Women's Hoops Topples Texas A&M

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 21, 2012

(18-9, 10-5)
  1st 2nd F
 Texas A&M 30 25 55
 Oklahoma 33 31 64
Stats | Notes | Quotes | Photos | Highlights | Postgame

(19-7, 10-5)
 Hand's Milestone More Than Points
Redshirt-Junior Whitney Hand became the 26th Sooner to score 1,000 career points Tuesday night. Read More
 Stat Comparison OU TAMU
 Points 64 55
 FG Made-Att. 21-50 18-63
 FG Percentage 42.0% 28.6%
 3FG Made-Att. 5-13 3-9
 3FG Percentage 38.5% 33.3%
 FT Made-Att. 17-20 16-23
 FT Percentage 85.0% 69.8%
 Rebounds 44 35
 Assists 13 7
 Turnovers 19 12
 Blocks 4 1
 Steals 3 4
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma  Texas A&M
 Points  Ellenberg (23)  Carter (12)
 Rebounds  2 Players (7)  Gilbert (9)
 Assists  Hook (5)  Pratcher (2)
 Steals  Ellenberg (2)  Carter (3)
 Blocks  4 Players (1)  Elonu (1)
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 Season Stats | Big 12 Conference | NCAA
NORMAN, Okla. -- The race for second in the Big 12 Conference just became neck-and-neck.

Oklahoma survived a second-half scoring drought to topple No. 14 Texas A&M, 64-55, Tuesday.

The Sooners’ victory equalized the two teams at 10-5 in the conference standings behind No. 1-ranked Baylor, which clinched the outright Big 12 title tonight with a win over Texas. With three Big 12 games remaining, the Aggies still have the undefeated Lady Bears on their schedule.

"I think if you want to talk about signature wins," Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale said, "it is an important one because they are ranked in the top 20 in the country and because they are the defending national champs. But it’s most important because we are tied for second. We are tied for second in the league and we still control our own destiny."

Oklahoma scored the first six points of the second half and used that momentum to survive a 7 ½ minute scoreless span in which the Sooners were 0-for-10 from the field. Texas A&M closed a 12-point gap to 47-44 with 8:31 to play, but OU junior forward Joanna McFarland’s first points of the game enthused the Sooner offense as sophomore Aaryn Ellenberg followed with five straight points before the Aggies would shoot at their own basket.

"Vegas [Ellenberg] is such a momentum player for our team," Coale said. "When she is making shots, we run around and think we can do anything. That is what she gives us."

The Sooners' lead was never seriously threatened again as they finished the half hitting 5-of-11 field goals.

Point guard Morgan Hook finished the game converting all six of her trips at the free-throw line to add to her 19-point total as the OU point guard was spotless in assist-to-turnover ratio for the first time this season.

"I know you guys will ask about it," Coale said, "but the MVP is right here. How much has Morgan Hook grown up between the first time we played A&M and tonight. It looked like a completely different kid."

The sophomore, playing her first year at point guard, scored just one point in a 75-58 loss to Texas A&M in January.

Ellenberg scored a game-high 23 points and had six rebounds in the wake of a seven-game shooting slump. In her past three games, Ellenberg has made 47 percent of her shots and has scored nine or more points in five straight halves. OU's leading scorer averaged just seven points and was shooting 21 percent prior to breaking out.

"She is obviously back," Coale said. "If she was missing, we found her."

Whitney Hand scored 11 points to become the 26th Sooner to reach 1,000 in her career. The Lloyd Noble Center crowd of 6,602 gave the junior, who missed a season and a half after tearing her ACL, a standing ovation following her milestone layup.

Oklahoma outshot Texas A&M in the first half, but the Aggies kept the game close with 10 second-chance points off 14 offensive rebounds and went to the locker rooms down just 33-30.

The Sooners responded defensively in the second period, giving up just five offensive boards and two second-chance points to the Aggies.

"Ironically, we kind of shut down their offense with our offense by going at them and being aggressive and getting them in a little bit of foul trouble," Coale said. "That sort of changed their rhythm and the way they liked to play."

With the exception of Sydney Carter's team-high 12 points, the Sooners held Texas A&M's starters below their season scoring averages.



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