(16-8)
 
  1st 2nd F
 Connecticut 37 36 73
 Oklahoma 28 27 55
 
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(24-2)
 
 
 
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 Stat Comparison OU UC
 Points 55 73
 FG Made-Attempted 19-55 26-66
 FG Percentage 34.5% 39.4%
 3P Made/Attempted 3-14 7-24
 3P Percentage 21.4% 29.2%
 FT Made-Attempted 14-18 14-15
 FT Percentage 77.8% 93.3%
 Rebounds 39 40
 Turnovers 15 8
   
 
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma  UConn
 Points  Hand (18)  Hayes (23)
 Rebounds  Cerina (9)  Hartley (7)
 Assists  Harden (4)  Hayes (7)
 Steals  3 Players (1)  2 Players (3)
 Blocks  Cerina (3)  2 Players (1)
   
 
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By Andrew Gilman | SoonerSports.com

NORMAN, Okla. --
Aside from eight minutes, the Sooners hung around all game against Connecticut Monday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Played the second-ranked Huskies close, then played UConn just as good after the break. Overall, Oklahoma did a good job hanging around.

But somewhere beyond all the compliments from Connecticut players and coaches and even the OU contingent that spoke of the Sooners' game effort, OU was undone by the first half of the first half.

The Sooners lost 73-55, despite playing the last 32 minutes within one point of the Huskies. It was the first eight that decided the outcome as OU fell behind 21-4 with 12:01 left in the first half.

"We looked stunned," OU coach Sherri Coale said. "Last year, at their place, they stunned us and we went in the fetal position for 36 minutes. We didn't do that tonight. We swung back and had a ball game."

OU cut that 17-point lead to nine at halftime, got as close as seven points in the second half and closed to within nine points, with the ball with less than 5 minutes to play. Once more, the Sooners got within nine with less than 4:30 to play.

Whitney Hand had 18 points to lead the Sooners. Sharane Campbell had 11 points and Jelena Cerina had seven points and nine rebounds.

Neither team was the same that played in Hartford last season when UConn handed OU its worst loss in more than three decades, winning 86-45. For the first few minutes, the game look decidely more lopsided.

"I was thinking, 'Not again,'" Hand said. "I was just trying to think what the heck can we do. Calm down. Fight back. After that four-minute interval, i thought we did that."

OU held Connecticut to 39.4 percent shooting for the game, despite the fact the Huskies started eight for their first 10 shots from the field in building a 19-4 lead with 13:50 left.

"After they got down, they came out with a whole different level of intensity," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "Credit to them. Oklahoma is a lot better than their record. They missed a lot of open shots. They are a really good team. They play a style where if you're not careful you can get into a crazed state."

Ou fell to 16-7 on the season. UConn is 23-2.

A season ago, OU lost 86-45 at UConn and were down 46-18 at halftime.

"You take away the first four minutes and it's a pretty even game," Coale said. "Connecticut is very, very good. They challenge you. We had great shots and just didn't make them. You just can't do that."

Connecticut led 11-4 at the first timeout of the game and was 9-of-14 shooting by the time the lead got to 21-4 with 12:01 left.

The Sooners made just 3-of-14 3-pointers and started slowly, shooting just 8-of-27 in the first half.

"It's never OK to lose, especially on the home floor," Coale said. "But we found some passion and found some fighters."