No. 4 Oklahoma 80, No. 11 Purdue 75

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

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ Oklahoma's three-guard lineup wasn't working in the first half, but coach Sherri Coale stuck with it.

It proved to be a good decision.

Rosalind Ross scored 16 of her 24 points in the second half as No. 4 Oklahoma rallied to beat No. 11 Purdue 80-75 Sunday in the Women's Tip-Off Classic.

``You got to see the character of this team,'' Coale said. ``Everything we were afraid of happened and we still won.''

Coale opted to start All-American point guard Stacey Dales on the wing with three of her frontcourt players out with injuries. The new lineup didn't work in the first half as the Sooners had 14 turnovers, shot 25 percent and had three players with three fouls.

But behind Ross, Oklahoma (1-0) found its rhythm in the second half. The Sooners made 17 of 33 shots in the half and Ross hit two key 3-pointers in the final 3:31.

``I think we came out very aggressive in the first half, but in the second we just let down on our intensity,'' said Purdue's Shereka Wright, who had 15 points. ``We came out too relaxed.''

Purdue (0-1) led 70-67 after a layup by Erika Valek with 3:53 left, but Ross hit a 3-pointer and LaNeishea Caufield scored on a 3-point play with 2:20 left.

Ross hit another 3-pointer to give Oklahoma a 76-72 lead with 53 seconds left and the Sooners made four straight free throws down the stretch.

``They were going in for me and I was happy,'' said Ross, who was 6-for-11 from 3-point range.

Purdue pulled within 78-75 on a jumper by Laura Meadows, but it was Purdue's only basket in the final two minutes.

Meadows had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Kelly Komara had 10 points and seven assists.

Caton Hill had 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Oklahoma. Ross also had 11 rebounds. Caufield finished with 15 points.

Dales fouled out late in the second half and finished with only five points.