STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team only made three 3-pointers Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Women’s NIT against Colorado at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
As far as Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell and his Cowgirls were concerned, those were the three biggest shots this season as the Cowgirls edged the Buffaloes 78-70.
“I think that’s just what we do,” Oklahoma State sophomore guard Tiffany Bias said. “We have great shooters on the outside and we can knock down shots. I wasn’t surprised that Kendra (Suttles) and Liz (Donohoe) all had good shots when they were open. I knew that we were going to pull it out in the end.”
While Oklahoma State (20-12) was 3-of-12 from 3-point range, Colorado’s ability score 3-pointers kept the game close and helped them tie the game at 61-61 before Suttles and Donohoe drained back-to-back 3-pointers with just over 6 minutes to play to swing momentum to the Cowgirls. The Buffaloes made 15-of-32 3-pointers in the game.
“They shot it well,” Littell said. “They shot about 29 percent coming in, and they just lit us up from every spot on the floor. It’s good that we can win a game like this when a team comes into our house and shoots the ball so well.”
Bias led the Cowgirls with 24 points and six assists, while Liz Donohoe tallied 20 points and 13 rebounds. Toni Young also reached double figures with 17 points and nine rebounds.
The 24-point performance marks the second time in a week that the Bias has scored 20 or more points in a game. She had 21 against Wichita State the Sunday before, but the difference in the Colorado game was that Bias drove to the basket more than she did against Wichita State, scoring 18 of her 24 points in the paint.
“I thought this was probably Tiffany’s best game as far as lowering her head and going to the hole,” Littell said. “She put a lot of pressure on their defense. Late in the ball game, I remember she dished one to Toni for a nice play. She can put a lot of pressure on the defense when she gets in the paint.”
Oklahoma State outscored Colorado 44-14 inside – a big reason why they were able to withstand the Buffaloes’ barrage of 3-pointers.
“We started going to that probably eight to nine games ago to create more balance,” Littell said. “Our group inside just continues to get better each day on that. We probably should have gone to that a long time ago because we know there’s got to be a good balance between the inside and outside game. It’s no accident. They’re working hard to get better in the post.”
The Cowgirls will play host to San Diego, a 58-47 winner over Washington on Sunday, in the semifinals of the WNIT at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Young said the team continues to feed off the fans and she hopes another large crowd will show up on Wednesday. Approximately 2,400 fans attended Sunday’s game.
“I think people are starting to recognize that we are a good team,” Young said. “Seeing all them coming out and supporting us is actually giving us more confidence. We want to play harder for them.”