Sooners Down WKU in Home Opener
|Points||Givens - 21||Pellington - 33|
|Rebounds||Givens - 7||Williams - 15|
|Assists||Abdelgawad - 5||Two players - 4|
|Steals||Givens - 5||Veitenheimer - 5|
|Blocks||None||Williams - 3|
NORMAN – Sophomore Shaina Pellington scored a career-high 33 points and freshman guard Taylor Robertson added in 24 points off the bench as Oklahoma defeated New Mexico, 90-83, inside Lloyd Noble Center on Friday.
OU knocked down 14 3-pointers in the victory as the Sooners won their 11th consecutive season opener. Pellington's 33 points are the most scored in a by Sooner in a season opener in program history. The sophomore was 10-of-24 from the field, hit three 3-pointers and set a career-high with nine rebounds.
Robertson's eight 3-pointers are tied for the fourth most in a single game in program history and the single-game record for an OU freshman. The McPherson, Kan., native chipped in six rebounds and pair of assists in 28 minutes off the bench.
Freshman Madi Williams recorded her first career double-double in her OU debut, finishing with 15 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the win. Williams is the first OU freshman since Courtney Paris (2005-06, vs. SMU) to have at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in a game.
“It’s good to get win number one under our belt. I thought we did some really good things and we did some not-so-good things," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "There were moments of brilliance and moments of recess. That’s going to be the way for a while as we grow up and get the experience of playing with the lead and handling momentum, managing the clock and understanding situations. But it was a great test for us, Western Kentucky is good, they’re going to beat a lot of people."
OU led 38-25 at halftime and limited the Lady Toppers to just a .294 shooting percentage in the first half. In the fourth quarter, WKU trimmed the OU lead down to 64-57 with 6:47 to play, but the Sooners answered with a trio of 3-pointers from Pellington, Robertson and Tatum Veitenheimer to extend their lead back to double-digits.
Veitenheimer also finished in double figures, scoring 11 points and finishing with a team-high five steals in 36 minutes.
The Sooners’ pressure defense forced 25 turnovers as OU scored 18 points off Lady Toppers’ turnovers. WKU finished the game with .425 shooting from the field, while OU posted a .423 clip from the field. On the glass, OU won the rebounding battle by a 53-41 margin.
Oklahoma returns to action on Thursday against Northwestern State. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center.