Oklahoma Sooners Split Bedlam Series With 80-71 Win Over Cowgirls

Whitney Hand, Sherri Coale, Sharane Campbell and Jelena Cerina address the media after Saturday's 80-71 Bedlam win.

Sharane Campbell felt responsible for the outcome of Bedlam Part 1 on Jan. 14 in Stillwater. The Cowgirls won that meeting in come-from-behind fashion after Jenni Bryan drilled the game-winning 3-pointer with 28 seconds to play.

"Cried the whole way back," Campbell said of her first trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena and the first OSU win in the series since 2008.

You see, Campbell was defending Bryan when the basket swished through the net and gave the Pokes the victory.

"Well, after that game I felt responsible for that," Campbell said. "The person I was guarding hit the three. We went over that play, we said no threes when we came out of the huddle and my girl hit the three."

Campbell's memory of the end of the game was vivid and tinged with the voice of a player who wished she could have the moment back and determined to not recreate the scene again - or at least not with the same outcome for the Sooners.

"I just felt I had to come with something," Campbell reflected. "I had to play defense, I've just got to do something. And I just felt the need to - I just really can't explain it - I just felt the need to play good."

So on Saturday, Bedlam Part 2 commenced on the floor of the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. And Campbell played good. So good that she can now say she was a difference-maker in the 80-71 OU victory.

Campbell poured in a team-high 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and a 7-for-12 day from the stripe. She pulled down 12 rebounds for the first double-double of her young OU career. Campbell entered the game at the 12:07 mark of the first half and made her presence known early and often.

She sliced to the basket for layups, she took the ball away from OSU point guard Tiffany Bias, she dished the ball down low to Jelena Cerina for second half lay ins, she crashed the boards with ease showing a knack for being in the right place at the right time in the most unexpected situations, she sunk a 3-pointer with 6:14 on the clock to ignite the crowd of 9,154 rowdy fans.

Whitney Hand sees the role the freshmen are playing and the positive impact players like Campbell are having for the 15-6 Sooners.

"We all have seen this from day one. We've known they were going to have to play," Hand said of her underclassmen teammates. "I don't think we knew that they were going to have to really, really, really play and play well for us to do well, but I think that they've kind of, they've just morphed into what our team needs, and they've really done a great job of growing up quickly and not being scared."

Coach Sherri Coale has seen a dramatic change in the woman who cried her way home on the bus ride to Stillwater and the woman who sat next to her on the podium after knocking off her Bedlam rivals.

"Her growth over the last - between the Bedlam games - exponential. I can't even tell you," Coale said with a shake of the head and a smile.

"It's a personal sense of excellence that Sharane has so when you have that they're really easy to coach and you ache for them when bad things happen," Coale recalled the Bedlam tears, "because sometimes even when it's not so bad, they stick daggers in their eyes and you have to kind of save them from themselves, but Sharane has been steady in her growth.

"She comes back and says it won't happen again. Instead of wallowing in it and saying woe is me she says it won't happen again. That makes her really fun to coach."

It didn't happen again. Not this day. Oklahoma stopped a streak of nine consecutive Oklahoma State Bedlam wins across all sports that dated back to 2011 spring baseball.

And Campbell can now take responsibility for the outcome of both Bedlam ballgames this season, only this time ends with smiles instead of sniffles.

Game notes:

  • Oklahoma won the rebounding battle 45-36, led by Hand's 13 rebounds (five offensive) and Campbell's 12 boards.
  • Oklahoma outscored the Pokes 42-24 in the paint, with Cerina adding 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Cerina, a senior center from Vrsac, Serbia, opened up with a phrase in her native tongue to start her answer to the media, to which Coale 'translated', "she said her teammates were fantastic," drawing laughter from everyone, Jelena included.
  • The OU bench production was double that of the Pokes', a 36-18 edge. OSU's point production was heavily reliant on starters Liz Donohoe and Tiffany Bias, who finished with 20 each.
  • Coale was most pleased with the assist to turnover ratio in the contest, with the Sooners finishing with 21 assists, including a career-high nine from Morgan Hook, to eight turnovers. OU forced the Cowgirls into 14 turnovers in the game and the Pokes were only credited with 10 assists on 28 made baskets.
  • Both teams shot the ball well overall with OU finishing the game at 43.3 percent shooting. The Cowgirls were close behind, sinking 41.8 percent of their attempts. The closely contested game had eight lead changes and was tied 11 times, with the last knotted score coming with 7:05 to play in game and the score at 59 apiece.
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