MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

March 8, 2014

Oklahoma State advances in Big 12 women's tourney; OU falls

OKLAHOMA CITY  — Brittney Martin scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as fourth-seeded and 18th-ranked Oklahoma State overcame a sluggish first half, pulling away late to beat Iowa State 67-57 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament on Saturday.

The Cowgirls were outscored 12-2 out of the gate before running off an 16-2 response to lead by four, only to fall behind again and trailed 37-30 at the half. OSU (23-7) got 14 points each from Tiffany Bias and Brittany Atkins and Kendra Suttles, who was clutch off the bench down the stretch, had 11.

“It’s always about inspiration, but I think there was a hint of a threat in there,” said Bias about coach Jim Littell’s halftime talk. “But no, I think that we all knew that we needed to start the second half with a fire under us, and I think that we did that.”

Littell credited his defense for delivering.

“We gave up too many open looks in the first half, but I thought our kids really locked in and probably played the best defense they’ve played all year long in the second half to limit them to 20 points,” Littell said.

Oklahoma State will meet Baylor, an 81-47 winner against Kansas, in today’s semifinals.

The Cyclones (20-10) tied the game at 52 with 8:45 to play but went cold. OSU used a 6-0 surge for separation and closed the game by hitting 6 of 8 free throws. Suttles scored seven straight points for the Cowgirls as they pulled away.

Hallie Christofferson led Iowa State with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Nikki Moody had 14 points. ISU shot just 34 percent, going 7 for 25 from 3-point range.

Oklahoma State shot 50 percent, outscoring Iowa State 40-22 in the paint, and forced Iowa State into 16 turnovers, leading to a 17-6 edge in points off giveaways.

“You know, second-chance points, points over turnovers, we haven’t done as well as we need to do the last couple weeks, and it was very good for us tonight,” Littell said.

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