1:30 PM ET, March 2, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- With 13 straight bids to her credit, Gail Goestenkors knows all about getting into the NCAA tournament. With a stunning win Sunday at No. 10 Oklahoma, she hopes to get a new streak started at Texas.Brittainey Raven scored 16 points to lead the Longhorns to a 65-50 victory, preventing the Sooners from pulling into a tie for first place in the Big 12 and providing a big boost to Texas' postseason hopes."Now that we've won the OU game, I think that puts us in a good position," said Goestenkors, who went to the NCAAs at Duke every year between 1995 and 2007. "But you don't want to leave anything to chance when it comes to the NCAA tournament."Oklahoma suffered its first home loss to an unranked opponent since SMU beat a 15th-ranked Sooners squad 71-68 on Dec. 21, 2002. It was Texas' second straight Big 12 road win after starting conference play 0-6 outside of Austin."I see a lot more fight in my teammates like we really want to get to the tournament and finish the conference season off strong," Raven said.After going to the NCAA tournament seven years in a row, the Longhorns missed out the past two seasons. Jody Conradt stepped down as the Longhorns coach immediately after the team didn't make the bracket last March.A stingy defense had helped Texas build its resume with four wins against Top 25 teams this season, and it worked again against the Sooners.Texas forced a season-high 27 turnovers by the Sooners and prevented Oklahoma from using its usual formula for overcoming sloppy play by building a 43-33 advantage on the boards. It was only the second time this season that Oklahoma was outrebounded."To outrebound this team by 10, it says a lot for our kids," Goestenkors said. "We had our backs against the wall and we played like that, very aggressively."Both teams were scattershot in the first half, combining for 32 turnovers and going 6 minutes without either team scoring. After Danielle Robinson committed one of Oklahoma's 18 giveaways, Sooners coach Sherri Coale came to the edge of the coaches' box to shout instructions at her.Texas got it together first.Ashley Lindsey scored inside to tie the game at 33 early in the second half and send the Longhorns on a 9-0 run that put them into the lead for good. Raven followed with a layup, Rachel Rentschler hit a jumper from the left wing before Kathleen Nash nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Longhorns a 40-33 lead with 8:24 to play.Ashley Paris' basket off an offensive rebound cut the deficit to 47-42, but Texas responded with a 13-3 run that included eight free throws by Carla Cortijo as the Sooners resorted to fouling down the stretch.Erneisha Bailey scored 14 points and Cortijo had 12 as Texas spoiled Oklahoma's final home game of the season. Without any seniors on the roster, the entire team stood at halfcourt with disgusted looks on their faces after the game as the public address announcer read a postgame announcement that every player would return next year.A win would have lifted Oklahoma into a tie with Baylor and Kansas State for first place in the Big 12, but now the Sooners will need losses by both of those teams and a win at Texas A&M (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to share in the conference title for a third straight season."We didn't play well. We blew a golden opportunity," Coale said. "We didn't deserve to win this game and therefore don't deserve a share of the Big 12 title."Courtney Paris extended her double-doubles streak to 88 games by scoring 17 points and pulling down 15 rebounds, and Robinson added 10 points, but there were few positives as Oklahoma had its lowest point total since losing 72-36 at Texas on Feb. 26, 2005."Nobody was stepping up and wanting the basketball today, it seemed like," Sooners guard Jenna Plumley said. "We were just trying to force the effort, and that's something that we've got to stop doing and just let things come to us."The Longhorns close the regular season at home Wednesday against Texas Tech, with a chance to reach 7-9 in conference play. Two other teams have made it to the NCAA tournament with that record, and Goestenkors hopes Texas can make it three."To ensure an NCAA bid, we need to win our last home game," Goestenkors said. "Even if we don't, I feel like we're in the hunt because of our big wins that we've had throughout the course of the season."