No. 4 Oklahoma 73, Oral Roberts 38

Sunday, November 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ No. 4 Oklahoma made a believer out of Oral Roberts University.

``We questioned maybe their Top 10 ranking, but we don't now,'' coach Jerry Finkbeiner said after the Sooners beat his team 73-38 in the Bertha Teague Classic on Saturday night.

Finkbeiner said his skepticism stemmed from Oklahoma's lack of size and its apparent lack of depth. But the Sooners used their quickness to come up with 31 turnovers, 18 of them steals, and every player off the bench scored.

``While we don't have the size inside, we're trying to play toward what we do have and away from what we don't,'' coach Sherri Coale said. ``That's what happens when you pressure the ball that way.

``I thought the fact that we got a lot of steals real early sort of planted a seed of doubt and made them a little shakier than they would have otherwise.''

Oklahoma (2-0) had 11 steals in the first half, five of which resulted in layups. Before Rosalind Ross made a 3-pointer with 8:32 left in the half, every Oklahoma basket came from in close.

The Sooners went on a 15-5 run during a 6 1/2-minute stretch to open a 15-point lead, which it matched twice more before halftime. Oral Roberts had nine turnovers during that time, including seven in a row.

``We're intent on applying more pressure this season,'' said Stacey Dales, who had 16 points and three steals. ``It's got to be a point of emphasis for our team in order to be good.''

Caton Hill added 12 points and Ross scored 10 for Oklahoma.

Cory Williston scored 11 for Oral Roberts (0-2), which shot just 15-of-53 from the field. Krista Ragan, last season's Mid-Continent Conference player of the year, was held scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.

Oklahoma and Oral Roberts met in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season, with the Sooners winning 70-64. But this one wasn't close after the midway point of the first half.

A 3-pointer by Williston made it 43-26 with 16:39 left, but that was as close as the Golden Eagles would get.

``This didn't look like the same two teams who played last March,'' Finkbeiner said.