Stillwater News Press

Sports

February 28, 2014

Cowgirls to say goodbye to stellar senior point guard

STILLWATER, Okla. — Tiffany Bias was put in a tough situation her first day on Stillwater’s Oklahoma State campus four years ago.

The native of Andover, Kan., was expected to replace a living legend in Andrea Riley, who left the OSU women’s basketball program as the all-time leading scorer in program and Big 12 Conference history.

“She came in as the heir apparent to Andrea Riley and we recruited her to come in and play immediately and make an impact,” Cowgirl coach Jim Littell said. “And that’s exactly what’s happened for four years.”

Instead of trying to be the next Andrea Riley, Bias made her own name. She’s been a part of a NIT National Championship squad, is on the verge of leading OSU to its second straight NCAA appearance and will leave Stillwater as the program’s leader in assists — with a number she continues to grow every game.

She is one of three seniors that will be recognized before Saturday’s game against Kansas State, along with Kamri Anderson and Kendra Suttles. But she is easily in a class of her own.

“I wish we could start all over again. She’s had a great career here and we really want to finish well for our seniors and for her,” Littell said.

The importance of the senior point guard is apparent by the fact that she has played 40 minutes in 11 of Oklahoma State’s 16 Big 12 contests, and 20 of her last 26 Big 12 games. She is slated to make her 105th consecutive start for the Cowgirls with Saturday’s home finale.

“She’s provided a lot of leadership for this team over the last four years,” Littell said. “She was thrown into a leadership role as a freshman. You expect your freshman to be a leader, so she was thrown into that role at an early age.”

Bias has been named one of 22 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. It’s an award Riley won in her senior season.

One assist that won’t go down in her final tally will likely be one of her biggest here in her senior season.

Bias has been preparing freshman point guard Roshunda Johnson to take over the reigns next season after she departs from the program.

“She’s constantly talking to her, constantly guiding her ... but she’s done it in a very positive fashion,” the Cowgirl coach said. “There’s some players that you ask to coach up the young ones and they don’t know how to do it. Tiff has that ability that she knows how to talk to her and tell her what she has to do.”

Johnson has seen progress already under the tutelage of Bias. The Little Rock, Ark., native has been Oklahoma State’s biggest contributor off the bench and even managed to crack the starting lineup in five games.

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