Sooners Offense Powers OU Past Cincinnati

Sooners Offense Powers OU Past Cincinnati

Skylar Vann scored 22 points, and Lexy Keys and Sahara Williams each added 17 points to help No. 23 Oklahoma beat Cincinnati 95-87 on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma (19-7, 13-2 Big 12) bounced back after losing for the first time since Jan. 10, ending a nine-game winning streak on Saturday against No. 24 West Virginia. With the win, Oklahoma, who leads the Big 12, has clinched a top-four seed at next month's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, guaranteeing it a double-BYE in the bracket.

Oklahoma scored the opening seven points of the game and never trailed against Cincinnati — leading by as many as 22 points with 4:22 left in the third quarter. 

Oklahoma was ahead 93-74 with 3:15 left, but Cincinnati scored the next 13 points to force the Sooners to bring back their starters. A'riel Jackson scored six points during the run, capped by two free throws with 22.7 seconds left. Nevaeh Tot went 1 of 2 from the stripe with 13.1 seconds left for a three-possession lead at 94-87.

Aubrey Joens scored 10 points off the bench for Oklahoma. Keys went over the 1,000-point mark for her career.

Jillian Hayes, in her 103rd career start, paced Cincinnati (12-14, 4-11) with 20 points. Hayes also reached 800 career rebounds. Malea Williams, who scored 10 of Cincinnati's opening 15 points, finished with 18 points. Jackson also scored 18.

Vann scored 12 points in the first half as Oklahoma held a 44-37 lead. 

The Sooners return to action on Saturday (Feb. 24) in Norman for the second round of Bedlam with Oklahoma State. Tip is set for 1 p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on FOX.