OU Women Fall to No. 1 Connecticut 84 to 68

Thursday, December 30th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Shea Ralph scored 18 points as No. 1 Connecticut beat Oklahoma 84-68 on Wednesday night. A crowd of 10,713, the largest to ever watch a women's basketball game in Oklahoma, saw the Huskies shoot 48 per cent from the field to improve to 9-0. The Sooners dropped to 9-3.

"When we play like we did for stretches tonight ... we are really, really good. But I already knew that," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "What was good tonight was we played against a team, unlike teams in the past, that didn't stop playing no matter what the score was. That was really good for us to see that."

Six days after a 106-64 victory over No. 6 UCLA, the Huskies looked rusty early. Shea Ralph struggled in the first half, turning the ball over four times and committing three fouls. She still led all scorers with nine points in the first half. Connecticut and Oklahoma both committed 10 turnovers in the first half, but the Huskies shot 45 percent and used a 12-0 run to take a 41-25 lead at the break.

Ralph's teammates helped out in the second half. Sue Bird finished with 14. Ashja Jones and Kennitra Johnson each had 11 points, and Svetlana Abrosimova had 10. The Huskies snapped Oklahoma's eight-game winning streak, the Sooners' longest in more than 10 seasons. Phylesha Whaley and Stacey Dales each had 19 points for the Sooners. Connecticut returns home to face No. 3 Louisiana Tech on Sunday.