Updated Sun, Dec 18, 2011 9:08 pm
The Duel in the Desert kicked off and the Ohio women’s basketball team came up against Oklahoma for a mid-afternoon affair. The Bobcats knew it would be a tough test for the young squad and despite a second half push, the Sooners came out on top 89-57.
Oklahoma jumped out to a quick start, taking an 8-0 lead after only about three minutes had ticked off the clock. Ohio struggled offensively early on, but finished the first half 11-27 from the field for 40.7 percent. Those same struggles didn’t affect the Sooners. They shot 62.9 percent in the first half, leading them to a 52-29 advantage over the Bobcats.
The Bobcats held even with the Sooners to close out the first half with a 9-9 run. In the second half, Ohio fought hard, eventually working its way back within nine points after a three by Ashley Fowler just under the nine-minute mark. But the Sooners responded and went on a 24-11 run to end the first half and secure their fifth victory of the season. Oklahoma improves to 5-3 on the year, while Ohio falls to 5-6.
Porsha Harris led the ‘Cats with 13 points and had three rebounds to go along with her double-digit points. Tenishia Benson had 12 points and four rebounds. This was the sixth time the red-shirt senior scored in double figures. Sharane Campbell led the Sooners and all scorers with 19 points and five rebounds. Both Joanna McFarland and Morgan Hook had 14 points for Oklahoma.
The biggest loss of the day, though, was the possible loss of Ohio freshman point guard Kat Yelle. Yelle's right knee buckled with nine minutes left in the second half, and she writhed in pain as the Bobcat trainer tended to her. Ohio doesn't know the extent of the injury, and will wait until returning to Athens to get an MRI and an official timetable.
Yelle had started all 11 games Ohio had played in 2011.
Ohio gets back to action Monday against Xavier at 3 p.m. ET and Oklahoma takes on Syracuse as the Duel in the Desert rolls on.