No. 4 Oklahoma 69, No. 10 Baylor 60

Wednesday, February 6th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma's Stacey Dales earned the praise of Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson.

``This game showed why (Stacey) is an All-American,'' Mulkey-Robertson said. ``When her team needs her she always comes through with a great performance.

``I have said before that she is the John Havlicek of women's basketball.''

Dales scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 4 Oklahoma to a 69-60 victory over No. 10 Baylor, the Sooners' 18th straight home win.

Dales scored 14 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting, and had six rebounds and four assists. Teammate LaNeishea Caufield scored 14 of her 18 points after the break.

``Senior leadership, its necessary,'' Dales said. ``We stepped up offensively and made some plays, but I thought we really stepped up as a team defensively when it mattered.''

The backcourt tandem of Dales and Caufield scored the final 16 points for Oklahoma to hold off Baylor (18-4, 6-4), which rallied from 15 down to make it 63-60 with just over 4 minutes left.

``We felt like we had a mismatch advantage at guard, and we were running sets for both Stacey and LaNeishea,'' said Sherri Coale, who picked up her 100th victory at Oklahoma. ``The fact we were so successful down the stretch speaks to our other players on the floor knowing who they needed to get the ball to and then getting it there.''

The Sooners (19-2, 9-1) rolled out to a 53-38 lead 6 minutes into the second half, only to watch Danielle Crockrom and Sheila Lambert rally the Lady Bears from 15 down to make it 63-60 with just over 4 minutes left.

Despite getting 17 and 15 points from Crockrom and Lambert, respectively, Baylor managed only two points over the final 4 minutes.

The Lady Bears finished with six more field goals, but Oklahoma owned a 42-37 rebounding edge and outscored Baylor 25-8 at the free throw line.