Joens Scores 18, OU Falters Versus Southern

OU shot 44% and made nine 3-pointers, but 27 turnovers, including 10 in the final frame, proved the difference as the Sooners (6-5, 0-0 Big 12) dropped their third straight contest.

Friday, December 22nd 2023, 6:58 pm

By: Soonersports.com , OU Athletics


Aubrey Joens scored 18 points, but Oklahoma lost a fourth-quarter lead and fell to Southern, 79-70, in Norman on Friday to close the team's non-conference slate.

OU shot 44% and made nine 3-pointers, but 27 turnovers, including 10 in the final frame, proved the difference as the Sooners (6-5, 0-0 Big 12) dropped their third straight contest.

The Sooners held a 13-12 lead after 10 minutes behind seven first-quarter points from Joens. Oklahoma was better offensively in the second quarter, scoring 24 points in the frame to hold a 37-31 lead at the break. OU scored the first four points of the second half, opening a 10-point lead, but the Lady Jaguars (2-9, 0-0 SWAC) clawed back into it, cutting the deficit to one just three minutes later. Another third-quarter Sooner run pushed the advantage back to seven at the end of the third quarter. Oklahoma held a six-point, 68-62 lead with 3:32 left in the game, but Southern closed on a 17-3 run to pull away and upset the Sooners.

Joens' 18 led the way as the sharpshooter finished with four 3-pointers and three rebounds. Skylar Vann added 15 points and five boards in the loss, while Payton Verhulst poured in seven points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

The loss wrapped up the team's non-conference schedule, with all five of OU's setbacks coming to teams that made the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The Sooners will look to regroup and prepare for the Big 12 slate, which opens Dec. 30 in Norman when league newcomer UCF comes to Lloyd Noble Center for a 1 p.m. tip.

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