AUSTIN TX - The No. 20 Oklahoma State Cowgirls sought to upend the No. 6 Texas Longhorns and continue their six-game win streak in Frank Erwin Center on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The Cowgirls started looking like a different team compared to the one that lost to the Longhorns 78-48 earlier this season. They capitalized on multiple Texas turnovers and dominated rebounds 13-8 in the first quarter. Early mistakes by the Longhorns led to Oklahoma State gaining a 6-point lead in the first half of the period.
Texas rallied back after the five-minute mark, taking back the lead for a brief period before Cowgirls guard Roddricka Patton hit a crucial 3-pointer to get back on top. The Longhorns quickly tied it back up in the last minute with a layup by guard Brooke McCarty. Oklahoma State struck back to finish the period on top 19-15.
Texas turned it up in the second quarter, quickly taking the lead over the Cowgirls in the first half of the period. The Longhorns turned on the aggression in the second period, forcing six Oklahoma State turnovers. Texas continued with the lead thanks to a 10-0 run, but the Cowgirls refused to let the game get away, cutting the deficit to one with two minutes left in the half. A rebound resulting in a layup by McCarty led to the Texas ending the half on top, 31-27.
McCarty led the Horns in the half putting eight points on the board, followed by forward Ariel Atkins with six. Oklahoma State guard Brittney Martin led the Cowgirls with nine points in the half.
"It seemed like we were a little bit frozen to start the game," Texas head coach Karen Aston said of the lackluster first quarter. "I don't know if we were nervous because we knew that this was going to be a very challenging game, or whether we just needed our motors to start going."
Texas ran up the score fast at the beginning of the third period, going on a 7-point run to take an 8-point lead. McCarty continued to show out for the Horns, commanding the team with superior ball control, helping Texas keep the lead throughout the period. The last two minutes of the quarter were nearly scoreless, and littered with fouls and missed opportunities for both teams. The Longhorns were able to hang on to their lead and finished the scrappy period 51-43.
"I thought the difference in the ball game was probably the first four to five minutes in the second half," Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said following the game. "We had some breakdowns where we gave up the baseline two or three times, and they got easy baskets, and the game went from four to ten, and we were trying to dig our way out the rest of the half."
The fourth quarter went back and forth for the first few minutes, Oklahoma State refusing to let Texas gain a significant lead. The Cowgirls faltered and failed to contain the Horns midway through the period, allowing a 10-point lead. Texas continued to thrive throughout the quarter, stifling Oklahoma State's few opportunities, driving their lead to 13 with a minute to go. The Longhorns closed it out on top decisively, 70-55.
McCarty had a stellar day, leading Texas with 18 points, followed close by Atkins with 16. Martin ended the game leading the Cowgirls with 21, followed by center Kaylee Jessen with 15.
"I was just thinking that I needed to do something to help our team with and my teammates," McCarty commented on her tremendous outing. "I knew that if I attacked I could get them open and get the posts open, so I just did what coach asked us to do, and it worked out."
The win puts the Longhorns at 22-1 and 11-1 in the Big 12, and Oklahoma State at 18-5, and 8-4 in the Big 12.