Tahlequah Daily Press

January 15, 2014

No. 11 Oklahoma State gets past TCU

By JASON ELMQUIST
CNHI

— STILLWATER — The lid was sealed tight in the second half for the Oklahoma State women's basketball, which made things interesting against Texas Christian University.

The Horned Frogs put together a second-half surge to flirt with an upset of the 11th-ranked Cowgirls in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Fortunately for OSU, the defense didn't fall with the offense and the Cowgirls were able to hold on for a 65-53 victory.

Oklahoma State (15-1, 4-1) came out of the games hot against the Horned Frogs, running out to a 16-point lead midway through the first half — holding TCU (11-6, 2-3) to nine points in the first 15 minutes.

"I think we were doing fine in the first half with moving the ball and getting easy shots that we wanted. The second half was when we didn't move the ball as fast as we should have," Cowgirl senior point guard Tiffany Bias said. "They were making good plays and playing good defense. They're obviously a good defensive team, but I think we got comfortable when we started settling down, hitting shots and not just rushing everything."

It was the complete opposite for OSU to start the second half. The Cowgirls made just one field goal in 13 shot attempts over the first eight minutes of the final frame, which allowed TCU to go on an 11-3 run and close the gap to as much as five points.

Fortunately freshman guard Roshunda Johnson came up with some big buckets to break Oklahoma State out of its slump. The first-year guard from Little Rock, Ark., went coast-to-coast for an easy transition layup and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers — the second one pushing the Lady Pokes back out to a 13-point lead with under seven minutes remaining.

"I felt like I really needed to step up. Today was my time to step up and be the player that they recruited me to be," Johnson said.

Making things difficult for Oklahoma State on offense was the zone defense used by TCU. The Cowgirls turned the ball over 10 times with guards Brittany Atkins and Tiffany Bias combining for seven miscues.

"That's just what we do. We've played zone for about 98 percent of possessions this year. That's what we do. They're an excellent team against any type of defense," TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. "... They had to make plays to beat us, so I thought our group showed some toughness and character there."

With the shots not dropping, Oklahoma State got plenty of second and third looks — that also had troubles going down. The Cowgirls had 46 rebounds — and an absurd 19 offensive boards, though only mustered 13 second-chance points, with only four of them coming in the second half.

I told our group that if you have it where you can stick it back in that's fine, but don't waste a possession if you feel like you're crowded in there," Littell said. "So, I feel like what we did a better job of tonight was we didn't have a point blank two footer, so we kicked it back out and tried to have a good possession of it. We didn't always do that but there were times that we got some buckets off of that."

Oklahoma State will be back in Gallagher-Iba Arena Saturday with a noon tipoff against a Texas Tech squad that is winless in Big 12 play. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma.