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Sooners Drop Wild Game To No. 5 Louisville In Overtime

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

It's only the fourth game of the year, but No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 5 Louisville played a game worthy of the Final Four Sunday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center in the Preseason WNIT championship.

Jude Schimmel hit two layups in the final 23 seconds of regulation to force overtime and Louisville held the Sooners to 1-of-8 shooting in the extra period to claim a thrilling 97-92 win.

While the game itself was exciting, the actual play was quite sloppy, indicative of the second week of the regular season. The two teams combined for 45 turnovers—25 for Louisville and 20 for Oklahoma—and 62 fouls. Louisville shot 47.2 percent from the field for the game, thanks to a 57.1 percent clip in the overtime period. The Sooners shot just 34.7 percent for the game, including 24.1 percent from 3-point range.

Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooners with 22 points and led all players with 12 rebounds. She hit two shots late in the second half that looked like daggers for the Sooners, one a 3-pointer with 1:54 left that put the Sooners up 81-77 and then later, a fadeaway jump shot with 23.3 seconds remaining that put OU up 85-82.

Sharane Campbell had 19 points while Morgan Hook had 16 points and eight assists. Gioya Carter and Kaylon Williams had 12 and 10 points respectively off the bench before fouling out.

Tia Gibbs led the Cardinals with 23 points off the bench, 20 of those coming in the first half. Schoni Schimmel had 16 points while Antonita Slaughter had 15 points.

The Sooners jumped out to a 17-2 lead in the first six minutes, a result of Louisville poor shooting and turnovers. The Sooners went 5-for-10 from the field to open the game and got to the free throw line early and often. The Cardinals were also hampered by Shoni Schimmel picking up two fouls in the first five minutes and sitting for the rest of the half.

However, the Sooners quickly encountered problems of their own. Williams and Nicole Griffin each picked up their second fouls just over a minute apart just eight minutes into the game. From that point on, the Cardinals began to chip away at the Sooners' lead, using their size advantage to wear the Sooners out inside.

Gibbs did her part to keep the Cardinals in the game, hitting 7-of-9 shots, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Still, the Sooners managed to hold a 13-point lead with 10:12 remaining in the half before Gibbs really took over.

In the final 10 minutes, Gibbs scored 16 points to turn the 13-point deficit into a five-point lead at halftime.

The Cardinals continued to build their lead in the second half. A 3-pointer from Shoni Schimmel gave Louisville a 70-58 lead with 8:43 remaining in the game, a lead that looked fairly insurmountable given the Sooners' inability to make shots from the field.

The Sooners began to chip away, getting the ball inside or getting to the free throw line to whittle the lead to just two. A Schimmel 3-pointer pushed the lead back to five, but a jumper from Campbell tied the score at 73. A Carter 3-pointer gave the Sooners a brief lead before Schimmel reclaimed it with a 3-pointer of her own.

Williams gave the Sooners the lead on the very next possession with a layup. OU built the lead up to six with 1:28 remaining before Louisville roared back, tying it on Jude Schimmel's layup with 13 seconds left. Ellenberg had a chance to win in regulation, but missed a tough shot in the lane.

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