Oklahoma women's basketball: Sooners advance to Big 12 semifinals

Sharane Campbell's free throw with five second left lifts OU to a 65-64 victory over West Virginia.
By Gina Mizell Published: March 9, 2013
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photo - The Oklahoma bench celebrates during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and West Virginia at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Saturday, March 9, 2012. Oklahoma won 65-64.  Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
The Oklahoma bench celebrates during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and West Virginia at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Saturday, March 9, 2012. Oklahoma won 65-64. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

DALLAS — For the first 23 minutes, West Virginia looked like it had disguised itself as Oklahoma and was sharpshooting its way into the semifinals of the Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament.

But then a blowout quickly turned into a nail-biter and then a dramatic comeback victory for the Sooners, with Sharane Campbell's free throw with five seconds left sending OU to a 65-64 victory Saturday night at the American Airlines Center.

OU will next face second-seeded Iowa State in Sunday's semifinals.

Campbell had gotten free under the hoop and hit the floor hard after being fouled by Crystal Leary. She missed the first free throw but made the second, and WVU's Bria Holmes missed the potential game-winning 3-pointer in the left corner at the buzzer.

When that final buzzer sounded, it was difficult to fathom that OU once trailed by 22 points in the second half. But then OU staged a 31-7 surge to take a 60-58 lead on a pair of Aaryn Ellenberg free throws with 4:22 remaining. Neither team led by more than two the rest of the way.

The first half 20 minutes were largely defined by the 3-pointer, but not in the way the percentages would have predicted.

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