Oklahoma basketball: Sooner women headed opposite direction to men


While the men's Oklahoma basketball program continues its Jekyll and Hyde slog through the perilous Big 12 schedule, the Sooner women rolled to their sixth straight victory on Saturday and a share of first place in the conference standings.

The Lady Sooners staged a second-half comeback to defeat Bedlam rival Oklahoma State 81-74 on the road in Stillwater on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma men never led in their road contest at UCF, falling 74-63. While the Sooner women improved their Big 12 record to 9-1, the men have lost three of their last four and are now below .500 at 4-5 in conference action.

Four Oklahoma starters scored in double figures as the Sooner women shot nearly 50 percent for the game. Senior Skylar Vann led the way for the visiting OU squad with 22 points, freshman Sahara Williams had 15 and Lexy Keys, who transferred from Oklahoma State in the offseason contributed a dozen on four-of-five from three-point range.

The home-team Cowgirls led 40-33 at halftime and 59-57 at the end of three quarters. After six ties and 11 lead changes, the Sooners took control of the game at the 7:53 mark of the final quarter on a two-point jump shot by junior Payton Verhulst that put OU up 63-62. Oklahoma extended the lead to nine points on a 10-2 run and held off its in-state rival from there.

In addition to a hot shooting hand, Oklahoma won this game with a 12 point-advantage in rebounding, collecting 43 boards to 31 for Oklahoma State. The Lady Sooners grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and converted them into 14 points.

Depending on what happens on Sunday between Kansas State and the fourth-place Lady Longhorns of Texas, Oklahoma could own the top spot outright in the women's standings.

The Lady Sooners are next in action on Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center hosting TCU, which has lost 8 of its 10 conference games.