March 1, 2003

Stillwater, Okla. - After a slow start in the first half, the Oklahoma women's basketball team crusied to a comfortable 71-57 victory over Oklahoma State Saturday inside Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. The Sooners extended their winning streak to nine games over the Cowgirls and improved their overall record to 18-10. Oklahoma takes sole control of fifth place in the Big 12 Conference standings with a 9-6 record, while OSU falls to 7-19 overall and 3-12 in the league.

Oklahoma State jumped out to a 21-17 lead with 7:26 to play in the opening 20 minutes before the Sooners closed out the period with a 15-2 run to take a 32-23 advantage at half time. OU got nine points in the stanza from freshman Chelsi Welch, who finished with a game-high 18 points. The Sooners held OSU to 23 percent (8-of-34) shooting in the period. Four of Welch's nine points came from the free throw line where the Sooners nailed 11-of-12 attempted foul shots (91.7%).

The Cowgirls cut the lead to five, 32-27, within two minutes of the second half but after a called timeout by OU the Sooners exploded for 14 unanswered points, 46-27, and full control of the game.

Freshman Beky Preston went to work in the second half scoring nine of her 13 points and grabbing seven of her career-tying 10 rebounds for her second career double-double. The 6-3 center hit six of seven shots (85.7%) from the floor and blocked OSU's center Trisha Skibbe's shot three times. Senior center Theresa Schuknecht joined Preston for the second consecutive game with double double performances. Schuknecht dropped in 12 points and produced a game-high 11 rebounds and three steals.

The Sooners got balance scoring from the rest of the squad with nine points from Lauren Shoush, Maria Villarroel and Dionnah Jackson had eight points each and Stephanie Luce added a three-pointer. OU outrebounded the Cowgirls, 42-29, and shot over 50 percent from the field for just the third time this season, hitting 26-of-49 field goals (53.1%). OSU took 14 additional shots than Oklahoma but only connected on 20 attempts for a 31.7 field goal percentage.

Junior Trisha Skibbe led OSU offensively, finishing with 17 points, while freshman Meghan Craig added 15, including a 4-of-7 effort from the three-point line.

Oklahoma concludes its regular season with a Red River Shootout with Texas in Austin on Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by the Sooner Sports Network.