Guard Aaryn Ellenberg picked a fine time to put together her best game of the season, as she canned 6-of-13 treys for 27 points to lead her team home, to another round that is, in a 85-72 upset of No. 3 UCLA.
The sixth-seeded Sooners advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Oklahoma City where they’ll face No. 2 Tennessee on Easter Sunday.
It certainly wasn’t easy to get there, though.
The Sooners, as has been the case all season with a shorthanded club, had to grind and scrap to pull away from the Bruins, and senior forward Joanna McFarland, who certainly played like a senior not wanting this to be her final game, exhibited that with timely rebound after timely rebound.
McFarland extended possession after possession down the stretch and finished with a game-high 16 boards—she also scored 20 points—to help OU head to the finish line.
And guard Sharane Campbell poured in 19 points in a terrific performance as well.
Because of all that, OU was able to overcome somewhat poor foul shooting in the second half on its way to victory.
The Sooners were the aggressor throughout, getting to the charity stripe 37 times for 26 makes, while the Bruins managed 12 few foul shots and hit 18 of them.
Five Bruins finished in double figures, led by forward Atonye Nyingifa’s 18.
But 11 3-pointers did them in.
UCLA outrebounded OU 50-37 and won the paint battle 36-18 but was outshot 40.7 percent to 38.2 percent.
Much was made of this rematch from an earlier season 86-80 UCLA triumph at Lloyd Noble Center, and OU got the most of it in the second hard-nosed battle.
The Sooners (24-10, 11-7 Big 12) won’t have long to rest for another physical matchup when the Vols possess a very tough test if OU hopes to reach the regional final for a likely rematch against No. 1 Baylor.
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