Sooners Open Big 12 Play With Big Win Over Iowa State

Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 10:22 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma women's basketball team opened the Big 12 portion of its schedule with an 80-51 victory over Iowa State Wednesday night in Norman.

The win is the sixth in a row for the Sooners who are now 9-3, 1-0 on the season.

The Sooners put together an impressive run late in the first half thanks to a 14 point first-frame by Joanna McFarland to help OU go on a 20-3 run before the break.

Oklahoma tightened up its defense and McFarland came alive and made 5-of-6 from the field for her first double-digit half of her career.

"I thought we defended really well on the night," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "We had to make an adjustment on the ball screen, but we did that and really defended well tonight."

At the break, Oklahoma held a 33-20 lead. The Sooners shot 57.1 percent from three point range and 46.4 percent from the field.

In the Second, McFarland continued to play well and she was helped by Aaryn Ellenberg who scored 20 or more points for the sixth game this season. Ellenberg tallied 21 points, four rebounds and three steals.

The Sooner saw a big night from freshman DaShawn Harden who came off the bench to shoot 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from three point range and finish with 14 points, five rebounds and three steals on the night.

"DaShawn was really good," said Coale. "I took her out at the end of the game and she said ‘this is fun'."

After shooting well in the first half, the Sooners had a stint of undisciplined play riddled with careless turnovers and quick shots. Iowa State tried to use that to their advantage, but the Sooner defense held the Cyclones to 35 percent shooting to keep control of the game.

McFarland had arguably the best game of her career as she tied her career high with 19 points and nine rebounds. She was one point shy of her second double-double of the year.

"She was just fantastic. What I have been most impressed with is that she is very much a perfectionist and she is learning how to play though mistakes—to drop it and move on," said Coale.

"I thought she (McFarland) played free and confident and she and DaShawn had a great night. If I had an MVP award for tonight it would go to them," added Coale.

Iowa State was led by Chelsea Poppins who scored 12 and pulled down seven rebounds. The Cyclones were held to 35.3 percent shooting from the field and 26.1 percent from behind the arc.

The Sooners finished shooting 50 percent from the field and 11-of-18 from three-point range.

Oklahoma moves on to face Texas A&M in College Station on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m.