Dallas Colleges: oklahoma
That includes wins in eight of the last nine Cotton Bowl matchups for the SEC, starting in 2004. Only Missouri's win over Arkansas in 2008 kept the SEC from winning all of the last nine.
* If you consider current Big 12 teams, the last one to win the Cotton Bowl was Texas in 2003. The Longhorns beat LSU, 35-20.
* Oklahoma has only played in one Cotton Bowl before tonight. That was in 2002, when the Sooners beat Arkansas, 10-3. The OU defense was solid, allowing Arkansas to reach Sooner territory twice the entire game. Oklahoma held Arkansas to just 50 yards in total offense (37 rushing yards, 13 passing yards).
* Texas A&M has played in 12 Cotton Bowls, the last one coming in 2011 in a loss to LSU. The Aggies own a 4-8-0 record in the Cotton Bowl. Their last win was over Notre Dame in 1988.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Katie Norris homered, Keilani Ricketts struck out 13 and Oklahoma advanced to the Women's College World Series finals by beating defending champion Arizona State, 5-3, on Sunday.
The fourth-seeded Sooners (53-8) struck for four runs in the third inning against Dallas Escobedo (24-8) to take control. Ricketts had an RBI single to tie it at 2 and Jessica Shults followed with a two-run double that nicked off of right-fielder Alix Johnson's glove as she stretched out to catch it.
Shults then came in to score when third baseman Haley Steele lost Norris' potential inning-ending popup and let it fall.
Annie Lockwood had a two-run double off of Ricketts (36-7) in the first, but Ricketts was able to limit Arizona State (53-11) to three runs despite giving up eight hits and four walks.
Oklahoma will face Alabama in the best-of-three championship series.
The Sooners (39-23) managed just five hits after getting two in their opener, but Bushyhead singled to start the 10th, took second on a sacrifice and scored easily when White lined a single to center.
Army (41-15) got a runner to second in the bottom of the inning on an error and sacrifice, but two groundouts ended it.
Steven Okert (9-7) got the victory with three one-hit innings in relief of Jonathan Gray, who allowed five hits and a run.
Gunnar Carroll (2-1) took the loss. He also worked three innings.
Army took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on Zach Price's single. The Sooners tied it in the sixth on Evan Mistich's grounder.
Arrowood (11-0) had a no-hitter for 6 1/3 innings before Max White's single to center. He allowed one run, struck out nine and walked three. Closer Nathan Hyatt escaped a jam in the eighth, but he and Ryne Frankoff struggled to finish it in the ninth.
Trey Holmes had three hits and scored twice, and brother Noah drove in a pair for Appalachian State (40-16). The last three hitters in the Mountaineers' lineup accounted for seven of the team's 10 hits.
Left-hander Jordan John (8-7) worked into the ninth for Oklahoma (38-23), but made two of the Sooners' four errors.
Lauren Chamberlain drove in the first two runs with a double in the third inning and a single in the fourth. Casey's drive to straightaway center for Oklahoma's NCAA-best 97th home run of the season made it 3-0 in the sixth inning.
Ricketts (35-7) dazzled with a sharp fastball and a biting changeup, keeping the Golden Bears (57-6) off balance throughout the night. She finished two strikeouts shy of U.S. Olympian Cat Osterman's World Series record of 18 strikeouts in a seven-inning game in 2006.
The fourth-seeded Sooners (52-8) are off until Sunday, needing one more win to reach the finals. California will face an elimination game Saturday.
The Bears' best scoring chance came in the sixth, when Jamia Reid started the inning by reaching on a grounder to third when Chamberlain dropped the throw at first base. The Sooners opted to walk Valerie Arioto, a national player of the year finalist, to bring the tying run to the plate. Reid stole third on the final pitch of Arioto's walk, and Arioto swiped second moments later.
Ricketts then struck out Frani Echavarria swinging and Jace Williams looking to end the inning.
Williams had one of the Bears' only two hits on a chopper to third with one out in the second. Victoria Jones, who put the ball in play in all three of her at-bats, singled to left with two outs in the seventh.
Ricketts struck out the side in the first, third and fourth innings and tied her season high for strikeouts.
Oklahoma State and Texas were national powers. Oklahoma had recently won a national championship (1994). Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Missouri and Baylor were stout, too.
Times, however, have changed.
For the first time since 1997, only four Big 12 teams will participate in NCAA regionals. And had Missouri not secured an automatic berth by winning the Big 12 tournament, that number could have easily been three.
Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor is one of the eight national seeds. Texas A&M also earned the right to host a regional. And Oklahoma, which lost to Missouri in the conference tournament title game, also advanced to the postseason thanks to its late-season surge.
But the rest of the league will watch the regionals from home, including the Cowboys and Longhorns, who both went two-and-out in the Big 12 tournament to seal their exclusion.
Read the rest of the story here.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Aaryn Ellenberg scored 21 of her 28 points in the second half, Whitney Hand added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Oklahoma defeated Michigan, 88-67, Sunday night in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament.
Playing on their home court, the Sooners (21-12) took control with an early 14-4 run and never trailed.
Oklahoma led by 12 in the first 8 minutes. The advantage grew to 19 as Ellenberg came out hot in the second half and Oklahoma held the Wolverines without a basket for the first 5 1/2 minutes.
Michigan (20-12), making its first tournament appearance in 11 years, got as close as eight with a flurry of 3-pointers by Carmen Reynolds before the Sooners closed it out.
Reynolds finished with 20 points to lead the Wolverines. Michigan's leading scorer, Rachel Sheffer, had only three points in a season-low 14 minutes.
The third-seeded Aggies (22-9) will face top-ranked Baylor for the championship Saturday.
Skylar Collins scored 15 points, Alexia Standish 13 and Sydney Carter 10 for Texas A&M, which becomes the first school in league history with five straight appearances in the title game. Kristi Bellock's eight rebounds spearheaded a 38-27 edge on the boards.
Whitney Hand's 24 points paced the second-seeded Sooners (20-12), who shot just 38 percent (20 of 53). Aaryn Ellenberg added 13 and Sharane Campbell 11.
An 8-0 run by the Aggies broke a tie and put them ahead 25-17 with 8:18 left in the first half. They never trailed again.
Oklahoma closed within 49-45, but Texas A&M ripped off a 12-3 run for a 61-48 lead with 9:35 left to virtually seal it.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Steven Pledger scored 17 points, Romero Osby added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Oklahoma snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Oklahoma State 77-64 on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma (14-13, 4-11 Big 12) extended its home winning streak against Oklahoma State (13-15, 6-9) to eight games, rolling to an 18-point halftime lead and holding off a second-half rally by the Cowboys.
Oklahoma led 30-12 at halftime after Oklahoma State set a school record for fewest points in a half against a Big 12 foe. The Cowboys came roaring back and had two chances to tie the game before the Sooners pulled away again.
Keiton Page led Oklahoma State with 29 points, going 9 of 17 from 3-point range.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger talks about motivating his team despite a big lead at the half.
Oklahoma snapped its six-game losing streak with a 77-64 win over Oklahoma State at Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday night.
The Sooners’ second half struggles continued against the Cowboys as OSU started the second half by going on a 24-11 run to eventually cut OU’s lead to 42-39. But the Sooners responded with an 8-0 run of their own and pulled away in the final ten minutes to cruise to the win.
Player of the Game: Romero Osby. When OSU made its run early in the second half, it was Osby who became more aggressive and scored two layups to spark the 8-0 run. Osby finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Unsung Hero: Tyler Neal. The sophomore provided a great spark off the bench for the Sooners finishing with 9 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes.
Key Stat: 7. The Sooners finished the game with seven blocks which helped limit the Cowboys to eight points in the paint.
Key Stat II: 15. The Sooners outrebounded Oklahoma 46 to 31 -- a difference of 15 -- in the game as OU dominated inside throughout the night.
Up Next For Oklahoma: at Baylor at 12:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.
A strong second half from Texas sparked the Longhorns' 69-58 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center. UT outscored the Sooners 41-25 in the final 20 minutes.
Early turnovers by the Sooners and back-to-back three-pointers from J’Covan Brown, followed by another trey from Myck Kabongo sparked a 15-6 run in the first seven minutes of the second half.
Texas improved to 17-9 overall and 7-6 in the Big 12 with the win, while OU dropped to 13-12 and 3-10 in conference play.
Texas Player of the Game: J’Covan Brown. After he didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half, Brown was brutally efficient in the second half. He scoring 15 points on 3 of 6 shooting from the field and added two steals in the final 20 minutes.
OU Player of the Game: Cameron Clark. The sophomore quietly had one of his best games of the season. He had 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting and added seven rebounds.
Texas Unsung Hero: Myck Kabongo. Despite three turnovers, the freshman point guard was solid in the second half with 11 points on 3 of 4 shooting and three assists. He finished with 13 points, 7 assists and 5 turnovers.
OU Unsung Hero: Tyler Neal. The sophomore forward has been searching for confidence throughout Big 12 play so his effort against the Longhorns could spark a strong finish to the season. Neal had eight points on 2 of 4 shooting and added four rebounds.
Key Stat: 17. The Longhorns scored 17 of their 41 points in the second half from the free throw line. Brown and Kabongo combined to go 10 of 10 as UT shot 17 of 18 from the line.
Key Stat, Part II: 19. The Longhorns had 19 points off turnovers in the second half as they created eight steals to help take OU out of its rhythm. The Sooners had 3 turnovers at halftime then turned the ball over 10 times as they watched their five-point halftime lead slip disappear in the second half.
Quotable: “I just had to be more aggressive and take the shots that were there.” -- Texas guard J’Covan Brown on his second half scoring.
“If you look at the points off of turnovers, that was huge for us in the second half. Turning those deflections into points was really big.” -- Texas head coach Rick Barnes
“Early in the second half it seemed like there was a possession or two that kind of deflated us a little bit. We just couldn’t get back on top. As a result of that, we played with a little bit less energy the rest of the way. We need to figure out a way to work through that.” -- OU head coach Lon Kruger
“I don’t think it was them. I think it was us being careless with the basketball and not making strong plays, trying to do things we shouldn’t be doing.” -- guard Sam Grooms on OU’s 10 second-half turnovers.
Sept. 1: at UTEP
Sept. 8: vs. Florida A&M
Sept. 22: vs. Kansas State
Oct. 6: at Texas Tech
Oct. 13: vs. Texas at Cotton Bowl (Red River Rivalry)
Oct. 20: vs. Kansas
Oct. 27: vs. Notre Dame
Nov. 3: at Iowa State
Nov. 10: vs. Baylor
Nov. 17: at West Virginia
Nov. 24: vs. Oklahoma State
Dec. 1: at TCU
We'd ask you how you think Oklahoma was going to fare in 2012, but the Sooners haven't released their full nonconference schedule -- other than a home game vs. Notre Dame.
So, give us your projected Big 12 records.
UPDATE: The remainder of OU's nonconference schedule was released Wednesday. The Sooners open the season Sept. 1 at UTEP and have their home opener a week later against Florida A&M. Their home date against Notre Dame is Oct. 27.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Distraught.
That’s the best word to describe the reaction of Steven Pledger after Oklahoma’s 71-68 loss to Missouri at the Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night.
And it wasn’t his potential game-tying, missed 3-pointer as time expired that will make sleep difficult to come by for OU’s leading scorer. It was missed free throws, both by Pledger (1-of-4) and his teammates (9-of-23), that the Sooners guard will remember for the next week.
“I feel like I let my team down,” said Pledger, who was visibly upset during postgame interviews. “Missed free throws, missed some shots I should knock down. I shoot 90 percent from the line, there’s no reason I should be missing free throws. I make free throws, the shot never happens.”
Player of the Game: Pledger was outstanding in the game, finishing with 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting including 5 of 9 on 3-point attempts. But he had four turnovers to go along with his performance at the free throw line.
Unsung Hero: Sam Grooms. The junior point guard is playing better and better as the season progresses. He had 17 points and 10 assists against the Tigers. Grooms was 7 of 9 shooting from the field as Missouri forced him to prove he could make outside shots and he did.
Key Stat: 28. The Tigers finished with 28 points in the paint even though Missouri rarely feeds the ball inside. Ricardo Ratliffe was active and efficient inside with 15 points on 6 of 6 shooting with 10 rebounds.
“We keep telling our guys afterwards, ‘Good battle and good work, but we’ve got to keep doing things from a habit standpoint to have more good possessions in a ball game, enough to get over the hump against good basketball teams.’” -- OU coach Lon Kruger
“It is hard to explain because we have shot free throws very well. Certainly Pledge is one of the top shooters in the country. When you play the game long enough, it will happen, unfortunately.” -- Kruger on the Sooners free throw shooting.
“It was perfect. The play was designed to miss the free throw and get the tip-out and we actually got the tip-out. It was on line; it felt good when it left my hand. It didn’t go in.” -- Pledger on his final miss.
“We talked about not losing and never letting them take the lead. That's a sign of a good team. I think once they made runs, we executed when we needed to make a shot." -- Missouri coach Frank Haith on his team responding to OU runs.
“I had seen the shot clock going down and we hadn't scored in a couple of possessions, and I knew that we needed to get a basket. I was fortunate enough to make the shot." -- guard Marcus Denmon on his key shot late in the game.
Up Next: OU travels to Lubbock, Texas where they will face Texas Tech on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT.
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