No. 20 Oklahoma women beat Fairfield 79-51

Not even a long bus ride could stop Aaryn Ellenberg and

Oklahoma.

Ellenberg scored 23 points and the No. 20 Sooners beat Fairfield

79-51 on Wednesday night.

The start of the game was delayed 45 minutes as Oklahoma was

stuck in traffic coming up from New York City. It took the Sooners

three hours to get to the game from their Times Square hotel 60

miles away.

”It probably didn’t help not having a shootaround here and it

was a lovely three hour bus ride,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale

said. ”The people here were fantastic allowing us 45 minutes to

get ready. We really appreciate that.”

Oklahoma got off to a slow start and the game was tied at 15

before Ellenberg and Oklahoma heated up. The senior guard hit two

3-pointers during a 15-4 run that gave the Sooners a 30-19 lead

with 3:25 left in the half. They led 35-25 at the break.

Fairfield was able to get within 37-30 early in the second half

before Oklahoma (8-3) put the game away with an 11-2 run. Ellenberg

started the spurt with lay-in off an inbounds pass and Nicole

Griffin capped it with a layup.

”We tend to expect so much out of ourselves when we make a

mistake we lamented,” Coale said. ”While you’re lamenting the

other team is making plays. We missed a lot of chippies – the posts

missed a zillion of them. We kept pounding it and kept taking open

3’s.”

After starting the game missing their first six 3-point

attempts, Oklahoma got hot from the field, making 10 of its final

16 attempts from behind the arc. The Sooners will finish off their

two-game East Coast swing with a game at Marist on Saturday after

spending a few days enjoying New York City.

”I learned early on the best way for our team to reach our

potential is to play people who are really, really good,” Coale

said. ”When I look for scheduling opportunities, I want to play

teams that are well coached, play teams that play hard and

understand how to play basketball.”

The loss dropped Fairfield to 1-29 against ranked opponents with

the lone win coming against Marist five seasons ago. Still Stags

coach Joe Frager didn’t hesitate to schedule the game when

approached by Oklahoma for the game. The timing wasn’t great for

the Stags as they are in the middle of exams. But with a chance to

play a Top 25 team, Frager got permission from the school for the

game.

”We got more out of this game than a week of practice,” Frager

said. ”It will help us get better.”

He tried to get more students to come to the game partaking in

the annual midnight breakfast during exams.

”Every time I was serving some eggs and bacon they were getting

an Oklahoma ticket on top of it,” Frager said.

While there weren’t too many Fairfield students in the crowd,

the game did attract UConn players Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Bria

Hartley. The pair, fresh off Tuesday night’s win at No. 2 Duke,

played with Ellenberg on the World University Games team this past

summer that won gold in Russia.

”They are just remarkable young women,” Coale said of the two

UConn players who she coached in Russia. ”They were coachable and

listened and did whatever I asked them to do. You couldn’t ask for

anymore from them.”

Coale admitted she keeps on her computer the results from all

the players on that World University Games team.

”I want to keep up with them,” she said. ”I’m attached to

them. They are as good as it gets.”

Alexys Vazquez led the Stags (5-4) with 17 points.

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