Oklahoma women's basketball drops season opener to Houston

At Lloyd Noble Center, Oklahoma Sooners come out on wrong end of a 97-85 final
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In Year 25 under Sherri Coale, the Oklahoma women's basketball program boasts an elite sharpshooter, an experienced interior scorer, and a wealth of young talent.

Nevertheless, in their first game since the 2019-20 campaign came to an abrupt halt due to COVID-19, the Sooners couldn't quite overcome an efficient and opportunistic Houston squad. The Cougars prevailed 97-85 behind 23 points from Britney Onyeje, scoring their second win in as many years over Oklahoma.

Houston took a 46-44 lead into the second half and never relinquished it, taking advantage of 21 turnovers and 3-of-15 three-point shooting from their opponents. Madi Williams led the Sooners with 25 points, and Gabby Gregory chipped in 18 of her own. Senior forward Mandy Simpson recorded a double-double, notching 11 points and leading all players with 13 rebounds.

The Cougars kept Taylor Robertson in check, as OU's sweet-shooting junior guard went just 3-of-8 from the perimeter and tallied a mere 13 points. No other Oklahoma player recorded a three-point field goal, though the Sooners did do significant damage from the charity stripe. The team converted 32 of 39 free throw attempts, with Gregory going a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.

Freshmen Heavenly Greer and Nevaeh Tot also got their first taste of collegiate action for the Sooners. Greer, a 6-foot-3 post player from Arizona, scored three points and grabbed five rebounds in relief of Simpson. Tot had four points, all on free throws, and added three rebounds and two assists.

Next up for Coale and the Sooners is a trek to Vermillion, S.D., where they'll face off with No. 21 Gonzaga on Saturday. OU will then take on No. 1 South Carolina on Sunday, then close out their road trip with a Monday evening tilt against South Dakota.

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