Oklahoma basketball: Lady Sooners can clinch Big 12 title with win over Texas

Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA

When Oklahoma faces Texas in any sport or event, it's always a big deal. But none bigger than what is at stake tonight when the Oklahoma basketball women host the Lady Longhorns with the Big 12 regular-season championship at stake.

The Sooners (20-7, 14-2) are one game ahead of No. 3-ranked Texas (26-3, 13-3) in the Big 12 standings headed into their matchup tonight at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

This is the second game this season between the two conference leaders. Oklahoma surprised the 10th-ranked Lady Longhorns with a 91-87 win in Austin on Jan. 24. The Sooners' top two scorers on the season, Skylar Vann and Payton Verhulst, led the way with 19 and 18 points, respectively.

Oklahoma has won 11 of its last 12 games and has averaged 82 points a game over its last seven games on 47-percent shooting, including 9,7 made three-pointers per contest. Texas leads the Big 12, however, averaging 83 points a game while holding opponents to 25 points fewer.

The Lady Sooners started the season slowly, losing five of their first 11 games, including a 79-70 loss in Norman to Southern, a team that had just one win in 10 games coming in. OU struggled with consistency on the offensive end early in conference play but has been on a hot streak the entire month of February.

A win Wednesday night would clinch the conference title for the Sooners. If they were to lose to Texas but defeat Kansas on the road on Saturday, OU and Texas would share the regular-season conference crown, depending on the outcome of the Longhorns game at home against BYU.

OU and Texas shared the Big 12 regular-season title a year ago with identical 14-4 records. The Sooners have won seven Big 12 titles since the conference was formed in 1996.