NORMAN, Okla. (Sooner Sports.com) – Powered by Taylor Robertson, who became OU’s all-time leader in career 3-pointers, the Oklahoma women’s basketball team erased a 19-point second-half deficit to defeat Utah 83-76 in Norman on Tuesday night.
With the win, Oklahoma (10-1, 0-0 Big 12) is off to its best start since the 2006-07 season when the Sooners opened the year 17-1 and made the NCAA’s Sweet 16. The Sooners outscored Utah (8-3, 0-0 Pac-12) 32-14 in the fourth quarter to extend its winning streak to seven games – the program’s longest streak in six years.
“I’m really proud of our team,” head coach Jennie Baranczyk said. “I should probably rephrase that, I’m really proud of our team in the fourth quarter and a little bit of the third. Honestly, Utah is a very, very good basketball team and it’s been a little bit since we’ve played and I couldn’t be more proud of the way that we responded tonight.”
Tuesday night’s game pitted two of the nation’s top-five offenses against each other and delivered with the teams combining for 45 points in the first quarter as the Utes took a 23-22 advantage into the second. Kennady Tucker, who earned her first start of the season, scored five of her nine points as Taylor Robertson sunk two of her four treys in the frame.
OU put itself in a hole in the second quarter as Utah outscored the Sooners 19-10 to head into the break, holding onto a commanding 10-point lead as Oklahoma was held to a season-low 32 first-half points.
The Utes continued to pour it on top open the third, adding to their lead behind an 18-5 run that stretched from the end of the second quarter to the 8:07 mark of the third quarter. The Sooners took a timeout down 19 points and proceed to mount their largest comeback since they erased a 22-point deficit at Kansas on Feb. 2, 2020. Taylor Robertson was fouled behind the 3-point line and sunk all three attempts to jump start a 17-10 run to close the third quarter, cutting the Utah lead to just 11 as the teams prepped for the final 10 minutes.
The Sooners used a 7-0 run in the first minute of the fourth to cut the Utes’ lead to three before Robertson sunk her 377th career 3-pointer a few minutes later, passing Aaryn Ellenberg for the most in school history. Liz Scott added a layup and Kelbie Washington notched one of her four steals and laid it in to complete the 7-0 run and force a Utah timeout. Oklahoma would then finally take its first lead since the first quarter when Nevaeh Tot drove the baseline where she laid it in and drew a foul to give the Sooners a 66-64 lead with 6:04 on the clock.
The remaining six minutes featured back-and-forth play from two of the nation’s best offenses with Utah reclaiming the lead a few minutes later, but as it did on Dec. 10 vs. No. 16 BYU, the Sooners closed the contest with a game-defining run. Up by just two points with a 1:30 remaining, Baranczyk took a timeout. The Sooners then held the Utes scoreless until the final possession of the game, after OU had already extended its lead to double-digits behind an 8-0 run to deliver the team an 83-76 win.
Robertson led the way on her record-breaking night, scoring 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Madi Williams added 17 points, six rebounds and four steals in the win. Nevaeh Tot scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter to erase the deficit and push the Sooners past the finish line. Kelbie Washington and Kennady Tucker both scored nine points as Washington led the team with four assists and added four steals.
For Robertson, her 3-pointer at the 7:57 mark of the fourth quarter was her 377th all-time as she passed Aaryn Ellenberg for the most in school history. Her 377 career makes are the 19th most in NCAA history, but her 3.97 conversions per game and her 44.6% career clip are both the best among active NCAA players. She now sits 15 3-pointers away from tying Laurie Koehn’s Big 12 record of 392 and 120 off Kelsey Mitchell’s NCAA record.
The Sooners shot 44.6% from the field and were 19-of-27 from the free throw line. The difference on Tuesday came in the turnover battle where Oklahoma forced 23 Utah turnovers behind a season-best 17 steals, scoring 27 points off turnovers compared to Utah’s 19 points scored off turnovers.