NORMAN, Okla. – Whitney Hand scored 17 points and matched her season-high with 10 rebounds, and No. 24 Oklahoma snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Wisconsin-Milwaukee 72-50 on Sunday.
The Sooners (4-3) ended their first three-game skid since March 2008 and avoided losing four straight for the first time since January 2004. They are still in jeopardy of falling out of the Top 25 for the first time since the 2004-05 season following consecutive losses to Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Fresno State.
The Panthers (2-6) missed 17 of their first 18 shots and never could make up ground on the back end of their first-ever consecutive games against ranked opponents.
Courtney Lindfors scored 15 points to lead UWM.
Joanna McFarland, Morgan Hook and Hand hit 3-pointers as Oklahoma cruised to a 24-5 lead in the first 13 minutes. The Panthers had seven turnovers by the time Ashley Green's 3-pointer fell with 6:57 left before halftime to give UWM its second basket.
Once shots started going in, Milwaukee kept up with over Oklahoma over the next 20 minutes until Lindfors fouled out with about 5 minutes remaining. Freshman Sharane Campbell had a three-point play and a jumper in a 7-1 burst that stretched the lead to its largest point at 68-42.
Aaryn Ellenberg scored 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including just 2 for 9 from 3-point range, and Campbell had a career-high 14 for Oklahoma.
No one else reached double figures for UW-Milwaukee, which lost 72-41 at top-ranked Baylor on Thursday night.
Even in victory, the Sooners' lingering problems didn't go away.
They turned it over 21 times, increasing their average of 19.8 per game, and starting center Nicole Griffin continued a monthlong slump. The 6-foot-6 sophomore from Milwaukee had two points, five rebounds and two turnovers before fouling out in 12 minutes. She has also gone without a point in two games this season.
The Sooners haven't been out of the Top 25 since they fell out in November 2004, then never got back in over the final four months of that season. Courtney Paris, an eventual national player of the year, arrived the following fall and Oklahoma stayed ranked for the next six seasons with her and then WNBA-bound point guard Danielle Robinson on the roster.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee has lost to Wisconsin and Michigan State this season. The Panthers ended a five-game road trip and will play their next five at home, ending with an Horizon League game against No. 21 Green Bay.