Marist 45

(20-11, 13-5 MAAC)

Oklahoma 58

(24-8, 9-7 Big 12)

    9:00 PM ET, March 20, 2004

    Wells Fargo Arena (AZ), Tempe, Arizona

    1 2 T
    MRST 23 2245
    OKLA 28 3058

    Top Performers

    Marist: S. Delpreore 12 Pts, 8 Reb

    Oklahoma: L. Rush 23 Pts, 5 Reb

    Rush scores season-high 23 in win

    TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Freshman Leah Rush had a season-high 23 points, leading Oklahoma to a 58-45 victory over Marist in the first round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night.

    Maria Villarroel had 12 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, and Dionnah Jackson scored 14 points for the Sooners (24-8), who lost their season finale to Texas but also beat the Longhorns to win the Big 12 Conference tournament title.

    That earned Oklahoma the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional, where it will face sixth-seeded Stanford -- a 68-44 winner over Missouri -- in the second round Monday.

    Stephanie Del Preore had 12 points and Kerry Sullivan 10 for the Red Foxes (20-11), who belied their No. 14 seed by rallying from a 47-27 deficit in the last eight minutes.

    Marist got to 47-42 on a three-point play by Maureen Magarity with 4:06 remaining. Then Rush, who matched her personal best for free throws made with a 9-for-9 performance, stopped the momentum by popping an 8-footer on the baseline and a 12-footer in the paint in a 28-second span.

    With 2:31 left, the Sooners led 52-44.

    Rush and Jackson had four points each during Oklahoma's 14-0 run to start the second half, a surge that opened a 42-23 lead.

    Marist missed its first seven shots, falling behind 10-0 before Kristen Keller, inserted after a timeout, made a layup with 15:18 remaining.

    The Red Foxes continued to struggle until reserves got them going late in the half. Megan Vetter had a 16-footer and 3-pointer 34 seconds apart, and Sullivan cut the deficit to 20-16 with two free throws with 5:11 to go.

    Kristen Vilardi had a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, bringing Marist to 26-23, and becoming only the second starter with a basket.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 45 58
    FG Made-Attempted 16-59 (.271) 17-37 (.459)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-20 (.200) 1-10 (.100)
    FT Made-Attempted 9-12 (.750) 23-24 (.958)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 19 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

    PointsS. Delpreore 12L. Rush 23
    ReboundsS. Delpreore 8M. Villarroel 10


    » Mar 20, 2004 @OKLA 58, MRST 45Recap | Box Score