Oklahoma Basketball: Sooner Women Off and Running, and Winning

Oklahoma basketball has not completely dropped out of the national spotlight.

Mar 6, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Baylor Bears forward/center Beatrice Mompremier (32) shoots the ball while guarded by Oklahoma Sooners center Vionise Pierre-Louis (0) in the first quarter during the women

Much has been written about how the men’s basketball team is more or less a work in progress this season after losing three members of its starting five and a major portion of its offense from last season’s Final Four team.

For the Lady Sooners, however, it is quite the opposite.

The Oklahoma women return four starters and 82 percent of their offense from last season’s 22-11 squad, and they are off to a 3-0 start this season. It is the third time in the last four years that the Sooners have begun the season with three straight wins.

Head coach Sherri Coale is in her 21st season at Oklahoma, where she has amassed an overall record of 445-217. Under Coale’s leadership, the Sooners have made 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and have won 20 or more games 14 times in her 21 seasons at the school.

The OU women are led in the scoring column this season by junior Vionise Pierre-Louis, who is averaging 13.7 points and 10.3 rebounds, and redshirt-senior Peyton Little, with a 12.3 scoring average. Gioya Carter is also in double figures, averaging 10.3 points in the Lady Sooners first three games.

The Lady Sooners are coming off of a 68-61 come-from-behind victory Sunday over Brigham Young University at BYU. OU trailed by seven points going into the fourth quarter but outscored the Cougars 21-7 in the final period to pull out the win. The victory snapped a 12-game home-court winning streak by BYU.

The Sooner comeback against BYU was led by redshirt-senior Little, who scored nine of her team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma held BYU without a field goal from the 6:31 mark in the final quarter until 10 seconds remained in the game.

“I thought we showed a lot of grit with our back against the wall in a tough environment and in a very physical game,” Coale said in her postgame press briefing.

Coale’s 13th-ranked OU women have a pair of home games this week against South Dakota State on Wednesday and Colorado State on Sunday before heading to Lexington, Ky., next week to face their first ranked opponent this season in the Kentucky Lady Wildcats. The Kentucky women are currently ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press Women’s Top 25.