NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale was scratching her head after dropping an 81-67 decision to seventh-ranked Baylor on her home court.
“Strangest game I have ever been a part of,” said Coale. “There was never any rhythm to the game whatsoever. We got discombobulated at the beginning and never really were able to get on track.”
While Coale watched scoring leader Aaryn Ellenberg and center Nicole Griffin have to sit with foul trouble, Baylor freshman Nina Davis recorded a double-double in the first half and and as the Lady Bears pulled away late in the opening 20 minutes en route to their seventh straight win overall against the Sooners. Davis finished with 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Oklahoma (14-9, 5-5 Big 12) kept the game close in the early going and managed to pull even on two occasions in the first half, but the Lady Bears (19-3, 9-1) never trailed in the game.
After Oklahoma had closed the gap to four at 27-23 with 6:51 left in the opening 20 minutes, Baylor went on a 16-1 run led by NCAA scoring leader Odyssey Sims, who didn’t hit her first basket until the 12:12 mark of the first half. The 5-8 senior scored back to back buckets and a free throw in the middle of that run and the Lady Bears expanded the lead to 19 before settling for a 47-31 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Oklahoma mounted a comeback behind the shooting of Morgan Hook, who scored 14 of her 18 points after intermission. Hook’s 3-pointer with 11:03 left in the game cut Baylor’s lead to 57-50, but that was as close as the Sooners could come the rest of the way.
“When our two best scorers went out of the game we didn’t cower down and lose by 40,” Hook said. “We came back and kept fighting.”
For the Sooners, scoring leader Aaryn Ellenberg spent most of the night in foul trouble. She failed to hit a shot from the field in the first half and got her only basket of the game in the opening minute of the second half. Ellenberg picked up three fouls before halftime and recorded number four with 16:35 to play. She fouled out with just four points - 15 below her average - in only 13 minutes of playing time.
Three Oklahoma players fouled out of the contest.
“We had some guys who were tired and playing out of position because of early fouls,” said Coale. “The foul situation helped takes us out of it.’
Sims recovered from her slow start to lead all scorers with 27 points, but was only 8 for 23 from the field.
Even though she was only credited with three assists, Mulkey was impressed with her star’s floor leadership.
“Yes, Odyssey is our catalyst but Odyssey can pass the ball and whip it to anyone she sees open,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “She doesn’t mind doing it with everyone.”