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March 5, 2013

Texas Tech’s senior night upended by Sooner’s triumphant regular season finale

LUBBOCK, Texas — Against a quality team, this was the road game the Oklahoma women had not yet played.

The Sooners delivered it Monday night, the final game of the regular season, at United Spirit Arena, where they took down Texas Tech 77-73.

Win in hand, OU has stolen the No. 3 seed at the Big 12 tournament away from the Lady Raiders.

If the league standings remain unchanged after today — after TCU and Kansas meet in Lawrence and West Virginia and Texas meet in Austin — the Sooners will open conference tourney play against Bedlam rival Oklahoma State at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

That might not be anybody’s favorite matchup after what happened Feb. 23 in Stillwater — an 83-62 Cowgirls Bedlam victory — but the Sooners have to love how they secured their spot.

Against the Lady Raiders (21-9, 11-7 Big 12), OU shot 55.8 percent (29 of 52) from the field, 44.4 percent (8 of 18) from 3-point land and 91.7 percent (11 of 12) from the free-throw line, getting big contributions from their best players.

Aaryn Ellenberg finished with 25 points, her highest output since scoring 33 five weeks ago at Baylor.

Instead of Joanna McFarland with a double-double, it was center Nicole Griffin finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.

McFarland settled for 18 points and nine boards, including 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. Point guard Morgan Hook finished with 14 points and six assists.

A tight game the whole way, neither team ever led by more than seven points, while the lead changed an amazing 17 times and the score was tied six times.

The Sooners (21-9, 11-7) trailed by five points early in the second half, but took the lead with 8:58 remaining on an Ellenberg layup. McFarland followed with a 3 and Ellenberg with a 2 and OU appeared to be home free, up 58-51 with 7:32 remaining.

It wasn’t.

Three times down the stretch, Tech made it a one-point game and finally grabbed the lead back, 69-67, when Casey Morris hit a 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining.

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