NORMAN — The 17th-ranked Oklahoma women's basketball team hosts No. 2 Duke on Sunday, continuing its push through a rugged nonconference schedule that has also included Gonzaga, Louisville and a trip to UCLA.
“I think that schedules give you opportunities, and when opportunities present themselves you better snag them,” said OU coach Sherri Coale. “I'll tell you what, Sunday is an opportunity. You can talk around it, below it, and beside it, but it's an opportunity and we need to take advantage of it.”
The Sooners (6-2) are coming off a 97-80 win over Western Illinois on Wednesday, when they were successful on a season-high 54.3 percent of their field-goal attempts. Guard Aaryn Ellenberg scored a season-high 25 points in the victory.
The senior had been on a bit of a shooting slump of late, making only 7 of 30 field-goal attempts (23.3 percent) in the Sooners' previous two games — a loss at UCLA and a win at home over Creighton.
“I think it's going to be important for me to play well and to shoot well,” Ellenberg said. “I kind of haven't been doing that lately. I don't really know why. It felt good to knock down a couple of shots and get in a rhythm.”
The Blue Devils (9-0) will become the second top-five team OU has hosted this season. The Sooners lost in overtime to No. 5 Louisville on Nov. 17.
“Honestly, it is just rankings,” junior guard Sharane Campbell said of facing Duke. “It's another game but at the same time, it's a big game, of course. We just have to play how we know how to play. I'm not going to say, ‘They are the No. 2 team, so we have to do this or this differently.
“We just have to play like we know how to play.”