Oklahoma Sooners fall in close game to the West Virginia Mountaineers

The Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball team was back in action hoping to win their 10th straight game and keep their two-game lead in the conference. They took on the West Virginia Mountaineers who possess one of the nation’s top defenses in the country.

The Sooners started red hot as they went on an 11-3 run to start the game. But that great defense for the Mountaineers settled in and they were able to tie it up at 18 at the end of the 1st Quarter.

The 2nd Quarter was a back-and-forth affair. The Mountaineers jumped up 26-20 early in the quarter before the Sooners stormed back and ultimately took the 32-31 lead into halftime.

At half Payton Verhulst led the Sooners with 12 points on 4/5 shooting from 3. Reyna Scott was big off the bench scoring six and shooting 2/3 from the field. The Mountaineers were led by JJ Quinerly with seven but they had six players score four or more. The big key was the Sooners having double-digit first-half turnovers which kept the Mountaineers in the game.

The 3rd Quarter was similar to the first half. Quinnerly was really strong in the quarter, scoring six in the frame. Kyah Watson also added six. Skylar Vann who struggled in the first half, finished with four in the quarter.

Thanks to five more turnovers by the Sooners, the Mountaineers led for much of the time but a three-pointer with 38 seconds left by Verhulst gave the Sooners the 48-47 lead going to the 4th Quarter.

The 4th Quarter couldn’t have started worse for the Sooners.
They turned it over on three of their first four possessions. That helped the Mountaineers to go on a 5-0 run to give them the 52-48 lead. Just when it looked like the Mountaineers were going to run away with it, Vann drills a huge three to cut the lead to two just before the five-minute mark. But the Mountaineers responded to get it to a six-point lead before Verhulst made a nice post move to cut it to four with 4:05 left.

Verhulst did everything she could to keep the Sooners in it. After Vann dived on a loose ball, she found Verhulst who buried a three to cut the lead to one with 1:46 left.

The Sooners got down 68-61 but Neveah Tot hit a layup, Watson turned it over and then Tot hit a three to cut it to two. They fouled and West Virginia missed two free throws. They hit Tot on the run to the basket and she was fouled. She missed the first free throw and then had a lane violation on the second free throw to seal the Sooners’ defeat.

They fell 70-66 as turnovers, free throws and points off turnovers ended up being their downfall. The Sooners turned it over 25 times, went 5/11 from the line and allowed 23 points off of turnovers.

The Sooners were led by Verhulst who finished with 20 points on 6/8 from 3. The Sooners move to 18-7 (12-2) and hold a one-game lead over the Mountaineers, the Texas Longhorns and the Kansas State Wildcats. They lose the tiebreaker to the Wildcats and Mountaineers. They currently hold the tiebreaker over the Longhorns but face them again later on in the season.

They’ll be back in action on Tuesday at Cincinnati at 5:00 p.m. CT.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire