Takeaways from women's OU basketball Round 1 win in NCAA Tournament


Skylar Vann scored a game-high 24 points and the No. 5-seeded women's OU basketball team rallied late to defeat upset-minded Florida Gulf Coast 73-70 in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday.

For the third straight season under head coach Jennie Barancyzk, the Sooner women won their opening round game in the tournament, all three times as a No. 5 seed, and advanced to the round of 32. Oklahoma will play No. 4 Indiana, an 89-56 winner over No. 13 Fairfield, on Monday in Bloomington, Indiana.

Oklahoma started slowly, falling behind 10-3 three minutes into the game and trailed by as many as 14 points in the first quarter. FGU led 25-15 after one period, but the Sooners outscored the Lady Eagles 18-10 in the second quarter and trailed by just two points, 35-33 at halftime.

The Sooners took their first lead in the game, 49-48, on a layup by Reyna Scott with 2:50 left in the third quarter and led 53-50 at the end of three quarters. FGU connected on a pair of three pointers to open the final quarter to retake the lead at 56-53, but OU went on a 9-0 run to move ahead 67-61 with just under three minutes remaining.

Payton Verhulst gave the Sooners a 72-70 advantage with 48 seconds to go. FGU turned the ball over on its subsequent possession, and Vann made one of two free throws to extend the lead to three, 73-70. The Eagles had two three-point attempts in the final 15 seconds, but both were off the mark and Oklahoma survived to advance to the next round.

Five takeaways from Sooners thrilling come-from-behind NCAA win

  • Oklahoma shot 45 percent for the game while holding Florida Gulf Coast to 37 percent.
  • The win over FGU, after falling behind by 14 points in the first quarter, was the Sooners' 15th double-digit comeback win in the Jennie Barancyzk coaching era at OU (2021 to present). Oklahoma is 14-1 in one-possession games under Barancyzk.
  • Skylar Vann's 24 points was her second highest of the season. She score 14 of her point total in the second half. Vann had 26 points earlier in the season against UBLV.
  • OU freshman Sahara Williams scored 14 points, the most by a Sooner freshman in an NCAA Tournament debut since Shaina Pellington had 17 points in her first NCAA Tournmament game in 2017.
  • Florida Gulf Coast came into the NCAA Tournament having won 22 consecutive games, including a perfect 16-0 record as the Atlantic Sun Conference champions.