That was a big problem for the Huskies Monday, at least for the first 20 minutes.
Whenever the Huskies got tangled with the Sooners, the whistle seemed to tweet. And soon UConn had a numbers problem, foul-wise, that threatened to minimize the one they were building on the scoreboard.
But foul calls have a way of evening up, and eventually they did, enough to tip the scales in UConn's favor.
The Huskies built a 17-point lead early in the first half, watched it dip to six, and then recovered to beat the Sooners, 73-55, before a crowd of 6,291 at Lloyd Noble Center.
"The coaches just do a really good job of keeping us level-headed," Tiffany Hayes said. "We kept our heads, came down the floor, we ran our stuff. We didn't let anything go to our heads."
The Huskies (24-2) were led by Hayes, who scored 23 points and added seven assists and six rebounds. Bria Hartley added 20 points and seven rebounds.
"If Tiffany continues to play like a first-team All-American, we could have a pretty good run from here on," coach Geno Auriemma said.
Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 10 points each for the Huskies.
The Sooners (16-8) were paced by Whitney Hand (18 points) and Sharane Campbell (11 points).
For the past four seasons, Auriemma and Sherri Coale, the Burns and Allen of women's basketball, have carved time out of their schedules so that UConn and Oklahoma could play. But those days are now over.
The four-game, regular-season series between the teams came to an end in a sea of pink — it was cancer awareness night here — meaning the pre- and postgame comedy skits featuring the two ended with it.
They will mercilessly kid each other. But there will be no media transcripts available when they do.
This final meeting, for the foreseeable future, was a tug-of-war, even though the Sooners aren't what they used to be when the Paris twins and Danielle Robinson were around.
Still, UConn really wasn't comfortable until Mosqueda-Lewis drained a three with 2:52 to play and Hartley followed it up with a hoop 26 seconds later to make it 66-50.
Most of the whistles were blown against the Huskies in the first half. They had 12 fouls to Oklahoma's five and that put them into a precarious situation with Mosqueda-Lewis (three fouls ) on the bench and three others with two.
"We don't worry about the officiating," Hartley said. "We have too many other things to be concerned about. Whatever the calls are, you just have to deal with it."
By the end of the game, the Huskies had only three more fouls (17 to 14) than the Sooners.
"You can't predict what the officiating will be like," Auriemma said. "You can't predict what the tempo or mood of the game will be. Oklahoma plays a style that if you are not careful puts you into a crazed state, running up and down, bodies flying all over.
"It seemed like every time a body was sprawled out on the floor, there was a foul on us. Everything that happened was a foul on us. But it's part of the game and what you need to do is adjust."
The Huskies led 37-28 at the half, but they led 21-4 after a basket by Dolson capped a 19-2 run. Then the game began to change.
Hand, engaged to Sooners' quarterback Landry Jones, scored seven straight points to get it going on an 11-0 run. UConn, which made 6 of its first 7 shots, then went cold and the Sooners stormed back into the game.
The Sooners actually got within 33-28 before Hayes and Hartley, on a deft drive up the floor, closed out the scoring. Both had 12 points in the first half.
UConn missed 20 of their last 28 shots and ended the half 14 of 35. The Sooner had just eight field goals and shot 29.6 percent, but their 10 foul shots – and Hand's 10 points - kept within reach.
Now they can get on with the business of working to the Feb. 27 showdown for the Big East regular-season championship at the XL Center. Of course, each team still has three conference games remaining before then. UConn's first is Saturday at Gampel Pavilion againstSt. John's.