No. 3 Oklahoma 82, No. 12 Baylor 73

Sunday, January 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WACO, Texas (AP) _ Rosalind Ross showed that No. 3 Oklahoma is not just a triple threat. It's more like a quartet.

Ross scored 24 points, including eight straight in Oklahoma's game-turning run, and the Sooners beat No. 12 Baylor 82-73 Saturday for their 18th straight Big 12 victory.

``In my opinion, she doesn't get enough praise,'' said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson. ``You always talk about Dales, Caufield and Hill. Rosalind Ross is the silent killer. Those other three, we all know about. Ross killed us.''

Ross made an inside basket and then consecutive 3-pointers, the second off a long rebound, to get the Sooners (14-1, 4-0 Big 12) within 65-64 with 6:50 left.

``When she hit those two 3s, it lifted a weight off our shoulders,'' said Caton Hill, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds. ``That really affected Baylor. Right then, it's a one-point game, we got some stops. The momentum shifted immediately after those.''

That was the start of a 20-6 run after Baylor (13-2, 1-2) took a 61-52 lead _ its largest _ on Sheila Lambert's 3-pointer following Ross' turnover on a charging foul.

The trio of Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield and Hill, who have combined for 60 percent of Oklahoma's scoring this season, combined 58 points _ their second-best total this season. Caufield had 23 points, and Dales scored 13 points and had five rebounds.

Ross came through with her fourth 20-point game with 8-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-11 3-pointers.

``Late in the game, if the game is on the line, she wants the ball and something good is going to happen,'' said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. ``She has that warrior mentality.''

The only other Oklahoma point came on Dionnah Jackson's free throw.

``Oklahoma's experience prevailed at the end,'' Mulkey-Robertson said. ``Four players basically beat you. That tells you how good Oklahoma is.''

Oklahoma went ahead to stay with six points in a minute. Hill made two free throws with 5:40 left to make it 68-67, the Sooners' first lead since midway through the first half.

Ross then stripped Lambert of the ball, leading to a layup by Dales. Caufield made a short turnaround jumper after a Baylor miss, and it was 72-69 with 4:39 left.

Lambert led Baylor with 26 points and nine assists. Danielle Crockrom had 17 points and Steffanie Blackmon added 11.

Baylor built a 38-31 lead when the Sooners went six minutes without a field goal late in the first half. After Caufield's inside basket with 6:47 left tied the game at 27, Oklahoma didn't have another basket until Dales worked inside with 54 seconds left to make it 38-33.

Oklahoma led 19-11 when Ross made a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass, ending a 19-7 run after Baylor scored the game's first two baskets. Ross' first 3-pointer had given the Sooners their first lead at 8-7.

Baylor is 20-3 at home in two seasons under coach Mulkey-Robertson, with two of the losses coming to Oklahoma. The Sooners won 90-87 in Waco last season and have taken seven straight in the series.