Jan 2, 2002

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By OWEN CANFIELD
AP Sports Writer

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Rosalind Ross scored a career-high 25 points and No. 3 Oklahoma rebounded from its first loss of the season by beating No. 16 Colorado 78-67 in the Big 12 opener for both teams Wednesday night.

Ross, coming off a 4-of-13 performance in an 86-72 loss at No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 22, was 10-of-16 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds.

LaNeishea Caufield had 16 points and five steals, and Caton Hills had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners (11-1), who are starting a stretch in which five of their first six conference games are against ranked opponents.

Mandy Nightingale scored 20 and Tera Bjorkland had 16 for Colorado (10-4). The Buffaloes have lost four in a row to Oklahoma after having beaten the Sooners in 10 of 11 meetings before that.

Ross scored six points during a 14-0 first-half run that put the Sooners in control. Colorado pulled within eight early in the second half, but Ross scored seven during an 11-2 run that pushed the lead to 53-34 at the 12:30 mark.

The Buffaloes, who struggled with their shooting and ball handling much of the night, scored on four straight possessions to cut the deficit to 58-50 with 5:40 remaining. Ross ended the run with a jumper, and moments later Caufield had six points in an 8-0 run that made it 68-52. The Buffaloes got no closer than nine in the final four minutes.

The Buffaloes shot just 26 percent in the first half and 40 percent for the game. They also turned it over 24 times and were outrebounded 46-33.