March 5, 2003
By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - Stacy Stephens scored 28 points and No. 5 Texas clinched at least a share of its first Big 12 regular-season title Wednesday night with a 78-66 win over Oklahoma.
Heather Schreiber scored 16 points and Tai Dillard added 10 for the Longhorns (22-5, 15-1), who finished the regular season with a perfect 15-0 record at the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas hadn't gone unbeaten at home since the 1985-86 season, when the Longhorns went on to become the first women's undefeated national champion.
Texas has won 10 straight and would win the league title outright if No. 8 Texas Tech beats conference co-leader No. 4 Kansas State on Thursday.
Dionnah Jackson scored 21 and Chelsi Welch added 15 points for defending conference champion Oklahoma (18-11, 9-7), which saw its three-game win streak snapped.
Texas held a ceremony at midcourt after the game to celebrate its first conference title since 1995-96, when the Longhorns won a share of the title in the now-defunct Southwest Conference.
But this one didn't come easy for Texas against its bitter border rival.
Texas twice opened up nine-point leads in the first half, the last at 28-19, before the Sooners rallied to pull to 33-31 by halftime.
The Sooners kept it close in the first behind a 24-10 rebounding advantage. Welch, a Texas native who won two high school state championships on Texas' home floor, had nine points by halftime.
Oklahoma briefly took a 50-49 lead on Jackson's layup with 12 minutes left, and her three-point play tied it at 53.
Schreiber then hit a 3-pointer and Stephens, who went 12-of-16 from the floor, hit a layup to stretch Texas' lead back to five.
Dillard sparked the key run with 7:18 left when she hit a layup and followed it with another off a steal at midcourt. Stephens made a layup and Dillard hit an 18-footer to make it 71-62 with 4:28 to play. The Sooners never threatened again.
Texas shot 51 percent for the game and closed the first-half rebounding gap to 34-33 by game's end.