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

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

“That does lead to frustration. When the game's not going your way, too, it leads to more frustration and more fouling.”

The larger problem looming over this Oklahoma team, though, is its bench; OU's well-documented injury problems have left it with inexperienced reserves who have struggled to produce consistently.

In five conference games, OU's three reserves who have played — senior Jasmine Hartman, junior Portia Durrett and freshman Nicole Kornet — are averaging a combined 29.9 minutes, 2.8 points and 3.6 rebounds.

“We need production,” Coale said of her reserves. “We need efficiency. ... We just need more consistency coming off the bench.”

Hartman sat out the entire season last year with a torn ACL, and Durrett and Kornet are first-year Sooners.

“At this time of year, you don't get the maximum reps which make those things second nature, because you're trying to prepare for all these opponents,” Coale said. “There becomes a period there where everything is pretty gray and murky for guys that aren't getting a whole lot of reps.

“They just have to play through that. There's light at the end of the tunnel. It'll get better in a couple weeks but it's hard right now.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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