No. 4 Oklahoma 66, Oklahoma St. 58

Wednesday, January 30th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma women's basketball coach Sherri Coale has said all season that the strength of her team is its versatility, and that showed again in a victory over Oklahoma State.

With leading scorers LaNeishea Caufield and Caton Hill struggling with foul problems, Stacey Dales took control in the second half and led the fourth-ranked Sooners to a 66-58 victory Tuesday night.

Dales scored a career-high 29 points, 17 in the second half, to help the Sooners (17-2, 7-1 Big 12) rally.

``We've been riding Caufield hard and heavy since the beginning of the season,'' Coale said. ``She averages about 20 points a game and she only plays 20 minutes tonight.

``We depended heavily on Caton and she goes 0 for 10 from the field. She's never gone 0 for 10 from the field in her life, so Stacey Dales took over the game.''

Dales had five points during a 17-3 second-half run, including a key 3-pointer from the corner, as the Sooners turned a 33-27 deficit into a 44-36 lead.

Oklahoma State pulled even at 46 on a three-point play by Tari Cummings. But Dales converted a three-point play of her own to put the Sooners ahead to stay.

``It just came down to Stacey Dales saying they were not going to lose the ballgame,'' Oklahoma State coach Dick Halterman said. ``She took the game over.''

Oklahoma trailed 29-27 at halftime and 36-32 with 15:34 remaining. But the Sooners rebounded from a rugged first half that saw them shoot just 31 percent from the field and miss all eight 3-point attempts.

They also committed 12 turnovers, while managing just two assists.

``I give them a bunch of credit on how they came into the game and how they approached us,'' Dales said of the Cowgirls (11-10, 3-5). ``I thought they did a great job scouting what we do.''

Caufield, Oklahoma's leading scorer at 19.9 points per game, was held to two points in the first half and finished with nine. Hill scored just two points.

Center Trisha Skibbe led the Cowgirls with 20 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 4:03 left.

``We worked so hard and had the game in our hands, but we had a couple of lapses again with turnovers and where we didn't score,'' Skibbe said. ``We worked hard enough to win the game and it's really disappointing.''