Still Dancin'

Oklahoma's Rosalind Ross (33) joins teammates Caton Hill (10) and LaNeishea Caufield (35) as they celebrate their win over Duke Friday, March 29, 2002, in the semifinals at the NCAA Women's Final Four in San Antonio.

The stage is set.

Rosalind Ross scored 26 points as Oklahoma (32-3) advanced to Sunday's national championship matchup against undefeated Uconn with an 87-71 win over Duke (31-4) Friday night in San Antonio.

Oklahoma started off shaky from the opening tip, but a 9-0 run midway through gave the Sooners an early 27-15 cushion.

"We have to get a feel for the game and I think it took a lot longer then expected," said Caton Hill.

"We were fortunate that we didn't get further behind them then we did. But once we started sharing the ball we were in control."

The Blue Devils would cut that lead to 29-24, but the Sooners responded with an 11-4 run, capped by a Ross three-pointer, to take a 40-28 halftime lead.

Oklahoma extended the lead to as many as 17 points in the first four minutes of the first half, but the Duke used a 24-2 run to cut OU's lead to 64-62 with 7:49 to play.

"Team's like Duke, UConn and Tennessee are going to make runs like that," said freshmen point guard Dionnah Jackson, who scored nine points off the bench.

"When they make their runs, this is when you have to come back at them and never give up. We come together and play harder when a team starts to make a run, that's what makes us better."

The Sooners then put the game away for good when Caton Hill and Rosalind Ross hit three's in an 8-1 run that broke the game open.

Icis Tillis led Duke with 19, while Alana Beard was held to just 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting.

Oklahoma will now play top-ranked and undefeated Connecticut in the national championship game Sunday night. The Huskies advanced to Sunday's final with a 79-56 win over Tennessee.

"This is the moment we've all been waiting for," said Ross, who hit four three's.

"To get to the Final Four and now we're in the championship."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories