Times West Virginian
The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will begin its second half of Big 12 play as it faces No. 21/20 Oklahoma in a Play 4 Kay game at 1 p.m., Sunday, at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (12-8, 4-5 Big 12) look to avenge their loss earlier this season to the Sooners (16-4, 6-2 Big 12). OU took a 71-68 decision from WVU on Jan. 2. Taylor Palmer had eight threes and 30 points in the outing, while the Mountaineers led until the final 4:55 when the Sooners came back to get the win using a 7-0 run down to the final minutes. WVU had foul trouble in the outing, sending the Sooners to the line 39 times, of which OU earned 31 points.
The Sooners enter Sunday’s game off a 74-53 win over TCU. With a 16-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in Big 12 play, Oklahoma is currently in second behind Baylor.
The Sooners have three players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Aaryn Ellenberg with 19.1 points per game and 20.9 points per conference game, the second-highest scoring average in league play. Nicole Griffin and Morgan Hook round out the top three scorers with 10.8 and 10.3 points in all games, respectively, however, Sharane Campbell and Joanna McFarland have stepped up in conference only games with 13.4 and 12.0 points per game, respectively.
McFarland is the Big 12’s leading rebounder with 10.1 rebounds per league game and 9.0 in all games this season. In league only games, McFarland is shooting 59.6 percent from the field, the second-highest field goal percentage behind Iowa State’s Hallie Christofferson.
Campbell holds the second-highest field goal percentage for the Sooners with 44.7 percent (34-76) in Big 12 play. Hook averages 6.6 assists per league game, the third-highest average and totals 53 in league play and 101 in all games this season.
Hook is also the Sooners’ leading free throw shooter as she has converted 95.5 percent (21-22) from the line in league play. Ellenberg has also been successful from the line, shooting 82.1 percent, but has seen more success from beyond the arc as she has collected 27 3-pointers in Big 12 play.
Averaging 3.4 threes a game, Ellenberg leads the league with the highest average and helps OU to 8.4 threes per game, the second-highest average in the Big 12.
In the last outing, Campbell recorded a game-high 23 points, including a career-best five 3-pointers, to help OU to 13 team 3-pointers. Leading scorer Ellenberg went out with an ankle injury in the last outing. OU trailed in the opening minutes with TCU, but came back to take a 30-27 halftime lead and hit its first five shots out of halftime from beyond the arc.
The Mountaineers turned a corner in their last outing at No. 19/19 Oklahoma State. WVU had been leading at the half in the prior two games, and lost them in the final minutes. Against OSU, WVU led by nine until the final four minutes when OSU was back in the game. With under two minutes, OSU made it a two-point game, but WVU pulled away to get the 67-61 road win.
Junior guard Christal Caldwell led all players with 21 points and a career-best five threes in the last outing. Caldwell is WVU’s season scoring leader with 14.7 points per league outing and 13.0 points per game in all games. Behind Caldwell, Palmer averages 12.7 points in the league and sophomore Averee Fields rounds out the top three scorers in league play with 9.1 points per game.
Sunday’s game is the third game in the all-time series with Oklahoma. The teams have split the previous two games. The game is a Play 4 Kay game. Fans are encouraged to wear Pink in support of breast cancer awareness.
The game will be broadcast live nationally by FOX Sports Net and will air live on Root Sports Pittsburgh. Fans can listen to the game live on WAJR.