Aaryn Ellenberg scored 18 points and Morgan Hook added 16 more as No. 12 Oklahoma held off Marist 68-55 Sunday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
"Good win, said Oklahoma Coach Sherri Coale. ”All wins are good. It wasn't quite as pretty as we would have liked for it to be, but give them credit, Marist plays really hard. Very well-coached and they're hard to guard and we didn't shoot it very well. So a double-digit wins, shooting it as poorly as we did, we'll take that and run with it.
"It seems like there's always moments that if you can grab them and bottle them you can change the destiny of the game. I thought Whitney's [Hand] save that Morgan [Hook] converted and then Vegas (Aaryn Ellenberg) followed that play by taking a charge at the other end, that really gave us that cushion and that ignition that we needed."
Ellenberg made one 3-pointer, the 198th of her career. Ellenberg is second at Oklahoma in career 3-pointers made and trails Erin Higgins (268, 2003-07) by 70 for the most all-time.
"We see different teams that do similar things, so it makes it a little easier,” said Ellenberg. “But just sticking to the game plan and focusing on those key things like jumping to the ball and help defense, you just have to really perfect those little things. But we know what we're doing; you just have to do it."
Hand collected her first double-double of the season and sixth in her career. Hand totaled 12 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
"I don't really think I've got to do this and I've got to do that,” said Hand. “You just take what you get; and right now, I'm playing in a position where I'm getting a lot of rebounds, and I'll take those stats. But at the same time, our whole team blocked out well. You don't get a rebound when your whole team doesn't block out and the guards are flying everywhere. We're improving big time in that. Over UCLA, we had 24 offensive rebounds. And I realize this team didn't crash as hard, but the guards not coming in to get rebounds is a big deal. So it's definitely a team effort."
Hand's 12 points improved her to 19th on OU's career scoring list. Hand passed Amanda Thompson (1,202; 2007-10) and LaTrenda Phillips (1,205; 1984-87) and now has 1,208 career points.
Oklahoma next plays Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. Central, hosting North Texas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.