Second half comeback pushes OU women past Missouri

Villarroel scores a career-high 31 points against in the Sooners' 74-69 win over Missouri

NORMAN, Okla. - Someone didn't give Oklahoma guard Maria Villarroel the memo it was senior night.

Villarroel, a junior from Margarita, Venezuela, stole the show and scored a career-high 31 points as Oklahoma claimed sole possession of fifth place in the Big 12 after their 74-69 win over Missouri Wednesday night in Norman.

"It's fun to play on senior night. I told Maria to have a career night for me and she did," said senior Theresa Schuknecht.

Missouri came out smoking in the first half, hitting 10 three-pointers en route to taking a 42-38 halftime lead, but the Sooners hit 16 free throws in the second half and outscored the Tigers 36-27.

"It is definitely a huge win," said Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale, whose Sooenrs improve to 8-6 in Big 12 play while Missouri falls to 7-7. "Probably my favorite part about this is the fact we never faltered during the first half when they could do no wrong."

Schuknecht, one of two senior starters for the Sooners, didn't have a bad night herself. The transfer from Arizona State grabbed 15 rebounds, scored 11 points and blocked five shots in her final home game as a Sooner.

Kate Scott, a little-used senior from Overland Park, Kan., started and played just one minute, and Stephanie Simon were also honored during senior night festivities. Simon, a forward from Clinton, had her senior season end last month when she sufferd an injury to her right knee.

"Every time a senior class graduates they take a big chunk of your identity with them," said Coale. "Sometimes seniors go and they take a bunch of points, assists and rebounds and sometimes they don't. They're always felt. They always take something with them when they go. These are three very, very special kids. Sometimes stars need a little glue in between them and these guys have been it."

Oklahoma will finish the regular season on the road with games at Oklahoma State (Saturday) and Texas (next Wednesday).

The Sooners are now 17-10 overall this season.

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