Jan 9, 2002

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    By OWEN CANFIELD
    AP Sports Writer

    NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma women's basketball team, known for its quick pace on offense, won with defense against Oklahoma State.

    The third-ranked Sooners held Oklahoma State to 29 percent shooting and grabbed 10 more rebounds for a 42-32 edge in a 65-48 victory Wednesday night. The point total was Oklahoma State's lowest in 25 games, dating to a 76-47 loss to Oklahoma on Feb. 10.

    "They're a very good defensive team, there is no question about that," coach Dick Halterman said. "I thought they got physical with us inside and I didn't think we handled that very well."

    LaNeishea Caufield scored 18 points and Stacey Dales had 16 for the Sooners (13-1, 3-0 Big 12). They have won 17 straight regular-season conference games and have beaten the Cowgirls (9-6, 1-1) five straight times.

    "We play defense like that all the time," said Caufield, who also had eight rebounds and two steals. "I think just because we weren't shooting as well, our defense really stood out."

    Halterman said Oklahoma kept the Cowgirls from getting good shots out of their offensive sets - they had only five assists, compared with 17 for Oklahoma.

    Caufield had two 3-pointers and scored eight straight points during a first-half run in which the Sooners outscored Oklahoma State 19-2 to take a 31-13 lead. Dales added seven points during that stretch.

    Oklahoma State was 1-of-14 during the Sooners' run and committed five turnovers.

    "We had a little problem getting into our offensive sets," said Tari Cummings, who led the Cowgirls with 18 points. "We were out there just running around, basically. I don't know, we just have to work on that in practice."

    The Cowgirls scored the first two baskets of the second half to cut Oklahoma's lead to 33-21. But a 10-2 run by the Sooners, including four points by Caufield, made it a 20-point lead. The Sooners twice led by as many as 23 points, and Oklahoma State got no closer than 15 in the final seven minutes.

    Caton Hill had 11 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma, which won handily despite 21 turnovers.

    Kara Faulk was the only other Cowgirl in double figures, with 10 points. Center Trisha Skibbe, coming off a career-high 26 points against Missouri, had six points on 2-of-12 shooting.

    "If you would have told me we could hold them to 65, I would have probably been happy with that," Halterman said. "We had some good looks, but their defense also forced us into taking some tough shots.

    "I said before the game we had to shoot 50 percent and we weren't even close to that."

    OU's victory over Oklahoma State means the Sooners cut into OSU's lead in the Bank of Oklahoma Bedlam Series presented by Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers. Oklahoma State now owns a 4-2 advantage this year. Thus far during the 2001-02 series, OU has posted a victory in soccer and women's basketball while OSU prevailed in cross country, football and wrestling. OSU gained a total of one point for the cross country wins, two points for the football victory and one point for the wrestling win.

    This is the second year for Bank of Oklahoma to be the title sponsor and Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers to be the presenting sponsor of the Bedlam Series. The Sooners and Cowboys annually meet head-to-head in eight sports. The series winner in each of these sports is awarded the Bank of Oklahoma Bedlam Bell traveling trophy. At the end of the year, an overall winner is announced.