NORMAN, Okla. -- Sophomore Aaryn Ellenberg scored a game-high 20 points to lead Oklahoma past Central Oklahoma, 86-52, in its exhibition opener Wednesday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Taking to the court for the first time after the gaduation of two-time All-American point guard Danielle Robinson, the No. 15 Sooners rose above their growing pains and established an offense that shot 46 percent from the field and made 10 of 21 3-pointers.
"I just thought (UCO) played really hard, played with a great sense of urgency and didn't look the least bit intimidated by us or this arena," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "Because of that we got better, they gave us a great challenge and they pushed us and exposed our areas of weakness and that gives us good film to go back and learn from and get better over the course of the week."
Both the Sooners and Bronchos encountered up and down moments and combined for 53 turnovers, but it was OU's consistency on offense that kept its lead growing.
"It was just like everyone was a little bit dazed, especially at the beginning," junior guard Whitney Hand said, "And then, we got tired and gave into the fatigue pretty easily. Defensively we were terrible at best. We have a lot of work left to do, but there are positives. We shot almost 50 percent from the three-point line and also from the field. It's not bad. We can score, we just have to play defense."
Ellenberg was the leader beyond the arc, hitting 4-of-12, but Morgan Hook, who replaced Robinson as starting point guard was 3-for-3 with 11 total point in an excellent debut.
"You look at her line," Coale said, "she's 3-for-3 from the 3 and she has six rebounds, five assists and one turnover. That's a pretty good stat line. As fantastic as Danielle was, I don't know many times she had five assists and one turnover and there were lots of good things that she did but that wasn't her forte."
Hand added to OU's scoring foray with 13 points and freshmen Sharane Campbell and DaShawn Harded added 12 each.
"She'll go try to make a play," Coale said of Campbell's efforts. "She's just an athlete. You can see that explosion and she still doesn't have any idea what she's doing defensively. I just love her immersion in the game, I love how she wants to try to make something happen."
"Its the first game in the big lights, lots of people -- not to make excuses," Hand added. "I want to see us just not care (about mistake), compete and play hard. The rest will take care of itself. We know that. We just have to go do it."
The Sooners return to the court for their final exhibition game Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.