They say defense wins championships. That's what the Oklahoma St. Cowgirls used to their advantage in the second half against the fifth seeded Iowa St. Cyclones. Oklahoma State advances to the Big 12 Conference Semi-finals against either Baylor or Kansas on Sunday, March 9th.
Brittney Martin led the Cowgirls (23-7) with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. She had a double-double, her fifth of the season with 11 rebounds.
The Cowgirls held the Cyclones to just 20 points in the second half on just 6-of-27 shooting.
The All-Big 12 player, Hallie Christofferson, grabbed a double-double on 21 points and 11 rebounds. She was 7-of-16 shooting. Jadda Buckley finished with just eight points on 2-of-7 shooting. Nikki Moody struggled shooting the ball, 4-of-15 from the floor, and had 14 points.
It was a lot of struggling for the Cowgirls in the first half. It started by putting on big runs to get back in the ball game. Falling down 12-2 to start the game, Oklahoma State responded with a 16-2 run of their own, putting the Cowgirls in a 18-14 advantage with 9:31 left in the first half.
Tiffany Bias finished with 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting. She also had four assists, six rebounds. Did a really good job at controlling the tempo. Brittney Atkins had 14 and LaShawn Jones contributed 10 points. Five total Cowgirls finished in double figures today.
Oklahoma State's bench outscored the Cyclones 12-0 today.
After Iowa State closed the first half on a 7-2 run and led 37-30 at the break, it was a big second half run that put the Cowgirls in the lead. Seven of those points during a 9-0 run was by Atkins. It allowed the Cowgirls to take a 39-37 with 18:26 remaining in the game.
It was time to put the game away. They went on a 9-2 run with 4:55 to give the Cowgirls a 61-54 lead. Iowa State started throwing up contested three-pointers at this point, and Oklahoma State did a really good job in blocking out, rebounding missed attempts.
The Cowgirls did a really good job of extending their defense, forcing the Cyclones off the three-point line. Iowa State was just 1-of-12 in the second half from deep. That ultimately ended up being the downfall for the Cyclones.
Oklahoma State will have their hands full with either Baylor Lady Bears or the Kansas Jayhawks. Even though they swept Kansas this season, both games were hard fought, close games. So, it's not a guarantee to say the Cowgirls would beat the Jayhawks. Also, the Lady Bears topped Oklahoma State both times, so that will be an uphill battle for the Cowgirls. That game will tip off about 3 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow.
The Cyclones now wait and will see their fate on March 17th. They're considered a bubble team coming into today's game and will have worsened their chances at making the field of 64 with today's loss.
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