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.
OU, which entered the contest as the Big 12's best 3-point shooting team at 38.2 percent, made just 1-of-14 attempts from long distance. Meanwhile, WVU, which came into the game ranked eighth in the conference in that category, made 8-of-14 shots from behind the arc, including a 5-of-6 mark from Christal Caldwell.
That all helped the Mountaineers take a 44-25 lead into the half and build a 51-29 advantage with 17:15 to play before OU's big rally.
The offensive numbers ultimately didn't look pretty for either team, with OU shooting 37.7 percent from the floor and just 12.5 percent from 3-point land (3-of-24) and WVU making just 33.3 percent of its shots.
Caldwell led all scorers with 22 points and logged 11 rebounds to complete her first double-double of the season. OU's Nicole Griffin scored 16 points, including 13 in the second half.