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'I don't want to lose to Oklahoma again': No. 16 Texas earns revenge in Red River rematch

Texas guard Audrey Warren races up the court for a fast-break basket during Saturday night's 78-63 win over Oklahoma. Warren finished with 21 points, matching her career high.

For a while Saturday night, the basketball just kept bouncing Texas' way against Oklahoma.

Rori Harmon can attest to that. During the third quarter, the Longhorns freshman swiped the ball away from Sooners guard Kelbie Washington. It was heading out of bounds but then bounced off an official and turned into a fast-break opportunity for Harmon, who scored on the other end.

Less than a minute later, she was defending an inbounds play when Oklahoma's entry pass bounced off her back. Texas guard Shay Holle scooped up the wayward ball and raced down the court for two more points.

Texas guard Joanne Allen-Taylor looks for an open teammate during Saturday's victory over Oklahoma. The win knocked the Sooners out of a first-place tie with Iowa State atop the Big 12 standings.

Harmon's and Holle's baskets were part of a dominant third quarter by No. 16 Texas in the 78-63 win over No. 12 Oklahoma at the Erwin Center. Down 38-37 at halftime, the Longhorns outscored Oklahoma by 21 points in the third.

With the win, Texas (17-6, 7-5 Big 12) knocked Oklahoma (20-4, 9-3) out of a first-place tie in the conference standings. The Horns also remained in the hunt for the regular-season crown with Iowa State, which is now the Big 12's lone leader. The Cyclones come to town Wednesday.

"Huge win," UT's Audrey Warren said. "We always say that every game — every win's a big win — but this one, I think this one showed our toughness and showed that after a tough first half that we can come out and listen to Coach and do what we need to do to win it."

More:For Texas' new-look roster, the Red River Rivalry has been an acquired taste

Over the first 20 minutes, Texas held only two short-lived leads. But while an announced crowd of 3,793 was entertained at halftime by a mature dance troupe from Sun City, senior Joanne Allen-Taylor said coach Vic Schaefer's message in the locker room was to "stop turning over the ball."

A Texas team that had 10 turnovers in the first quarter had three giveaways in the third. Meanwhile, Oklahoma lost the basketball on its first three possessions and had nine turnovers.

Texas didn't attempt a 3-pointer in the third quarter but was 8-for-15 from the field. The Longhorns held the nation's second-best scoring offense to 22.2% shooting in the session.

Despite entering the game with a subpar free-throw percentage, 280th nationally, Texas knocked down 11 of its 13 free throws in the third quarter. Five of those were made by Warren during a five-second span. That sequence gave UT a 50-42 advantage and was set up by a foul that Warren drew on a desperation 3-point attempt near the Texas bench and a technical that OU coach Jennie Baranczyk received in protest.

"We create our own adversity, so that's on us," Baranczyk said. "We felt sorry for ourselves in that third quarter. We can be better, and we can grow up, and we can figure that out. And me too. They were a direct reflection of me."

During the third quarter, Allen-Taylor (nine points) and Warren (seven) both outscored the Sooners by themselves. Schaefer called it "the best defensive third quarter we've had all year against that kind of a team."

"I think we were just tired of hearing the coaches say that we need to stop turning over the ball," Allen-Taylor said. "So we took care of the ball the third quarter, and we got tremendous looks."

More:Charge it: Texas' hard-nosed Audrey Warren is 'the tough player that we need'

Warren — the great-great-granddaughter of one of OU's Sooner Schooner's original sponsors — finished with 21 points, matching her career high. Allen-Taylor contributed 14 points. Lauren Ebo, who's UT's only other senior, added 13 points and 14 rebounds. 

Ebo transferred to Texas last season, but both Allen-Taylor and Warren have been at Texas since the 2018-19 campaign. Texas is now 6-2 against Oklahoma over the past four seasons. The Sooners, though, earned a 65-63 win over UT last month.

"I told the team before (that game that) I don't want to lose to Oklahoma again," Warren said. "I don't want that, and I think they heard it loud and clear."

Oklahoma was led by Madi Williams' 16 points. Taylor Robertson chipped in 13, but one of college basketball's top 3-point shooters was limited to a 2-for-6 performance from deep.

Tip-ins: Ebo recorded her team-high third double-double of the season. She grabbed nine of UT's 23 offensive rebounds. ... A sophomore, Holle made her second career start and scored 10 points. ... Texas is 5-4 against ranked teams.