Sooners Collar Leathernecks

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 04, 2013
Western Illinois UTA
oklahoma Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- No. 17 Oklahoma warmed up for its looming matchup with No. 2 Duke with a 97-80 win over Western Illinois Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Aaryn Ellenberg led five Sooners (6-2) in double-digit scoring. Ellenberg hit seven 3-pointers and totaled a season-high 25 points.

Starters Morgan Hook added 14 points, Nicole Griffin had 13 and Sharane Campbell 12 for the Sooners (6-2) and Nicole Kornet added 10 off the bench.

“(Western Illinois) shot the ball extremely well and they played their tails off for 40 minutes," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "I have such respect for the way they’re coached, the way they compete, and they’re going to win a lot of basketball games if they play that hard and shoot that well.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field. OU was 38-of-70 (54 percent) and Western Illinois made 28-of-54 (52 percent). Both teams made 10 3-pointers.

"I think we did some good things. We had some periods where we plateaued and lost our focus, lost our concentration. We were able to zap it back but we have got to get rid of those lapses. It’s part of the process, it’s why we play games, it’s why we do what we do.”

Ashley Luke scored 27 points, two shy of her career best, and grabbed six rebounds and six steals, for Western Illinois (4-5). Rebecca Henricson added 18.

The Sooners broke away from a 10-10 tie with a 12-0 run fueled by Hook's seven points. The Leathernecks kept the game under double figures until Ellenberg had a burst where she made a jump, assisted Shaya Kellogg's layup and then knocked down a 3-pointer for a 43-28 lead with 4:27 before the half. The lead never got below double figures after that and when Ellenberg hit a late 3 it was 51-34 at halftime.

The Sooners face Duke Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m.  All fans in attendance will receive a free commemorative crimson T-shirt as OU plans to "Crimson Out" the arena for the matchup.

“I think that schedules give you opportunities and when opportunities present themselves you better snag them," Coale said. "I’ll tell you what, Sunday is an opportunity. You can talk around it, below it, and beside it, but it’s an opportunity and we need to take advantage of it.”



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