NORMAN, Okla. — Everybody knows to expect the unexpected when it comes to Bedlam. It’s safe to say that the Oklahoma State women’s basketball team didn’t expect a 19-point beatdown.
Led by Aaryn Ellenberg — who tallied 15 points in the second half alone and 17 points total — Oklahoma took the first round of Bedlam with a 80-61 win over the Cowgirls Sunday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
“We played pretty well for 17 minutes, then we had a little adversity and we did not handle adversity,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “That’s what disappoints me about our basketball team. We we’re right in the game... but we didn’t handle that adversity well.
“We missed five or six layups. We were right at the rim and had some opportunities to make shots. We maybe saw somebody out of the corner of our eye or whatever, but when you play a good team on their home floor like OU is you have to make easy shots. You have to make some tough shots, but you darn sure better make some easy shots and we didn’t make those easy shots.
After clinging to a 31-28 lead at halftime, Oklahoma (18-5, 8-3 in Big 12) started the second half with a 10-1 run, capped off by Sharane Campbell’s 3-pointer with 13:54 left to extend the lead to 49-36.
“Sometimes it just takes one,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “You make one and then everybody feels better and you’re good.”
The Cowgirls (16-6, 5-6 in Big 12) got off to a decent start, taking an early 10-5 lead 6 minutes into the game thanks to a pair of buckets by senior Toni Young.
But while Young provided the spark for Oklahoma State’s offense early, she struggled on the defensive end and picked up her second foul with 14:06 left in the first half.
“When you lose your leading scorer and your leading rebounder it has a great affect on you,” Littell said. “You probably have to play other people too many minutes that aren’t used to playing that many minutes. It takes away from you some of the things you want to do scheme-wise to get her the basketball. She’s had numerous games where she picks up two quick fouls and it changes the dynamics of how we play.”