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Oklahoma basketball: Sooners find revenge with a 39-point victory over Texas Tech

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Kaylon Williams

If there was any question whether Saturday’s 31-point loss to Oklahoma State would keep the Sooners at bay Wednesday, those fears were quickly put to bed.

The Sooners took down visiting Texas Tech 92-53 in the Lloyd Noble Center on the team’s Sooner Jr. Fan Field Trip Day.

As 7,200 area elementary school students filled the seats of the LNC, Maddie Manning and Kaylon Williams led the way for their squad with 14 and 18 points, respectively, as they made short work of Texas Tech despite an unusual 10:30 a.m. tip-off, which included a team meal at 7:30 a.m.

Oklahoma came out firing as an 18-0 run from the 6:27 mark of the first quarter to the end of the frame had the Sooners up 30-6 after one. The team didn’t look back after that point as their lead never shrunk below 17 for the rest of the game.

“I thought we were really focused to start the game,” coach Sherri Coale said. “I thought we played with intention, I thought we played with passion, I thought we played together, and I believe the numbers speak for themselves.”

It could have been easy for the Sooners to fold after a disappointing 73-42 loss over the weekend to their in-state rival, but like they have all season, Coale’s girls came out and proved that losses don’t define their team.

Following each of their four losses, the Sooners have followed up with wins by at least 13 points, including today’s 39-point victory and a 26-point victory over BYU on Nov. 19 following a loss to North Texas.

As far as rebound performances go, Coale understands how to react when things don’t go her team's way, and it’s clear her players do, as well.

“It’s not really always about what happens to you,” Coale said, “It’s about how you handle what happens to you. Obviously these guys made some solid decisions individually and collectively and that’s why we were able to perform the way we did.”

The team dominated the Red Raiders throughout but played especially better basketball in areas that doomed them last Saturday in Stillwater. The Sooners committed 26 turnovers in their loss but gave away just 10 Wednesday — three of which were offensive fouls.

“That kind of ball security will win you a lot of basketball games,” Coale said.

Offensively, it was Kaylon Williams’ day. While her 18 points, six rebounds and four assists were impressive, the senior scored her 1,000th point at the 4:50 mark of the third quarter, making her just the 31st Sooner to ever do so. Her inside presence led the Sooners to a whopping 48 points in the paint, compared to just 14 last Saturday.

But it takes more than one player to complete a 92-point performance.

“The biggest difference between last weekend and tonight: everyone wanted to score,” Coale said. “Therefore they cut and demanded the ball, therefore they posted and demanded the ball, therefore they attacked their defender and demanded the ball, they ran the lanes in transition, demanding the ball.

“So it's a mindset shift, an aggression offensively,” she said. 

Coale and her players echoed the idea of that mindset shift, and the coach, who turned 51 yesterday, wasn’t shy about what can bring about that shift.

“Probably partly from getting your tail kicked,” she said. "I mean, you hate it that it has to happen, but if that’s what has to happen, and it did, then so be it."

Senior Kaylon Williams knew that the big conversation her team was having in practice this week focused on the idea of getting out of their own heads.

“Well I think that’s, for us, not making the game harder than what it is,” Williams said. "Just going out there and going to go play — I think that’s the best way to put it. Getting out of our own heads as far as just doing instead of overthinking. Just do it."

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