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Old 11-21-2019, 06:36 AM   #1
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Default Sooners use energy from young crowd to win

By Ryan Aber
Staff writer

Oklahoma’s Gabby Gregory, left, dribbles around Stephen F. Austin’s Zya Nugent during a women’s basketball game on Wednesday at Lloyd Noble Center. Almost 7,000 school kids attended the Field Trip Day game. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN]

NORMAN — About five minutes into Wednesday’s Field Trip Day game against Stephen F. Austin, Oklahoma sophomore Taylor Robertson could hardly believe her ears.

“The place got so loud,” Robertson said. “You couldn’t think in your head.”

Lloyd Noble Center was filled with thousands of schoolchildren for the game, which Oklahoma dominated at the start before letting up a bit in the second half and coming away with a 75-62 win.

The attendance was announced at 6,875, more than the Sooners had drawn for their first three games combined.

The students cheered wildly when the Sooners made a shot — and they did plenty early, starting off by making their first seven attempts, including five 3-pointers.

They cheered only slightly less wildly when the Lady Jacks made a shot, which occurred less frequently early as Stephen F. Austin started just 5 of 24 from the field.

“The energy that you get from (nearly 7,000) elementary school children in the arena is why we play that game,” Sooners coach Sherri Coale said. “The energy, the opportunity with the platform to expose our product to young kids and hopefully all those young kids go home and tell their mom and dad that they want to go back to an OU women’s basketball game since it was so much fun. And then also to inspire the young kids in the audience to participate in sports and the females particularly. So it was a great opportunity today and I appreciate all of the support of the public school system and building a curriculum around this day and getting the kids out was great for us.”

Oklahoma led 28-12 after one quarter and 46-18 at the break before the margin tightened up in the second half.

Robertson and Ana Llanusa scored 19 each to lead the Sooners (3-1).

Robertson was fantastic yet again, making four of her six 3-pointers and 7 of 10 overall from the floor.

She’s shooting 54 percent from behind the 3-point line through four games.
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