NORMAN, Okla. — While the incoming weather system was cooling off the state, Oklahoma women's basketball (6-2) was heating up the glass at the Lloyd Noble Center during a 97-80 win over Western Illinois on Wednesday night.
Although the Leathernecks (4-5) led once and remained tied with the Sooners after four minutes of action, OU's defense didn't let go of its smoothing stronghold that allowed the offense to manufacture a double-digit lead after six and a half minutes of action.
"We had some periods where we plateaued and we lost focus and our concentration, but we zapped it back," head coach Sherri Coale said. "We have to get rid of those lapses, but that's part of the process; that's why you play games."
Senior guards Morgan Hook and Aaryn Ellenberg combined for almost half (24) of the Sooners' 51 total points before the game's intermission.
The 51 points was the second-most points scored in the first half by OU this season; the Sooners put up 52 against UT-Arlington back in late November. OU went on to score 99 points in that game and Wednesday saw similar numbers put up, as the Sooners finished with its second-highest point total (97) in eight games played so far.
Five Sooners finished with double-digit points, led by Ellenberg, who tabbed a season-high 25 points courtesy of a 7-of-12 performance from behind the arc.
OU was on fire in the first half, shooting 46 percent from 3-point land but fizzled out in the last 20 minutes to finish 10-of-28 for the game.
"Those were all rhythmic 3s," Coale said about the team's first half 3-point performance. "We got some of those same shots in the second quarter, they just didn't go in. (WIU) flip-flopped back and forth with some zone and we got tentative against that."
The Sooners look to continue their success at home this weekend when the team hosts No. 2 Duke at 3 p.m. on Sunday.