8:00 PM ET, February 26, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas shook off a big scare to get a big win over rival Oklahoma.Tiffany Jackson scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and No. 13 Texas overcame a frightening injury to guard Nina Norman to rout Oklahoma 72-36 on Saturday night.Norman was carried off the court on a stretcher after Oklahoma's Chelsi Welch elbowed her in the head as the two scrambled for the ball midway through the first half.Norman was taken to a hospital for tests but was released later in the night and returned to the arena after the game.It was a happy ending to a scary 11 minutes that had paramedics scrambling to her side and the crowd of 8,214 on its feet in stunned silence.Only in the huddle of Texas players was there a sense of relief that Norman was going to be OK."We knew she was going to be OK. She was talking to us, being her feisty self," said Texas' Jamie Carey. "That reassured us and helped us a lot."Although she appeared motionless for several minutes when she first went down, Norman gave a "Hook-em Horns" gesture to the crowd as she was wheeled off the court.Already stirred up by the emotions of a "Senior Night" send-off for Carey and five other Longhorns, Texas appeared angered and energized by Norman's injury."When Nina went down, it was very emotional for us," Jackson said. "We wanted to take all that emotion and put it on the court."After Oklahoma took a brief 15-14 lead, Carey turned a steal into a layup, Jackson converted a three-point play and Texas took a 30-24 lead into halftime.Texas stormed into the second with a 14-0 run that turned it into a rout. CoCo Reed got it started with a jumper, Heather Schreiber hit a 3-pointer and Jackson used an athletic move under the basket to put back a miss for a layup, giving Texas a 20-point lead."It became a track meet," said Texas coach Jody Conradt. "I don't think too many people can outrun us when we get it in high gear and get going."Texas (19-7, 12-3 Big 12) got its second huge game from Jackson in the heated rivalry. She had 30 points and 16 rebounds in Texas' 83-71 overtime win earlier this season.Dionnah Jackson scored 13 to lead Oklahoma (15-11, 7-8), which shot just 21 percent and became the third straight team to score under 50 against the Longhorns. The Sooners scored just 12 points in the second half."How do you do that?" said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. "How do good players do that?"The Sooners crumbled under the onslaught, missing their first 11 shots of the half as the Longhorns kept building on the lead as Conradt left her starters in the game. Oklahoma was a dismal 4-of-30 shooting in the second half."They just started attacking us," Dionnah Jackson said. "We didn't hold our ground and we didn't come back at them."The Longhorns have won 27 consecutive home games in the Big 12.Texas team physician Mark Chassay said after the game Norman was "unresponsive" to paramedics for about 25 seconds after the injury.Chassay said Norman felt "tenderness" in her spine but that she was cleared to be released after undergoing several tests. She returned to the Frank Erwin Center after the game wearing a neck brace but did not speak with reporters."Nina is so important to our team," Conradt said. "For us to play the way we did without her tonight is a testament to how much this team wanted to win."
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