Oklahoma basketball: Sooner women pushing the leaders at top of Big 12

Alonzo Adams/ for The Oklahoman / USA

While Sooner fans are enjoying the strong start to the season by the men's Oklahoma basketball team, the OU women are making some hay of their own with a 4-1 conference record to open their final Big 12 season.

The Sooners were just 6-5 coming out of the nonconference schedule, including losses in their final three games before opening Big 12 play. OU's only loss through five conference games was a 74-57 road loss at Big 12 leader Kansas State.

The OU women have an opportunity to pick up a fifth conference win later today at Houston (11-6, 2-4). The Lady Cougars are one of four newcomers to the Big 12 this season. The all-time series between these two teams is tied at 2-2 with each team winning one and losing one on its home court.

The Sooners are averaging 70.2 points per game in their five conference games and are allowing opponents just 61.6 points on 36.7 percent field-goal shooting, second best in the league.

Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in rebounding (42.4 per game) and offensive rebounding (14.4) and also ranks No. 1 in sharing the ball and limiting turnovers, two fundamental elements to winning basketball. The Lady Sooners average a Big 12 best 19 assists per game through five conference games and turn the ball over the least (12.6 per game).

The Oklahoma offense is really missing NCAA career three-point leader Taylor Robertson, whose collegiate eligibility ended last season. The Sooners lead the league, shooting 37 percent from three-point range a year ago. They're firing at just a 29 percent clip from behind the arc in Big 12 play this season.

Three Sooner starters average double figures in scoring led by two-time Big 12 Sixth Player of the Year Skylar Vann with 14.3 points per game and 7.1 rebounds. Louisville transfer Payton Verhulst averages 10.7, freshman standout Sahara Williams 10.6 and senior Aubrey Jones provided 10.2 off the bench.

After the game with Houston, the Oklahoma women return to the Lone Star State for a midweek rivalry game against Texas and are back home next Saturday to host Kansas.