Sooner women advance to Big 12 quarterfinals

Oklahoma center Beky Preston, left, goes up against Nebraska guard Margaret Richards in the first half of the Sooners' 71-51 first round win over Nebraska Tuesday at the Big 12 Tournament in Dallas. OU will play Colorado on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

DALLAS, Texas — Dionnah Jackson scored a game-high 14 points and Maria Villarroel added 13 as Oklahoma advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament with a 71-51 win over Nebraska Tuesday in Dallas.

"We haven't played on this day in a while," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale, whose Sooners failed to earn a bye past the first round for the first time in three years. "We have these freshmen that are giddy and it is absolutely precious. They are so excited about being here. It is fun to coach a young bunch like this, particularly when they know they are at the point that they can get really good. Last year we had a lot of older girls, but this year's younger girls can play forever."

Oklahoma used a 19-9 run over the last 13:40 of the first half to break a tie and take the lead for good with a 27-17 lead at the half.

"We were nervous, but once we settled down and enjoyed ourselves, we started to look like the team we usually are," said Jackson, who recorded her 19th double figure scoring game as a Sooner.

"We came out hesitant in the first half because this is a new arena for us with new rims and new balls," said Senior center Theresa Schuknecht. "We were much more settled in the second half and really got into a groove. It looked more like us in the second half."

Schuknecht posted her fifth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"I am really proud of our team. We continue to get better," said Coale. "I thought we shared the ball offensively very well and we had a lot of people get involved. We got tremendous play off of our bench; they gave us a burst of energy and production. That is exactly what you need to see this time of year."

The fifth-seeded Sooners (19-11) will face fourth-seeded Colorado (21-6) at 2:30 p.m on Wednesday.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories