Oklahoma women's basketball: Sooners hold off Marist

The Sooners struggled to put away the Red Foxes, but a late hustle play from Whitney Hand sparked a 14-2 run to help OU put Marist away for good.
BY TRENT SHADID Staff Writer tshadid@opubco.com Published: December 2, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma's Whitney Hand (25) celebrates in front of Marist's Casey Dulin (14) during the women's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Marist at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,  Sunday,Dec. 2, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Whitney Hand (25) celebrates in front of Marist's Casey Dulin (14) during the women's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Marist at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Sunday,Dec. 2, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

— The Oklahoma women's basketball team is all too familiar with adversity. Like they have during much of the season so far, the Sooners faced it again during Sunday's 68-55 win over Marist at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Over the course of the last month, Oklahoma has lost three key contributors to injury. Sophomore Kaylon Williams (Achilles) and freshman Maddie Manning (ACL) are out for the season, while junior Lyndsey Cloman's basketball career is over because of a back issue.

On Sunday, the adversity came in the form of an upset-minded Marist team that forced 11 first-half turnovers and had 12th-ranked Oklahoma on the ropes for much of the afternoon.

The turning point came on an incredible hustle play from Whitney Hand with seven minutes remaining in the game and the Sooners leading 53-50.

Hand dove out of bounds, making an overhead pass to Morgan Hook, who finished the play with a midrange jump shot. The play sparked a 14-2 run for the Sooners that would put the Red Foxes away for good.

“There's always moments that if you can grab them and bottle them you can change the destiny of the game,” Sooners coach Sherri Coale said. “I thought Whitney's save that Morgan converted really gave us the ignition that we needed.”

Hand was everywhere for the Sooners as the senior guard finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks.

Hook, who finished with 16 points, said of the play, “it just gave us a lot of momentum. We practice that all the time and to see your teammate dive out of bounds like that you just want to do something for her.”



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