By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Jim Littell made an opening move in a chess match with Oklahoma coach Sheri Cole that led to the Oklahoma State women's basketball team getting checkmate in Sunday's Bedlam battle at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The Cowgirl coach returned to the lineup that led to early-season success with starting both post players LaShawn Jones and Kendra Suttles. The result was an absolute barrage on the blocks in a 73-57 blowout.
Oklahoma State held a plus-17 margin in rebounding over the Sooners — with an astounding 17 offensive rebounds, with 12 coming in the first half. The Cowgirls, who improved to 9-4 in Big 12 Conference play, capitalized with 19 second-chance points and a staggering 34 points in the paint.
"That’s the lineup we started with at the beginning of the year, and we were probably playing a little better at that time. It was just a hunch that I was going to go that lineup," Littell said. "Kendra Suttles has kind of a calming force on our team. She knows how to play. She can create some baskets on her own."
With Suttles starting her first conference game of the season, the senior forward from Lawton scored 13 points and hauled in six rebounds — while also getting three assists and two blocks.
Jones had 11 points for the Cowgirls with four rebounds, but it was her defense against OU's Nicole Griffin that really put the pinch on Oklahoma. Griffin came into the contest averaging 11.3 points per game with 5.8 rebounds. The Sooners' senior center was limited to three points and two rebounds.
But that wasn't the only surprising stat line for the Sooners.
The Cowgirls' defense prevented all five of OU's starters from scoring double digits — including Aaryn Ellenberg, who is third in the Big 12 in scoring with 18.4 points per game. Ellenberg went 3 of 10 for 8 points before being knocked out of the game on a legal screen by Suttles in the backcourt.
"We have great defenders, so we take pride in it," OSU senior point guard Tiffany Bias said. "It’s all about effort when it comes to defense. I think we all gave it effort coming in."
The only Oklahoma player to reach the double-digit plateau was bench player Nicole Kornet, who went 4 for 8 from 3-point range to finish with 14 points.
Bias scored 12 points with six assists, eight rebounds, eight turnovers and four steals as the Cowgirls had all five of their starters score double figures — with Liz Donohoe leading all scorers with 14 points to go with 11 rebounds, and Brittney Martin chipping in with 10 points.