OU v Baylor Women's Basketball

OU's Sherri Coale cheers a basket during the Sooners' game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at Lloyd Noble Center. (Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

LAWRENCE, Kan. — For much of Sunday, it looked like Sherri Coale would have to wait to earn her 500th career victory. 

Oklahoma trailed Kansas by a big deficit in Allen Fieldhouse, wasn't shooting well and had yet to hit a 3-pointer by halftime. 

But the Sooners stormed to the program's second largest comeback in a Big 12 game, overcoming a 22-point halftime deficit behind Taylor Robertson's huge second half in a 94-82 overtime victory.

Coale, who is in her 24th season at OU, became the 33rd active NCAA women's basketball coach with at least 500 wins and the 73rd coach to reach the mark overall.

Robertson scored 25 of her 31 points in the second half and hit 5 of 6 shots from long range in that span. Madi Williams scored a career-high 26 points and added four assists and three steals. 

OU (11-10, 4-5 Big 12) received a big game from Mandy Simpson, who grabbed 10 rebounds and totaled 12 assists. Her assists are the eighth-most by an OU player in a single game.

Things looked bleak early on. Coale told reporters afterward the first half was an anomaly. 

"For us, we have to understand which is the real us – I know who it is; it's the second half team," she said. "In the great scheme of things, our team needed to win a basketball game today and we did."

As for reaching the milestone victory, Coale said, "500 reflects a lot of great players and a lot of committed staff members through the years. I've been very, very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people and that's the only way that happens."

Freshman guard Gabby Gregory tied a career high with 18 points and added 10 rebounds. Her layup in the fourth quarter tied the game at 71, helping the Sooners take their first lead since the opening moments. 

OU went into halftime trailing 49-27, but outscored Kansas 29-13 in the third quarter and ended the period on a 7-0 run with Williams' buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Sooners made seven 3s after intermission. 

After letting the game get tied up, Kansas pulled ahead 75-71 before another Sooners rally. Robertson's 3-pointer before the buzzer at regulation helped force overtime. 

OU had all the momentum by that point and outscored KU 19-7 in overtime. 

OU hosts West Virginia at Lloyd Noble Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday. 

Palmateer is sports editor for The Norman Transcript, a CNHI News Service publication.


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