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Old 11-16-2018, 06:46 AM   #1
bluesooner17
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Default Jessi Murcer scores 18 in Sooner debut, fuels high-flying Oklahoma victory

Since she was a little girl, this has been Jessi Murcer’s dream.
As the Westmoore grad, the 2018 Sooner State Gatorade Player of the Year, drained her first college 3-pointer against Northwestern State Thursday, her fantasy became reality.
Murcer scored seven of her 18 points in a twominute stretch during the second quarter of the 93-56 Oklahoma win, including that 3-pointer she’ll never forget. Not bad for a debut that was delayed one game due to a concussion last week “It exceeded my expectations,” Murcer said. “It hit me whenever the announcer said, ‘Here are your Oklahoma Sooners’ and the band started playing, I was like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’ It was really dope. It was an awesome experience and way better than I even imagined.”
Murcer’s energy off the bench helped the Sooners pull away after a first-quarter shootout, which ended 26-17. Her performance gives coach Sherri Coale some decisions to make. Without sophomore Ana Llanusa, who recently had foot surgery and is likely to be sidelined until the start of conference play, Coale can tinker with her backcourt.
Thursday, she started reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Shaina Pellington along with freshmen Tatum Veitheimer and Taylor Robertson. Robertson continued her hot streak, nailing 6 of 12 3-pointers after hitting 8 of 14 in the first game, and while Veitheimer only scored three points, she was disruptive on defense.
Oddly enough, it was Pellington who struggled, committing four first half turnovers and shooting 0 for 6 from behind the arc with two airballs. She cleaned it up late, leading all scorers with 24 points after an 11-point fourth quarter.
“I wouldn’t say that was a very good game on my end at all,” Pellington said. “Yeah, OK, I had 24 points, but assists wasn’t very good, rebounds weren’t good, steals weren’t very good. I’m happy with the result. I’m glad we won, but I know I can play better than that.”
Still, the OU offense was just too much for the visiting Demons, and as coach Sherri Coale noted, the Sooners could have “scored 130” had it not been for its 27 turnovers and 16 of 37 effort from the free-throw line.
“That free throw thing is an anomaly,” Coale said. “These guys have made them since they were in fifth grade. That number is crazy. We’ll fix it.”
There were moments when OU looked unstoppable.
Murcer intercepted a pass at midcourt with 7:54 left. By the time she got to the basket,
shooting wasn’t her best option. Instead, she threw an around-theback pass to reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Shaina Pellington, who flipped in an acrobatic layup off the glass, giving OU a 76-40 lead.
It looked easy, as if the two had been playing for years. But of course they haven’t.
“They play in different sorts of orders all the time,” “They know how to play with one another. I would say the turnovers are not from a lack of familiarity so much as a lack of focus and concentration. Sometimes we try to score 10 points on one play.”
The schedule gets tougher, and the Sooners are sure to feel the pain of having a proven contributor like Llanusa on crutches. But Murcer’s magical evening gives Coale options.

John McKelvey
Transcript Sports Writer @John_McKelve
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:42 AM   #2
tycat947
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Default Re: Jessi Murcer scores 18 in Sooner debut, fuels high-flying Oklahoma vict

Jessi looks good! She has an engine that never quits. She may have been a steal from last years recruiting class. May never be an all-star but will always make a difference.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jessi Murcer scores 18 in Sooner debut, fuels high-flying Oklahoma vict

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Originally Posted by tycat947 View Post
Jessi looks good! She has an engine that never quits. She may have been a steal from last years recruiting class. May never be an all-star but will always make a difference.
Watching her last year I worried about her size and the ability to get her shot off at this level. The way we are moving the ball on offense, I feel more confident, because making the defense move, Jessi will get opportunities just from her ability to move without the ball. I think you are absolutely right she was a steal for this class. Her defense is better than I hoped for. She is going to be good for 20 mins a game, or more if kids get in foul trouble.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:33 AM   #4
SoonerinNC
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Default Re: Jessi Murcer scores 18 in Sooner debut, fuels high-flying Oklahoma vict

I was blown away by Mercer's freshman highlight video after her freshman year in high school and immediately labeled her as a must get for the Sooners. I was mostly impressed by her offensive versitility as she was able to score from anywhere on the court.

She demonstrated that ability last night as she hit a couple from outside, a mid-range jumper and inside shots in traffic. I was puzzled that she was labeled as a nice addition to a great class last year and was not really respected by the recruiting gurus. She has a very good basketball IQ as many other Sooner freshmen have.

Gabbi Ortiz had great potential but never developed a complete game. Became basically an off and on outside shooter who at times had difficulty getting open. She would penetrate but mostly backed off rather than dish or get off some kind of shot. Had great hopes for her but she never developed a complete game.

One game does not make a career but Jessi got off to a great start last night.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Jessi Murcer scores 18 in Sooner debut, fuels high-flying Oklahoma vict

Uncle Bobby would be proud.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:53 PM   #6
Soonerguy06
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Default Re: Jessi Murcer scores 18 in Sooner debut, fuels high-flying Oklahoma vict

Thus far I think she is better than Tatum V. Who I surprisingly have not been impressed At All by. I mean she's a good ball-handler but she's not a assist machine like I was hoping and I haven't seen much of her offense yet, kind of wondering what made her the number 24 overall player in the country for her class (prospect nation). I'm hoping maybe it's been nerves and she steps up, along with Lampkin, who has also, thus far, been incredibly disappointing! Right now our top 3 freshman are Madi, Taylor, and Jessie. I hope we have enough in us to beat USF tomorrow!
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