Sooners hammer Matadors

OU guard Aaryn Ellenberg

NORMAN, Okla. — Guard Aaryn Ellenberg continued her job of becoming the heart and soul of the Whitney Hand-less Sooners, pouring in a game-high 24 points to guide them to a 79-57 smacking of the Cal State Northridge Matadors Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

She managed 16 of those in the first half on 4-for-6 shooting from behind the arc, which propelled OU to a 37-24 advantage at that point.

"I think when I slow down [good things happen]," Ellenberg said. "I get rushed a lot and sped up, and I had a few turnovers tonight because that, too. But I think when I slow down and Morgan [Hook] and Jas [Jasmine Hartman] and them did a great job penetrating. I got a lot of wide open shots, so I mean when they're doing that, it helps me a lot. It just makes it a lot easier to just be calm and knock down shots."

But it only got worse from there.

The Sooners used a quick 9-2 run out of the break to go up by 20, their largest margin of the game.

By the halfway point of the second half, they led by nearly 30 points when guard Sharane Campbell cashed a 3-pointer as part of her 10 points.

They would cruise to the finish from there.

It's certainly a welcome return from Christmas break for a team that somewhat reeled into it by losing its star player and dropping a home contest to Vanderbilt en route to falling to 7-3 before defeating UC Riverside.

"I was really, really proud of our guys today," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "We practiced. The play was an extension of the way that we practiced over the break. Was really proud of the way they came back on the 26th. They were ready to go, a lot of retention from things we had talked about before the break, a lot of concentration and that showed itself today."

Along with Ellenberg and Campbell, forward Portia Durrett finished in double figures with her nicest game thus far as a Sooner featuring a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

"I felt better," Durrett said. "Today was basically to clear my mind. I'm just like today I felt like I just played, and like in the past I really haven't played [like that]. I was basically thinking too much, but now it's just time to play. So, it's clear and I feel better."

Center Nicole Griffin also did so with 11 points.

Northridge guard Janae Sharpe and forward Jianni Jackson each had 12 for the visiting Matadors.

OU now doesn't get much of a break to fine-tune anything else with its recently bolstered team featuring newcomers Tara Dunn and Eden Williams as it heads into conference play with a 7 p.m. CT Wednesday game against West Virginia at Lloyd Noble Center.

But the progress has to be pleasing with the Sooners (10-3) hitting double-digit wins facing a brutal Big 12 stretch in front of them.

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