Maddie Manning keys Sooners' upset of No. 4 Texas

NORMAN, Okla. -- Nneka Enemkpali couldn't be stopped.

Her teammates couldn't, or wouldn't, get her the ball. Despite the senior forward's 21 points and 16 rebounds, Oklahoma upset No. 4 Texas 70-59 on Wednesday night.

Texas coach Karen Aston was frustrated with her team's inability to get the ball inside. Enemkpali scored her points on just 11 shots while the Longhorns fired up 23 3-pointers.

"I thought we took some really ill-advised shots," Aston said. "Rather frustrating, because we would call some things to try to get the ball inside and they just ... you can't take every open shot."

Maddie Manning scored a career-high 14 points and Peyton Little added 13 points and a career-best 10 rebounds for the Sooners (10-5, 4-0 Big 12), who won their fifth straight and moved into a tie with Baylor atop the league standings.

Coach Sherri Coale said the win was important, but she didn't overemphasize it, and neither did her team. Oklahoma's long-term success -- 15 straight NCAA tournament appearances, six regular-season Big 12 titles and four conference tournament titles -- make such victories the expectation. Coale said her team improved early in the season, despite a 5-5 start, and the growing pains put the Sooners in position to beat the Longhorns.

"I feel like we won this game because of what we did in November and December," Coale said. "We just had to do hard stuff. We had to get broken into pieces to build ourselves into what we want to be. We've got a long way to go guys and a lot of improvement to make, but I'm really proud of our girls."

Texas (13-2, 2-2) was coming off its first loss of the season, a 59-57 setback at Iowa State last Saturday. The Longhorns followed that effort by shooting a season-low 26 percent from the field.

"There has been a significant difference in the way we have been playing from non-conference going into conference," Enemkpali said. "We tried to make it a point to emphasize how competitive it is going to be playing in the Big 12, and how aggressive you have to be playing different players in the Big 12. On any given night, the opponent is going to compete, and honestly, we have not adjusted for how aggressive these teams are right now."

Texas led by eight with four minutes left in the first half before Oklahoma rallied. The Sooners finally took a 27-26 lead on a free throw by Little 1:21 before halftime. The Sooners led 31-28 at the break, despite Enemkpali's 13 points and 11 rebounds.

A 3-point play by Little pushed Oklahoma's lead to 36-28 less than 2 minutes into the second half, and Gioya Carter's 3-pointer pushed the Sooners' lead to double digits for the first time.

Texas rallied, and a 3-pointer by Celina Rodrigo cut Oklahoma's lead to 44-42. Oklahoma's Gabbi Ortiz responded with a 3-pointer, and Oklahoma maintained control the rest of the way.

"The last two (games) especially, we could have changed the outcome," Texas center Imani McGee-Stafford said. "It wasn't that we were defeated flat out. We were not executing, we were not moving, we were not doing what we needed to do."


Texas: The Longhorns won two out of three last year. ... Enemkpali, who had at least three blocks in her previous four games, had three more. ... G Empress Davenport played one minute before picking up her second foul, and she didn't return in the first half. She finished with two points in 15 minutes.

Oklahoma: The Sooners' bench outscored Texas' reserves 11-2 in the first half. ... Carter, who averaged 17 points her previous four games, fouled out after scoring 11 points in just nine minutes. ... F Kaylon Williams fouled out with seven points and five rebounds.


Texas: hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.

Oklahoma: at TCU on Saturday.