Joanna McFarland scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the never-say-die Sooners defeated the No. 3 seed UCLA Bruins 85-72 to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Things were back-and-forth for a good part early on as UCLA held an 18-15 lead at the 12-minute mark of the first half. But OU exploded on a 15-3 run in just three minutes of action to grab a 30-21 advantage. The Sooners' lead was as big as 10, but the Bruins battled back, closing the half on a 7-2 run to pull within 42-37 at the break.
UCLA used an 8-3 burst right out of the second-half gate to tie the game at 45-45, but Sharane Campbell's corner-3 broke the tie and put the Sooners back on top. That shot seemed to energize the team as OU put together a 15-5 run to lead 60-50 and force the Bruins into a full timeout.
Aaryn Ellenburg's 27 points helped to make sure the Sooners held that lead for good. Ellenburg hit six 3-pointers, while Sharane Campbell added 19 points on 6-8 shooting.
Atonye Nyingifa led UCLA with 18 points and eight rebounds while Jasmine Dixon added 13 points and eight boards. Markel Walker scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Bruins, but her eight turnovers proved costly.
The Sooners shot 40.7 percent from the floor compared to just 38.2 percent for UCLA. OU was outrebounded 50-37 but made up for it by winning the turnover battle, 14-7.
Oklahoma improves to 19-0 when leading at halftime; 23-1 when it has a higher field goal percentage than its opponent; and 20-1 when it holds and opponent to 40 percent or lower field goal shooting.
OU is 30-15 overall in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round for the eighth consecutive season. Oklahoma has advanced to the Final Four each year it has won in the Sweet 16 (2002, 2009 and 2010).
The Sooners advanced to their 10th NCAA Regional Semifinal and will face 2-seed Tennessee Sunday, March 31, at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.