By Derek Brown
Stillwater News Press
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Oklahoma State came right out of the locker room doing exactly what it needed to do.
The Cowgirls’ strong second half led to an Oklahoma State 67-57 victory over Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday morning.
“I think effort was what got us going in the game and kept us in the game,” Oklahoma State guard Brittney Martin said.
Martin led the Cowgirls’ charge with 17 points. Martin was money from inside the arc going 8 of 12.
“It was by far her best game of the year on both ends of the floor,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said.
With a 37-30 deficit at the half, the Cowgirls dominated the first few minutes of the second half. Brittany Atkins scored the first seven OSU points and Tiffany Bias grabbed a steal and took it the distance for a 39-37 lead with 18:18 to play.
“Brittany Atkins turned the ballgame around to start the second half. She got some run-throughs defensively and just really gave us a big spark. The 9-0 run that was led primarily by her was the point of making our kids believe that we could get back in the thing,” Littell said.
Oklahoma State’s Kendra Suttles had a nice day with 11 points. Suttles shot 4 of 5 including dropping in a 3-pointer in the second half. Suttles did all of that in just 15 minutes of play.
“That really got our momentum picked up again,” Bias said.
Bias and Atkins both dropped in 14 points in the victory. LaShawn Jones scored 10 points for the Cowgirls.
Iowa State’s Hallie Christofferson charted a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Nikki Moody ended up with 14, 13 in the first half.
The Cyclones were almost shut down entirely from beyond the arc in the second half. Iowa State shot just 1 of 8.
“I think we were a lot more conscious about guarding the 3 after about the first 10 to 12 minutes,” Littell said.
The Cowgirls forced 16 turnovers and gave up the ball just 10 times. OSU outscored Iowa State 17-6 in points off of turnovers.
While Iowa State had success from past the arc, the Cowgirls dominated inside with 40 points in the paint. ISU scored 22 in the paint.
The first half had flashbacks of the previous meeting between Iowa State and Oklahoma State. The Cyclones shot 6 of 13 from long distance. The Cowgirls were 0 of 4 at half from the 3-point line.
Moody was productive for the Cyclones with 13 points. Moody acted as a sniper as she hit four of her six 3-point shots and a free throw after being fouled on one her long-range shots. Christofferson had 10 points at half.
Bias and Martin had eight points apiece in the first half.
The Cowgirls will play Baylor, which routed Kansas 81-47, at 2 p.m. Sunday in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.
“You know, Baylor obviously is very strong and features the best player in the country,” Littell said. “Baylor is indicative of their record, 26-4, and having the leading scorer in the nation, and they've got Nina Davis who's just a rebounding machine inside.”