‘Roller coaster of emo­tions’ so far

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

Five games into con­fer­ence play, Ok­la­homa cen­ter Vionise Pierre-Louis is lead­ing the Soon­ers in scor­ing with

15.4 points per game. Though she had four games ear­lier in the sea­son where she scored less than 10 points, Pierre-Louis has put to­gether three straight games of at least 14 points. Against Texas Tech, she notched 22 points and grabbed eight re­bounds. The Ok­la­homan caught up with her ahead of Sun­day’s game against Bay­lor.

I think it’s con­sis­tency, post­ing con­sis­tently even if I’m not get­ting the ball. I’m oc­cu­py­ing my girl. Once our shoot­ers get hot on the out­side, it opens up plenty of lanes for driv­ing lanes, dish­ing, so it’s really my team­mates help­ing me out there.

You were taken out of the start­ing lineup for a game. How did you work through that?

I don’t take of­fense to stuff like that be­cause it’s what my team needs at the time. If I have to sit on the bench and be the seventh man, sixth man, I don’t really care. I think we needed a change and we got that change. I didn’t take any per­sonal of­fense to it. It’s when I get in, what can I do to make my team­mates bet­ter.

Is your se­nior sea­son liv­ing up to what you wanted it to be?

I never had ex­pec­ta­tions for my se­nior year. There’s no set goal that I said, ‘By my se­nior year, I want to do this.’ I feel like it’s been a roller coaster for ev­ery­one. A roller coaster of emo­tions, some games we’re all there. Some games we’re not all there. So right now, it’s just about find­ing that bal­ance. Not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause it’s my se­nior year, but be­cause I’m set­ting it up for seven in­com­ing fresh­men. So it’s find­ing that bal­ance and get­ting our team sta­ble is really what I’m think­ing about right now.

What’s the chal­lenge in play­ing Bay­lor?

The chal­lenge for me is the one-on-one bat­tle with Kalani (Brown). Mak­ing sure we limit their paint scor­ing and we max­i­mize on our end on paint scores. That’s the chal­lenge for us right now.

How does Brown’s game match up with yours?

We’re just big, dom­i­nant. On both teams, you need Kalani Brown to win and some thing for our team. A big post pres­ence al­le­vi­ates

You’ve had an up and down sea­son, but you’ve scored at least 20 points three times this sea­son. What’s the big­gest change in your game since con­fer­ence play be­gan?

all the pres­sure out on the perime­ter. On that re­gard, we’re the same. She just has a height ad­van­tage and she can move you. She can really move me so I have to stand my ground and bat­tle ev­ery pos­ses­sion with her.

[PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Se­nior cen­ter Vionise Pierre-Louis (0) is av­er­ag­ing 15.4 points and 8.1 re­bounds per game for Ok­la­homa this sea­son.

Brooke Pryor bpryor@ ok­la­homan.com

OU BAS­KET­BALL

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