First round loss ends OU women's season

George Washington guard Marshiek Witherspoon (5) drives past Oklahoma guard Maria Villarroel during the Colonials' 71-61 win over the Sooners in the first round of the NCAA Mideast Regional Sunday in Norman. Villarroel led the Sooners with 26 points.

NORMAN, Okla. — Junior guard Maria Villarroel scored 26 points, but it wasn't enough to help the Sooners continue their season.

Seventh-seeded George Washington ended the Sooners' season and advanced the the second round with their 71-61 win over Oklahoma Sunday in Norman.

"As good as they (George Washington) were, I really felt like we beat ourselves," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale, whose Sooners committed 22 turnovers. "Points off turnovers has really been an Achilles heel all season for us. It's something we have to improve upon before next year.

The Colonials overcame a 34-31 haltime deficit with a 19-2 run to start the second half. Oklahoma used a 13-2 run of their own to cut the lead to 55-54 with 7:53 left to go, but failed to score on their next seven possessions and George Washington pulled away.

"In the past, we have been known to come back and hit big shots," said sophomore point guard Dionnah Jackson. "I think this time we were just down too far. If you hit a shot you have to go down defensively and get a stop. We let them get some threes off. You just can't do that, especially in the NCAA Tournament. Everybody is good, nobody is average."

With the loss the Sooners finish the 2002-03 season at 19-13.

"I don't think any of us need to lose sight of the fact of how special it is to be one of the 64 teams still playing this weekend," said Coale. "For these guys and what they've had to deal with this year, I don't know that I could be more proud of them."

"I'm proud of this season," said Villarroel. "It was very difficult for us but we are going to get better for next year."

OU-George Washington Box Score

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