When the Sooners (10-7, 3-2 Big 12) hit the road on Wednesday to face Texas Tech (12-4, 1-4 Big 12), they will be playing for much more than just another win.
OU’s next victory will mark career win No. 500 for head coach Sherri Coale.
Coale, who is now in her 24th season at OU, has an opportunity to join elite company with the milestone. Only 72 coaches have previously hit the 500 win mark in Division 1 women’s basketball.
Only 15 did so entirely at a single school.
The Sooners will also be looking for redemption following a difficult 82-63 loss to TCU on Sunday. The loss snapped the Sooner’s three-game win streak.
For the third straight game, the Sooners were without starting guard Ana Llanusa. Llanusa is still listed as day-to-day with back spasms.
TCU used their length to crowd the passing lanes and run the Sooners off the three-point line. Specifically, they locked in sophomore guard Taylor Robertson and gave her zero room to breathe.
“That was a hard adjustment for us,” said Coale. “It's a really hard thing to replicate in practice. Most of our turnovers came from not being able to feel that length. That’s where [Robertson] struggled: she couldn't get far enough away from all those long arms.”
Robertson finished for 3-12 from long range, and the Sooners as a whole finished 3-18 on triples, a season low.
In Texas Tech, OU will find less defensive pressure, but more pace and space.
The Lady Raiders rank second in the league in points per game and field goal percentage, and Texas Tech and OU are the top two teams in the conference in pace of play. This should allow OU to transition back into its natural offensive rhythm.
“We want to get back to scoring faster,” said assistant coach and offensive coordinator Colton Coale. “TCU kind of tries to slow you down a little bit with those zones. Offensively, my deal this week has been, you know, let's see how many times we can score in the first six seconds and try to force the issue.”
On the other end, OU will be looking to redeem itself after allowing TCU to shoot 54 percent from the field, but they have their work cut out.
“We didn't feel like we played very well, defensively, against TCU. We kind of want to see an improvement there," Colton said. "And Tech has a senior, Brittany Brewer, who's really good. We're going to have our hands full, especially being a little undersized.”
Brewer averages a double-double with 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. She leads a Lady Raider offense that ranks top 15 nationally in points per game and features three different double-figure scorers.
The game will be played at 7 p.m. CT, on Wednesday, January 22, in Lubbock, TX.