Sooners Move Past Sugar Bears

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
Central Arkansas
Central Arkansas

NORMAN  Oklahoma women's basketball defeated Central Arkansas, 65-52, Wednesday inside Lloyd Noble Center.

Sophomore guard Shaina Pellington led the Sooners (3-5) with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The sophomore scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half to propel OU to its eighth straight home win dating back to last season. 

“We were resilient enough to find a way to win despite not shooting very well," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "We missed a lot of easy buckets. Once again we had free throw issues, but we made big plays when we had to and just found a way to grind it out. I am really proud of them.”

Freshman guard Jessi Murcer poured in 10 points in the fourth quarter and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to help the Sooners pull away late from Central Arkansas (4-3). Murcer finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. 

Freshman forward Madi Williams added 12 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes of action, while Taylor Robertson scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. 

The Sooners led by one at halftime but relied on Pellington and Murcer in the second half. Pellington scored 12 of her 18 points in the third quarter, knocking down 5-of-6 from the field in the frame. Murcer scored 10 points in the final 3:35 against the Sugar Bears to help OU pull away late.

“It was just a mentality switch, kind of like what coach mentioned, knowing we need to come out big the second half," Pellington said. "We all talked in the locker room about what we all needed to do better; connection and energy were huge ones.”

OU posted a .464 field goal percentage and limited Central Arkansas to a .310 clip from the floor. The Sooners limited Central Arkansas to just 2-for-15 (.133) shooting from beyond the arc. On the glass, OU outrebounded UCA by a 43-37 margin as Mandy Simpson led the Sooners with eight rebounds.

Ijeoma Odimgbe also chipped in seven rebounds and finished with a career-high four blocks. 

Kamry Orr led the Sugar Bears with 17 points, while Mekaylan Hicks finished with 12 points as the only two Central Arkansas players in double figures. 

The Sooners host No. 20/17 DePaul on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma and DePaul will meet for the third time in the last two seasons. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

For more information on Oklahoma women's basketball, follow the Sooners on Twitter (@OU_WBBall) or like Oklahoma Sooners Women's Basketball on Facebook.