Sooner women advance to Big 12 quarterfinals

Oklahoma's Leah Rush shoots over Texas A&M's Ashley Bolden during the Sooners' 86-65 victory over Texas A&M in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament Tuesday in Kansas City. Rush led all scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The Sooners will play second-seeded Texas in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 6 p.m. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

The Oklahoma women's basketball team kept their NCAA tournament hopes alive for one more day with a 86-65 win over Texas A&M in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament Tuesday night in Kansas City.

The Sooners, who led 41-40 at halftime, used a 12-1 run at the beginning of the second half to build a double-digit lead. A&M would cut the lead to 62-53 with 10:46 to go, but OU answered with a 7-0 run to put the game away for good.

"It's been a long time since we scored 86 points," said OU head coach Sherri Coale, whose Sooners shot 54.5 percent from the field.

"I thought our intensity early on, our mental toughness, being able to fight them off when they're so hot from the 3-point line, which we did not expect, was outstanding." We were able to hang around because of that. In the second half, we relaxed a little bit and started getting some things going to the basket."

Leah Rush led the Sooners with a 23 points and 10 rebounds. Erin Higgins finished with 19 points and tied a Big 12 first round record by hitting five 3-pointers.

With the win, Oklahoma improved to 17-11 overall and advance to a quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday against second-seeded Texas, who swept both regular season games. The Longhorns (20-7) beat the Sooners 83-71 on January 26 in Norman and 72-36 in Austin on February 26.

Tip-off for Wednesday's game is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net.

OU-A&M Box Score

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