No. 4 Oklahoma 72, Texas A&M 40

Sunday, January 27th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) _ A close game turned into a rout once No. 4 Oklahoma's offense got going.

LaNeishea Caufield and Stacey Dales each scored 13 points as Oklahoma found its shooting touch in the second half of a 72-40 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday night.

Oklahoma (16-2, 6-1 Big 12) beat the Aggies (10-9, 2-5) for the seventh straight time, putting the game away with a 27-2 second-half run.

``In the second half, we had a lot of energy,'' Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. ``There's a difference in being quick and hurrying. In the first half, we were trying to hurry. We played a lot off of turnovers and the flood gates kind of opened up.''

The Sooners, who shot just 31 percent in the first half, hit 10 of their first 13 shots while the Aggies were only 1-for-8 to begin the second half.

The Aggies scored only 12 points in the second half for their second-biggest margin of defeat this season. They lost to Baylor 95-61.

``This is just one of those worst losses at home kind of nights,'' A&M coach Peggie Gillom said. ``The first half, I thought we played great. The second half, I can't say what happened. We did not come out to play.

``I never expected this. I thought we'd come out smoking, but we didn't. It was a long night. OU is good, but our problem is offense.''

A&M didn't get its first basket of the second half until Toccara Williams' bucket with 15:13 to go. The Aggies didn't score again until Meg Banahan's basket with 10:05 to go.

``In the first half, I thought we were trying to hit a home run on every play,'' Coale said. ``We had to settle down. But in the second half, our defense initiated our offense. I would like to think our defense had something to do with A&M's poor shooting in the second half.''

Texas A&M has lost four in a row since upsetting Iowa State on Jan. 12. Kim Moore led the Aggies with 13 points and Celeria Washington added 10 points.

Oklahoma led 33-29 at halftime despite their poor shooting first half.

The Aggies took a 23-19 lead with 7:03 to go in the first half on a basket by Moore but they couldn't hold on.

Dales and Caufield each had five points over the rest of the half to keep the Sooners in the lead.

``I think we're a little tired right now and we're giving in to fatigue,'' Gillom said. ``But you can't do that, not in this league. We were playing good defense but then the ball wouldn't go in. That takes a lot out of you.''