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Sooners Secure Back-to-Back Big-12 Championships

The Oklahoma Sooners won their second Big-12 title in as many years, after beating the No. 3 ranked Texas Longhorns. Let’s talk about it.

The Sooners had to share a piece of the Big-12 trophy last year with Texas. This year, they wanted it all to themselves.

In the first quarter, it was all Texas. It looked like OU might not have a chance in this game. The crowd was taken out of it, the shots weren’t falling, and they were seemingly all going in for the Longhorns. Madison Booker got off to a fantastic start for Texas. OU was able to storm back in the second quarter. After an 11-point deficit at the start of the game, the Sooners were able to cut the Texas lead to just one before the half. OU went on a run before the first-half buzzer sounded, and got the Lloyd Noble Center crowd energized and on their feet.

The second half of this game was pure chaos. With five minutes left in the third quarter, OU trailed by 12 points. From there, the team went on a 14-8 run to close the quarter out and shrink the Texas lead to 60-54. It was a completely different ball game heading into the fourth quarter. The intensity was off the charts throughout the fourth.

Lexy Keys. The Cowgirl turned Sooner. The sharpshooter. She missed two three-pointers in the final minute of the game. But with 13.4 seconds left on the clock, after a Skylar Vann miss, and offensive rebound, the ball found its way to her. She let it fly again and this time she connected. She gave the Sooners a one-point lead with four seconds left in the game. The Lloyd Noble Center crowd as well as the OU bench went berserk.

Lexy Keys after the game against Texas.

Payton Verhulst scored 18 points for Oklahoma, despite shooting 6-20 from the field. Skylar Vann also did not fill up the stat sheet, but her presence was felt all night while fighting through what appeared to be an ankle injury. She was battling down low for rebounds and provided a lot of energy for the Sooners on the defensive side of the ball. Vann ended the night with six points, six rebounds, and three assists. It was a gutsy performance from Vann against the Longhorns.

Skylar Vann during the game against Texas.

The Sooners would have to win this game on defense, and that is exactly what they did. Madison Booker, who was torching OU in the first half, and ended the game with 26 points, drove to attempt a game-winning shot, but could not get it off because of Vann and Keys’ defense. A fitting way for the game to end.

Foul trouble for both teams played a role as the game winded down. Texas’ Aaliyah Moore fouled out with 6:33 remaining, and that changed a lot especially down low in the paint. Verhulst picked up her fifth foul of the night with 49.6 seconds remaining.

OU now has three Top-10 wins on the season. That can go a long way when seeding for the NCAA tournament comes into the equation.

Next up for the Sooners is a road matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Images courtesy of Audrey Quan/OU Daily

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