Oklahoma women's basketball: Joanna McFarland came to the rescue for Sooners

OU needed someone to step up big after Whitney Hand's season ended with knee injury. McFarland answered the bell.
by Jason Kersey Published: March 28, 2013

She averaged 4.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 19.3 minutes this season before the night of Hand's injury. From that game on, those numbers are 11.5. 11.5 and 31.7, respectively.

McFarland's effort and energy have never been in question. Teammates describe her as the ultimate competitor, regardless of the competition. Board games, academics, even team stretching — she always wants to be the first player finished — are cutthroat, life-or-death contests to McFarland.

Coach Sherri Coale said McFarland “hates to lose almost as much as she loves to win.”

“I think what (Hand's injury) did was put her in a position where she couldn't afford to worry about not being perfect,” Coale said. “That's in her DNA.

“When Whitney went down, she was like, ‘I don't have time to worry.'”

Perhaps nothing illustrates the change in McFarland better than the Sooners' second-round win Monday over UCLA.

McFarland scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the victory. On Nov. 14, when Oklahoma at home to UCLA, McFarland started, played 17 minutes, grabbed only three rebounds and didn't score a single point.

“I'm literally playing every game like it's my last, because it can be, it might be,” McFarland said. “There's no tired. There's no ‘I can't.'”

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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2013 NCAA Oklahoma City Regional

When: Sunday (OU vs. Tennessee at 3:30 p.m.; Baylor vs. Louisville at 6 p.m.); Tuesday (8 p.m.)

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Tickets: All-sessions tickets — courtside levels ($48); end zones ($35); Individual session tickets — courtside levels ($32), end zones ($21.

Phone numbers: 1-800-745-3000; (405) 236-5000.

Website: okcallsports.org

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