NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma opened Big 12 play with an 80-51 rout of Iowa State Wednesday, Jan. 4, at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Joanna McFarland scored a career-high 19 points, hitting on five of her first six field goals, including two 3-pointers, as part of an Oklahoma scoring barrage that ended the first half with a 23-3 run. The junior forward had a personal best first half of 14 points and the Sooners turned up the wick on defense, holding the Cyclones to just 1-of-10 shooting over the final 12 minutes before halftime.
"Joanna was fantastic from the opening tip in every phase of the game," OU head coach Sherri Coale said, "from rebounding to scoring from every spot on the floor. The thing that I am most proud of her is her ability to move on to the next play now. She is so hard on herself that sometimes she is unable to do that.
"This (performance) is a perfect example for young players everywhere. Jo got in the gym this summer and earned the right to believe that every time she shoots it is going to go in."
Oklahoma extended its 33-20 halftime lead through a variety of offensive weapons. Sophomore Aaryn Ellenberg added a game-high 21 points, freshman DaShawn Harden scored 14 and Whitney Hand totaled 11.
The Sooners hit a season-high 11 of 18 3-pointers and found 21 points from its bench players. Each time Iowa State closed the gap, OU would push harder on the throttle, finishing the game with its largest lead.
"(The freshmen) have had to learn to be coached," Coale said. "They have failed and they have learned from it. There was a time when if the game was in question, five or six games ago, that I would never have put three freshmen in by themselves. Minute by minute and putting them in situations where every possession did matter, or even situations where it didn't, has helped."
The only threat to OU's attack game plan appear early, when point guard Morgan Hook got into foul trouble, but Harden responded with her best game as a Sooner, adding a season-high five rebounds and three steals to her totals.
Oklahoma will next face No. 9 Texas A&M, losers in overtime Wednesday to Kansas State, Sunday, Jan. 8, in College Station, Texas.