MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU & OSU Sports

January 14, 2012

Ex-OU fan leads OSU to victory

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State sophomore Jenni Bryan had been going to Bedlam games all her life — often donning a crimson and cream outfit. Her father, Rick Bryan, played football for Oklahoma, as did her uncle, Steve Bryan.

It’s no surprise that Bryan didn’t waiver under pressure on a 3-point attempt with 28.1 seconds remaining and the Cowgirls trailing 63-62.

“It felt good,” Bryan said. “I knew I was going to make it before Tiffany (Bias) passed it. I just thought, ‘I better hit this because I don't want to let her down.’ ”

Bryan scored a career-high 10 points — all in the second half  — as Oklahoma State made buckets on nine of its final 11 possessions to beat Oklahoma 66-63 in Bedlam at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday. The win snapped an eight-game Bedlam losing streak for the Cowgirls and moved Oklahoma State University’s athletic programs to 9-0 in the Bedlam series this year.

“This is my 34th year of coaching, and I have never been more proud of a team than I am today,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “Jenni showed extreme toughness… She played great in the game last year. I know this game means a lot to her and to her family.”

Oklahoma State (10-3, 2-2 Big 12) shot 32.8 percent from the field and 20 percent from 3-point land, but despite shooting below their season average Oklahoma (10-5, 2-2 in the Big 12) never led by more than 11.

“It was not that simple,” Littell said. “It was clutch shots. We were 1-for-12 at half from 3, and we made a conscious effort to go inside. We made a few shots, where they had to go down a little bit, and that opened up the outside and basically the last big shot we had.”

On defense, the Cowgirls forced 13 Oklahoma turnovers — none bigger than Tiffany Bias’ steal in the backcourt with 2:10 left that sparked the comeback. Bias also had a hand in preventing Oklahoma from attempting a game-tying shot in the final seconds.

“It’s a close game, so you have to put the pressure on,” Bias said. “You can’t really relax and let them bring it up. I just went back to my old ways of fundamentals — get down low, play defense and make them turn the ball over. It’s winding down and the game is on the line, so you really need to make a move.”

For the Sooners, the loss is made even more difficult because it’s coming on the heels of an upset over No. 10 Texas Tech on Wednesday.

“It was just like Tech, just a different ending,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “We imploded down the stretch... It’s a long road. You can’t stand around and dance about a win for three days after it happens. There’s going to be a lot of highs and lows in a season. You just have to endure them”

Liz Donohoe and Bias led the Cowgirls with 14 points each, while Toni Young added 12 points. Young also had seven rebounds and a block.

Joanna McFarland scored 16 points for the Sooners — 12 coming off four 3-pointers in the first 15 minutes of the game. Aaryn Ellenberg finished with 12 points, while Whitney Hand tallied 14 points on 6-of-17 from the field.

Fort Gibson grad Carissa Crutchfield did not score.

Oklahoma plays at Kansas State at 7 p.m. Tuesday, while OSU faces Kansas at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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