The Sooners have showed a tremendous amount of resiliency throughout the year in making it to the Final Four.
One game that particularly comes to mind and epitomizes that resiliency of this Sooner squad is a December contest against the University of California in which the Sooners rallied from 26 points down at halftime to surge back to a huge non-conference victory.
“I remember that we played against Cal Berkeley, and tonight when I walked into the locker room I knew there were a couple adjustments we needed to make offensively,” said OU head coach Sherri Coale, after the Sooners’ 74-68 victory over Purdue in the Oklahoma City Regional Final.
One of those changes, simply executing better in the second half, proved to be pivotal.
“I think whenever shots aren’t falling, that’s the biggest issue in a situation,” said senior center Courtney Paris “And we knew we could come back second half and finish plays, and that’s what we did.”
Sophomore point guard Danielle Robinson echoed those comments.
“We knew we weren’t shooting particularly well,” Robinson said. “But we were playing great defense, and [their] points came from the foul line, so if we stopped fouling, things would change.”
That’s one thing Coale said she really stressed at halftime.
“I thought we were guarding the heck out of ‘em,” Coale said. “[But] they had 12 free-throws in the first half, and that’s how they got to 27, so we were really guarding them.”
Another thing that allowed the Sooners to remain resilient and come back once again in the second half is their ability to play as a team consistently when things aren’t going as well as they possibly could be.
“I think we got here the way we’ve been playing, and that’s together and just having fun out on the court,” Paris said. “At no time were we up 2 points, but it felt like it, and I think that’s the most important thing for us.”
For Paris and the rest of the team, they will need that same togetherness and resiliency once again when they take the court at 6 p.m. Sunday in St. Louis .
And for Paris specifically, it would be her only chance.
“Yeah, I’m a senior, I don’t get another chance,” Paris said. “It’s the Final Four. You want to make sure you give everything you can and leave everything out on the court no matter if you’re struggling or not.”