published: January 18, 2013
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photo - 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
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

NORMAN — Oklahoma suffered its first Big 12 defeat of the women's basketball season Tuesday, when Iowa State cruised to a 21-point victory on its home floor.

The Cyclones' nearly duplicated their margin of victory in another category — they grabbed 20 more rebounds than the Sooners.

“That took a little bit more life from us, as well as trailing the whole time,” junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg said of the loss, during which OU missed its first 10 shots and never led.

“Rebounding would've been that one key thing that could've helped us get over that hump.”

The Sooners (14-3 overall, 4-1 Big 12) return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday inside Lloyd Noble Center against archrival Texas (7-9, 0-5 Big 12).

Lots contributed to Tuesday's loss in Ames, but among the most crippling problems for Oklahoma were leading rebounder Joanna McFarland's foul trouble — she picked up her fourth personal foul within two minutes after halftime — and a thin bench.

“Not only were we not getting production from the bench, we didn't really get production from (McFarland) because she was in such early foul trouble,” said OU coach Sherri Coale.

“Even when she did play, it had to be tentatively or carefully. We missed that, obviously.”

McFarland, a senior who is averaging nearly eight points and nine rebounds this season, was held Tuesday to three and five, respectively.

“Sometimes when you get quick (fouls), you don't know how (officials) are calling the game,” McFarland said. “So you just come out like you normally play. Either they're not calling anything or they're calling everything. You just don't know.



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