Coale's Sooners dominate Tech, 78-39

1-23-08 - Four games into Big 12 Conference play, the Oklahoma Sooners were 2-2 and, in their own words, not having much fun.

But even as her team struggled, coach Sherri Coale knew the Sooners weren't far away from a dominating performance like the one they recorded Wednesday night.

Amanda Thompson scored 16 points, four other players reached double figures and No. 11 Oklahoma rebounded from a rare home loss by routing Texas Tech 78-39.

"We played hard on both ends of the floor," Coale said, noting the Sooners "shared the basketball (and) moved the basketball probably better than we have all season. Defensively I thought we just set our jaw and guarded them.

"Now, granted, they missed some shots, which we haven't seen people do lately, but for whatever the reason, it gave us some life."

Oklahoma (12-4, 3-2 Big 12) lost to conference rival Baylor on Sunday to fall two games behind the conference-leading Bears, but the Sooners rebounded nicely by beating Texas Tech (13-6, 1-4) for the fifth straight time.

Unlike the previous four wins in that streak, which came by a combined 15 points, Wednesday's game was lopsided from the start. The loss was Texas Tech's worst since falling 95-54 to Louisiana Tech on Jan. 11, 1990, and the Lady Raiders' point total was their lowest since scoring 37 in a loss to Iowa State on Jan. 2, 2000.

It was the second time in the last three games the Lady Raiders had scored 45 points or less. Tech shot 25.5 percent from the field (14-of-55) and had 23 turnovers, 18 of which were Oklahoma steals.

The Sooners also reached double digits in blocked shots, with 11, including five from 6-foot-4 junior center Courtney Paris and three by freshman Carlee Roethlisberger.

"We had a great weekend and came out tonight and we were not the same basketball team that I have seen," Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said. "We dug ourselves a hole early and really never got out of it."

Oklahoma led by double digits after eight minutes, build a 40-18 halftime advantage and cruised in the second half, building its lead to as many as 40 points. The Sooners haven't lost consecutive Big 12 games at home in almost three years.

"We didn't take the loss and sob," Thompson said. "We went back in the gym and worked and got better. We worked on defense a lot more and took more shots. We definitely made more shots and layups. We had a good approach to our loss. It worked. We came out strong today."

Paris had 10 points and 10 rebounds for her 77th straight double-double, sealing it with a basket with 9:05 left. The 10 points matched her career low, although she played only 24 minutes.

Despite posting double-figure point totals six times this season, Thompson had struggled with her shot and entered Wednesday's game shooting 40.7 percent. Against Texas Tech, she made seven of her first eight attempts and finished 8-of-13 from the field. She missed her career high by two points.

"I've been working off the court a lot to get my jump shot right," Thompson said. "It felt good to make shots in a game. ... Shooting also opens up my passing. If I look more aggressive shooting, then I can look more aggressive passing."

Coale agreed.

"I think she's more poised on the offensive end. I think she's more sure of all of the elements of her game," Coale said.

"Some of that comes from feeling confident in being a triple threat player. She can drive it to the rim, she can shoot it if they back up or she can pass it and find the open guy. So much of that stems from being able to knock down a shot and knowing that you can knock down a shot."

Maria Moore led Texas Tech with 15 points. Dominic Seals, who scored 27 points in the Lady Raiders' 70-58 win over Texas on Sunday, had only 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting against Oklahoma.

Three other players scored in double figures for Oklahoma -- Jenna Plumley and Danielle Robinson, who had 12 points each, and Ashley Paris, who had 10 points. Oklahoma shot 47 percent from the field (31-of-66) and outrebounded Texas Tech 51-34.

Oklahoma is 2-1 in its current five-game homestand, with games remaining against Georgia and Kansas.


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