#8 Oklahoma vs. #9 Arizona
Ninth-seeded Arizona defeated eighth-seeded Oklahoma 72-69 to advance to the second round. Arizona next will face the winner of first-seed Louisiana State and 16th seed Stetson in the early game on Tuesday.
The game featured six lead changes and six ties.
University of Arizona Notes
Ninth-seeded Arizona improves to 20-11 on the season.
The Wildcats have evened their NCAA tournament record to 6-6 in their seven trips to the NCAA tournament, including the past three straight (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2005).
This is just the second time all season that Arizona has come back from a halftime deficit to win a game. The last time it happened was Jan. 26 vs. Arizona State.
Arizona is 7-2 this season in games decided by five or fewer points: defeated BYU 76-73 on Nov. 27; defeated Washington 67-63 on Dec. 27; defeated Washington State 54-51 on Dec. 29; defeated UCLA 76-73 on Feb. 20; and lost to Washington 60-64 on Feb. 26.
This is Arizona’s first NCAA tournament win since 2000, which coincidentally came here in Knoxville. That year, UA defeated Kent State (73-61) in the first round before falling to Tennessee (75-60) in the second round.
UA is 16-1 when outrebounding their opponent, which they did today, 40-39.
#20 Jessica Arnold (5-4, freshman, G) almost doubled her scoring average today with 15 points, including 10 in the first half. Her average was 8.7.
University of Oklahoma Notes
Eighth-seeded Oklahoma finishes its season at 17-13.
The Sooners have compiled a 12-8 record in their eight trips to the NCAA tournament, including the past six in a row (1986, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005).
This marks only the second time in OU’s eight trips to the Big Dance that they have lost in the first round, also doing so in 2003 at home against George Washington (71-61).
Oklahoma was 1-2 in games decided by five points or less this season: lost to Baylor 73-72 on Feb. 9 and defeated Southwest Missouri State 74-71 on Dec. 11.
# 24 Leah Rush (6-1, sophomore, F/C) led the field in scoring with 28 points to set a career record this afternoon. Her previous best was 26 (two times). Her season average was 15.1 points.
Oklahoma continued its trademark of a high percentage of field goals coming off assists, with 20 of their 23 coming from assists.