Oklahoma Pounds Syracuse, 82-63

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 19, 2011

  1st 2nd F
 Oklahoma 46 36 82
 Syracuse 34 29 63
Box Score | Notes | Highlights | Postgame

 Stat Comparison OU SU
 Points 82 63
 FG Made-Attempted 30-68 19-69
 FG Percentage 44.1% 27.5%
 3FG Made-Attempted 10-18 4-23
 3FG Percentage 55.6% 17.4%
 FT Made-Attempted 12-15 21-29
 FT Percentage 80.0% 72.4%
 Rebounds 50 43
 Assists 16 11
 Turnovers 18 14
 Blocks 4 11
 Steals 2 8
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma  Syracuse
 Points  Hook (21)  Hall (19)
 Rebounds  McFarland (16)  2 Players (9)
 Assists  Hook (5)  Hall (3)
 Blocks  4 Players (1)  Alexander (5)
 Steals  2 Players (2)  3 Players (2)
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Oklahoma's point guard play was the main question mark entering the season. Just nine games after replacing two-time All-American Danielle Robinson, Morgan Hook is making the Sooners' offensive concerns an afterthought.

Since dropping three consecutive games for the first time since March 2008, the Sooners (6-3) have won three while leading start-to-finish.

Hook scored a game-high 21 points and added six rebounds and five assists Monday as OU used a mob of offensive weapons and stifling defense to overpower Syracuse, 82-63, in the second day of the Duel of the Desert at UNLV's COX Pavilion.

"We hit some big shots, Morgan hit some big shots," OU head coach Sherri Coale said, "and that makes everybody relax a little bit.

"She's being very selective about when she shoots, when she feeds. It's as though that decision-making process is just getting clearer for her."

Hook made six of nine field goal attempts, including a season-high five 3-pointers, and added four points with perfect shooting at the free throw line to lead the Sooners' balanced attack.

Oklahoma jumped to a 16-point lead 12 minutes into the first half after Whitney Hand wrestled away rebounds on three straight Syracuse misses to set up two Aaryn Ellenberg 3's and a Hook layup.

Hook stole a halfcourt entry pass and turned it into two free throws during the run to put the game's momentum into OU's corner.

OU took turns running its gameplan both around the arc and in the paint. The Sooners finished the half through their frontcourt, getting eight of 12 points in the five minutes before halftime from Jelena Cerina, Nicole Griffin and McFarland and led 46-34 at halftime.

"I think we found some success going inside even though we didn't go very often," Coale said. "A couple of times that took some pressure off everybody as well."

McFarland scored a career-high 19 points and totaled eight rebounds as part of 50 grabbed by Sooners.

Oklahoma hit on 10 of 18 3-pointers and shot 80 percent from the free throw line.

And while the pressure was off Oklahoma's offense, the Sooners' defense clogged the lane against the Orange.

"Limiting them to one shot per possession, we did a really good job on the boards."

The Orange (8-4) entered the game with a plus-16 rebounding margin after leading the NCAA in the category last season and finished the game with seven fewer than Oklahoma.

The Sooners also frustrated Preseason All-Big East selection Kayla Alexander, holding Syracuse's leading scorer to just six points and two rebounds. Syracuse struggled to produce anything away from the rim, too, connecting on just four of 23 3-pointers and was under 28 percent overall.

Syracuse had four players averaging double-digit scoring but only Elashier Hall reached those numbers, needing to hit 11 of 13 free throws to do so.

OU emptied its bench and continued to increase its lead against Syracuse's starting five, gaining as much as a 27-point advantage with three minutes to play.

The Sooners face Xavier in Tuesday's tournament finale at 4:30 p.m. Central and can finish as the tournaments only undefeated team.



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