Oklahoma junior guard Whitney Hand scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out five assists and added two steals in the Sooners' 70-59 Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal win over Missouri on Thursday night at Municipal Auditorium.
Hand was 3-of-11 from the field, but OU coach Sherri Coale pointed to Hand chasing down a loose ball during a 15-0 second-half run that altered the momentum.
“Whitney Hand is worth her weight in gold,” Coale said. “I don't care what a stat line says. I don't care what any percentages look like. None of that matters to me. From that (loose ball) forward, Whitney Hand got every loose ball, every long rebound.”
SOONERS DEFENSE CLAMPS DOWN
Missouri is the women's version of the Iowa State men's team. The Tigers rely heavily on 3-pointers. Mizzou hit six long-range shots the first half but only two the second half, the final one coming in the waning seconds.
“Credit our guys' commitment to covering 3-point shooters in the zone,” Coale said. “(We) made them use a lot of (shot) clock in the second half. Missouri was wanting to ride the 3-point wave. I don't blame them because they were going in.”
OU's FINAL GAME VS. A&M?
Oklahoma and Texas A&M have developed a rivalry that could end Friday afternoon in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. The two schools might meet sometime in the future, but with the Aggies moving to the SEC, it's uncertain when they will play again.
TALE OF TWO HALVES
Missouri led 33-23 at halftime. The Sooners outscored Missouri 47-26 the second half.
OU shot 26 percent the first half, 58 percent the second half.
Missouri shot 48 percent the first half, just 31 percent the second half.
“Part of it, yes, was Oklahoma's defense,” said Missouri coach Robin Pingeton. “But some of it was self-inflicted a little bit... Oklahoma upped the ante after halftime.”