NORMAN — Prior to the Bedlam matchup at Oklahoma on Saturday, 11th-ranked Oklahoma State was unbeaten in their last 33 games when scoring at least 70 points. That streak ended in Norman, thanks to an unexpected outburst from Oklahoma guard Sharane Campbell, who scored a career-high 28 points in the Sooners' 81-74 victory over the Cowgirls.
Campbell scored on a variety of drives and jumpers and even threw in a three-pointer to go along with a perfect 11-for-11 performance at the free throw line. The outburst more than doubled the season average for the 5-10 junior from Spencer, Oklahoma, and was a pleasant surprise for an Oklahoma team (14-8, 5-4 Big 12)that was reeling after a road loss at Kansas State earlier in the week.
OU coach Sherri Coale credited part of Campbell's inspired play to the fact that she is an Oklahoma native who gets fired up to play against her in state rival.
"She was fantastic in every phase of the game," said Coale. "Sharane was focused, uninhibited and took advantage of the matchup she had."
Oklahoma State (18-3, 7-3) came into the game hoping to end a losing streak in Norman that has now been extended to 16 straight games — the Cowgirls haven't won in Norman since Feb. 7, 1998. They led 37-34 at the half, but a 3-for-19 shooting start to the second half helped the Sooners take the lead for good just 3-1/2 minutes in, and Campbell did the rest.
"Credit OU with great energy and enthusiasm. Sharane Campbell was exceptional today," said Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell. "You look at that one matchup that killed us."
For her part, Campbell had a simple explanation for her career day.
"I was just having fun with my teammates. They (OSU) were giving me the drive and I was just taking it", Campbell said. "It was as simple as that."
Oklahoma State did an excellent job defensively on OU season scoring leader Aaryn Ellenberg, holding her to just three points in the first half on 1-of-7 shooting. Ellenberg finished with 10 points, more than nine below her 19.6 season average.
But Campbell kept Oklahoma in the game in the first half, hitting 12 points in the first 20 minutes. She got help in the second half from Nicole Griffin, who scored 10 of her 14 points after intermission and grabbed 10 rebounds. Griffin also blocked six OSU shots, tying her season high.
With Griffin scoring six points, Oklahoma tied the game at 40 three minutes into the second half and took the lead for good on a jumper by Morgan Hook. From that point, the Sooners never trailed again. A three-pointer by Campbell gave Oklahoma their largest lead of the game at 68-56 and OSU was unable to mount a comeback from there.
The Cowgirls suffered their first Big 12 road defeat after starting 4-0 away from home in league play. Tiffany Bias led five OSU players in double figures with 18 points, while Kendra Suttles came off the bench to post 11 points and 10 rebounds. Liz Donohue also scored 11, all in the first half.
Oklahoma State returns to conference play Wednesday night at home against Kansas. Oklahoma has another big contest at home on Monday night, as ninth-ranked Baylor comes to town.