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No. 12/14 Oklahoma Runs Past Liberty, 76-45
Sophomore guards Aaryn Ellenburg and Morgan Hook scored 22 points apiece Friday afternoon, leading No. 12/14 Oklahoma past Liberty, 76-45. The Sooners' victory came in the second game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament at Memorial Gymnasium.
Oklahoma, now 3-0 to start the season, forced 37 Liberty turnovers, converting them into 38 points. Liberty falls to 2-3 despite having three players grab double-digit rebounds.
The Lady Flames will face 0-6 Lipscomb in the tournament's consolation game Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern. Meanwhile, the Sooners will take on 5-0 Vanderbilt in the championship contest at approximately 5 p.m. The Commodores notched an 81-39 win over crosstown rival Lipscomb in Friday's tournament opener.
White-clad Oklahoma raced out of the gate, taking a 10-1 lead less than two and a half minutes into the contest. Ellenburg and Joanna McFarland each had four points during the game-opening spurt.
Liberty then held the Sooners to just one made field goal during the next six minutes, closing the gap to 12-10 when Terika Lunsford swished a three-pointer from the left wing at the 12:10 mark.
Oklahoma point guard Hook scored the first five tallies of her team's ensuing 7-0 burst. Sharane Campbell's runner at 9:19 then pushed the Sooner advantage back up to nine points, 19-10.
The Lady Flames answered with a 6-0 run, featuring four tallies by LaKendra Washington. The junior's free throw with 7:31 before halftime trimmed Liberty's deficit to 19-16.
The Lady Flames were still within reach, 26-20, before back-to-back three-pointers by Ellenburg helped Oklahoma open up its first double-digit lead of the afternoon.
Consecutive steals in the final minute enabled the Sooners to push their halftime advantage to 37-22, after a mid-range jumper by Ellenburg less than 10 seconds before the intermission.
Aided by 16 points in the paint and 10 fast break points, Oklahoma shot 46.7 percent (14-of-30) from the field during the opening 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Liberty hits just 24.1 percent (7-of-29) of its field goal attempts.
Oklahoma was able to convert Liberty's 19 first-half turnovers into 18 points. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames won the battle of the boards by a 26-17 count, leading to eight second-chance markers.
Lunsford, Washington, Catherine Kearney and Reagan Miller scored four points apiece for Liberty before the break. Kearney and Avery Warley each grabbed five first-half rebounds.
Backcourt mates Ellenburg (14 points) and Hook (11 points) did a majority of Oklahoma's scoring before the break. Hook added four steals, while Whitney Hand grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
Oklahoma opened the second half with an 11-2 run, thanks in large part to a trio of three-pointers. Ellenburg's third triple of the contest, which came with 16:35 remaining, enabled the Sooners to double up the Lady Flames, 48-24.
Liberty scored the game's next three points, making it a 48-27 game on Jasmine Gardner's turnaround jumper at the 13:44 mark. But that's as close as the Lady Flames got the rest of the way.
The Sooners' lead got as large as 38 points (71-33) with 4:41 remaining, after DaShawn Harden's fast break layup capped an 8-0 run.
The first three-pointer of freshman Ellee Rollins' career kick-started an ensuing 10-0 surge by the Lady Flames. Lunsford's jump shot with 1:48 on the clock made it 71-43.
Oklahoma then went on to finish off a 76-45 victory in its first-ever meeting with the Lady Flames, holding Liberty to a season-low scoring output.
The Lady Flames connected on a season-low 28.6 percent (16-of-56) from the field on the night. Liberty also finished at just 55.6 percent (10-of-18) on foul shots.
Oklahoma finished at 45.6 percent (26-of-57) on field goals, including seven made triples. The Sooners hit 70.8 percent (17-of-24) of their charity tosses.
Liberty's biggest advantage on the stat sheet came on the glass, where the Lady Flames owned a 47-34 cushion. Liberty grabbed 22 offensive rebounds while outrebounding its 32nd straight opponent, dating back to last season.
Oklahoma had 17 steals in the contest, helping the Sooners tally 16 fast break points.
Lunsford paced the Lady Flames offensively with nine points and shared the team lead with 10 rebounds, setting new career highs in both categories. Washington chipped in with seven points off the bench, while Kearney added seven points and a career-best 10 boards.
Warley grabbed 10 rebounds of her own for the Lady Flames before fouling out, climbing the Liberty and Big South career rebounding charts in the process. She passed former teammate Megan Frazee on both lists, moving up to third place in program history and fourth in conference history with 958 career boards.
Oklahoma freshman guard Campbell complemented the offensive outbursts of Ellenburg and Hook with a career-high 13 points. Hand finished as the Sooners' leader with seven rebounds.