Stillwater News Press

January 18, 2014

No. 11 Cowgirls overpower struggling Texas Tech

By Derek Brown
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State must have been a little bit sleepy when the noon game on Saturday against Texas Tech began.

The No. 11 ranked Cowgirls did not start strong but ended dominant. The Cowgirls held just a five-point lead at halftime. Oklahoma State exploded on the Lady Raiders to come away with a 82-56 victory.

“The first half we came out really sluggish. Like we were really tired. We shouldn’t have been like that. We got up early enough to get all of our sleepiness out,” Brittney Martin said.

OSU did not score its first points until LaShawn Jones made a bucket with 15:44 in the first half.

“I know this team’s too talented to go five minutes without scoring,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “In athletics you got to be mentally ready to go.”

Oklahoma State got a halftime speech that made the women respond.

“We just presented this to them. There wasn’t a voice raised. ‘How do you want to present yourself. We got our fans in here that have come to watch you. We’re on national TV. You’re playing to possibly be in the top 10. Is this how you want to present yourself?’ That was pretty much the escence of the talk at halftime,” Littell said.

The Cowgirls jumped to 16-1 as Texas Tech fell to 6-11. The Lady Raiders were searching for their first Big 12 win as they entered Stillwater but fell to 0-6 in conference play.

The Cowgirls shot 43 percent in the first half and 58 percent in the second.

“I think it was ball movement. We reversed the ball a lot better. We were standing in the first half and didn’t swing the ball side-to-side,” Littell said.

Oklahoma State had just seven turnovers, compared to Texas Tech’s 15.

“Anytime we’re under 10 turnovers I feel good about that,” Littell said.

OSU had incredible balance with five players in double figures. Martin led the Cowgirls wth 15 points. Brittany Atkins scored 14, Jones dropped in 13 and Liz Donohoe and Kendra Suttles both scored 10 points. Tiffany Bias chipped in nine points in the victory.

“I thought we shared the ball very well,” Littell said.

Bias took a hard fall in the first half and looked to have dinged up her wrist. Bias’ wrist was taped but she returned and played 35 minutes and had seven assists, four steals and just one turnover.

“(Bias) is just that type of player. She’s very special,” Littell said. “We feed off of what Tiffany Bias does. She’s out leader and she’s the motor to this team.”

Bias got more time off against Texas Tech than she has all season. Before coming into the game against the Lady Raiders Bias sat out five seconds in the last 16 games. Bias got five minutes of rest at the end of the game Saturday.

Donohoe sparked the Cowgirls with a strong performance in the second half. Donohoe scored 10 points but added 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Donohoe has struggled recently but helped Oklahoma State tremendously Saturday.

“Everybody in any sports goes through a slump from time to time. It’s how you handle that adversity that defines you,” Littell said. “When she wasn’t scoring she produced 13 rebounds and I thought she made some really nice passes in the second half.”

Texas Tech’s Amber Battle was able to find openings in the Cowgirl defense as Battle scored 21 points. Battle was the Lady Raiders’ only scorer in double digits.

“I don’t like giving up 21 to anyone but she earned a lot of those baskets and hit a lot of tough shots,” Littell said.

Texas Tech coach Candi Whitaker returned to Gallagher-Iba Arena Saturday but was on the other bench.

“Stillwater is a good place with good people. I was excited to see the girls,” Whitaker said.

The game marked the first time that Littell and Whitaker have coached against each other.

“She’s very good at what she does. I’m extremely proud of her and she’ll do well there,” Littell said.