West Virginia hangs on to defeat Oklahoma 66-55

NORMAN, Okla. — West Virginia jumped out to an early lead and held on to beat Oklahoma 66-55 on Sunday at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The Mountaineers were without senior guard Katrina Pardee and a short bench, but still held an 18-point halftime lead thanks to a 10-0 run in the first quarter and a few key 3-pointers from Tynice Martin — who finished with 20 points in the contest.

WVU outmuscled the Sooners inside, holding a 46-35 in rebounds and creating 16 second-chance points in the process. The Mountaineers also created 28 points off 23 Oklahoma turnovers.

Oklahoma finally settled in in the second half and made it somewhat of as game — outscoring WVU (11-4, 2-2) 35-27. The Sooners shot much better in the second half (45.8 percent from the field) compared to just 28 percent in the first half. The Mountaineers struggled to make shots in the second half — shooting just 20.7 percent from the field. With the help of its defense, Oklahoma eventually cut WVU’s lead to six in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t muster enough offense to complete the comeback.

The teams traded free throws down the stretch, with Martin, Rudd and Smith all going 2 for 2 at the line to give WVU the road win.

Taylor Robertson led the Sooners (5-10, 1-3) in points with 13, including a team-best three 3-pointers. Sophomores Shaina Pellington and Ana Llanusa both finished with a 12 points apiece.

The Mountaineers had three more players finish with double-figures. Lucky Rudd finished the game with 12 points, and Naomi Davenport and Kari Niblack scored 10. Niblack also finished the game with nine rebounds.

WVU returns to Morgantown to host Iowa State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

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