It looked as though Texas could have escaped Norman with a last-second win.
Down one with four seconds remaining, Oklahoma guard Morgan Hook missed a free throw, and the Longhorns took it coast-to-coast as junior forward Nneka Enemkpali found herself behind Oklahoma’s defense.
Enemkpali completed the layup, but took too much time as the shot fell about a second late. Instead of Texas celebrating, it was Oklahoma, clad in pink uniforms, that celebrated in front of a crowd of pink uniforms with a 64-63 win.
“It was a tough loss,” head coach Karen Aston said. “Defensively, we just weren’t good enough down the stretch. We can’t put ourselves in a position to have to make that play on the road.”
Hook, who recorded 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, was just a free-throw short of being perfect in the final minutes of Wednesday night’s game.
Hook pushed the tempo, going down the court for a game tying layup with 43 seconds to go to tie the game.
Then, after Texas didn’t get a call on a hard collision at the rim, Hook drove right at sophomore center Imani McGee-Stafford, drawing a foul with just four ticks remaining.
Hook sunk just one of two, but that was all the Sooners needed to skirt past the Longhorns without their best player.
“We just attached ourselves to Morgan’s will. We really did,” Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale said. “She … made tough play after tough play. … She was not going to be denied this win.”
Oklahoma guard Aaryn Ellenberg, who leads the Sooners (16-11, 7-7 Big 12) with 18 points a game, was knocked out in their last contest against Oklahoma State with a concussion and was not able to suit up against the Longhorns.
This was supposed to be a break for the Longhorns (17-9, 8-6 Big 12) who saw Ellenberg drop 37 points against them in their first matchup but still pull off an overtime win. But this time, without the Sooner star, Texas fell to the balanced Sooner offense led by Hook that saw three players score double-figures. Both teams struggled from the field as Texas shot 40 percent and the Sooners shot 38.6 percent.
“Despite miserable numbers, I told them in the locker room that this stat sheet is ugly, but the important number on there is 64,” Coale said. “We had one more point than they did and we finally figured out how to win a close game.”
Enemkpali and senior guard Chassidy Fussell led the Longhorns, combining for a total of 33 points, while McGee-Stafford and sophomore guard Celina Rodrigo grabbed eight rebounds each. The Longhorns also recorded eight blocks, seven from McGee-Stafford.
Texas will try to recover from the loss when they play Iowa State on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Ames, Iowa.