No. 3 Oklahoma 89, No. 12 Texas 69

Saturday, January 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Texas' size advantage was no match for Oklahoma's smaller, quicker guards.

With Stacey Dales scoring 21 points and LaNeishea Caufield getting 19, No. 3 Oklahoma outscored the Longhorns 64-20 in the backcourt and won 89-69 on Saturday.

Guards Rosalind Ross and Dionnah Jackson added 10 points each. On the defensive end, Caufield had four steals and Jackson had three as the Sooners forced 24 turnovers and kept Texas from consistently getting the ball inside.

``Terrible mismatch at the guard position, no question about it,'' Texas coach Jody Conradt said. ``Our guard play wasn't good enough, but a lot of that was the tremendous guards that Oklahoma has.

``We didn't make the right decisions, didn't handle the ball. It started and pretty much ended there.''

The Sooners (15-2, 5-1 Big 12) were coming off a loss at Iowa State that ended their 18-game regular-season winning streak in conference play. This game was close for much of the first half, but Oklahoma never trailed after taking a 15-14 lead.

``Sometimes you need to lose maybe _ unfortunately _ to remind you how much fun this game is and how much you're supposed to enjoy yourself for 40 minutes, and I thought they did,'' Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. ``I thought they played together. I thought they enjoyed themselves on the floor and played free.''

Stacy Stephens had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Kala Bowers scored a career-high 17 for Texas (13-3, 5-1), which had won six in a row. But in addition to committing their most turnovers in 10 games, the Longhorns were outrebounded for just the second time this season.

Texas scored the first six points of the second half to get within 13 at 42-39. But Dales hit a jumper that started a 14-7 run that pushed Oklahoma's lead to 56-46 with just under 12 minutes to play.

Later, Dales scored five points during an 11-2 run in which the Sooners scored on five straight possessions to take a 69-55 lead.

Texas' final run came when Tracy Cook hit a jumper and Heather Schreiber converted a three-point play to make it 69-60. But Jamie Talbert scored inside, Caton Hill hit a 3-pointer, Dales made a jumper and Caufield sank a free throw to give Oklahoma a 77-60 lead with 3:39 left.

``We have so many options off our sets,'' Dales said. ``It really doesn't matter what you take away, there's always something there.''

Bowers scored nine of Texas' first 11 points but went to the bench after picking up her second foul and stayed there for the final 13 minutes of the half.

The Sooners led 26-24 before Ross sank a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run that gave them their largest first-half lead, 36-24. Caufield added a basket and a three-point play and Talbert made two free throws.

Stephens scored seven in a row for Texas to get the Longhorns within 36-31, but Oklahoma scored six of the final eight first-half points to lead 42-33 at halftime.