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OU women's basketball: Sooners' hot 3-point shooting, freshmen's double doubles fuel record-breaking rout of UAPB

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Taylor Robertson

Junior guard Taylor Robertson celebrates during the Sooners' Dec. 29 win over UAPB.

From the corner, junior guard Taylor Robertson eyed the net and, unbothered, sank another 3-pointer.

With 4:59 remaining in the second half, Robertson — one of the nation’s leading 3-point shooters — swished her seventh of the game. From the beginning of the game until 1:31 left in the second quarter, Robertson didn’t miss a single shot from behind the arc.

As is often the case with wins by OU (3-4, 0-2 Big 12), Robertson’s skill from deep was the driving force behind the Sooners’ dominant lead throughout the game, and ultimately their 107-64 victory over Arkansas Pine Bluff (1-5) Tuesday night in Norman. Her seven 3s were the most in a game by a Big 12 player in the 2020–21 season, and the fourth most by any women’s basketball player in Division I this season.

“T-Rob was T-Rob in the first half,” OU head coach Sherri Coale said after the game. “None of us were very surprised.”

Accompanying Robertson at the 3-point line, sophomore guard Gabby Gregory went 4-for-6 from long range and also garnered 23 points. Oklahoma’s 10 combined 3s in the first half tied a program record previously set in 1998. Following suit behind the team’s leading scorers, junior forward Madi Williams put up 19 points and shot 7-for-11 from the floor.

“I thought (Gregory) was super efficient, and (Williams) came up late (and) sized up defenders one-on-one,” Coale said. “(Williams) just changes things, is a strong rebounder, and (is) that offensive scorer that’s just elite when it’s one-on-one.”

The electric offensive performance by the Sooners was ignited by sophomore forward Liz Scott’s layup immediately after tipoff. OU began the game on a 15-0 run, and kept UAPB from scoring for the first four minutes. From her initial bucket on, Scott remained an integral factor in the game with five rebounds and 4-of-5 shooting. Along with Scott’s rebounding success, senior forward Mandy Simpson led the team with 11 boards.

In addition to Scott's and Simpson's play, OU’s success was heavily impacted by freshman guards Nevaeh Tot and Skylar Vann, who both orchestrated double-doubles. Tot racked up 12 points and a career-high 11 assists, recording the Sooners’ first double-double with points and assists since Morgan Hook in 2013. Meanwhile, Vann put up career highs of 14 points and 10 rebounds. The duo also joined in on the 3-point shooting spree with four combined makes.

On one of the hottest scoring nights for the Sooners in recent memory, OU reached 100 points for the first time since Dec. 16, 2017 when it crushed New Mexico, 105-63. Oklahoma posted a stout 53.8 field goal percentage and 46.9 3-point percentage in the contest while breaking multiple program and personal records.

After having all nine of their active players back in Tuesday night’s nonconference finale — Williams, Simpson and junior guard Tatum Veitenheimer previously missed time due to COVID-19 contact tracing — the Sooners are looking to roll through the rest of conference play.

“These guys are learning how to play off one another’s strengths,” Coale said. “That is going to be critical down the stretch as we play against some really good coaches in the Big 12 Conference.”

Next, OU is slated to compete against Kansas State at 7 p.m. Saturday inside the Lloyd Noble Center, streaming audio on FOX Sports Oklahoma.

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