Ride 'em, Cowgirl
Riley scores 45 points as Cowgirls fulfill promise to fans, end Bedlam skid in front of record crowd

By John Helsley Modified: January 13, 2008 at 12:09 am •  Published: January 13, 2008
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STILLWATER — At the Oklahoma State men's game Monday night, Cowgirls pistol of a point guard Andrea Riley promised fans her squad would "play so hard” if they'd just show up for Bedlam.

They showed up — in record numbers — and Riley and the Cowgirls came through and more on their pledge, routing No. 6-ranked Oklahoma 82-63 before a sellout crowd of 13,611 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Riley scored a career-high 45 points, with 37 coming in a second-half runaway that put an exclamation point on a verdict that snapped the Sooners' series winning streak at 17 games.

The crowd, the largest to ever see a women's game in Oklahoma, roared its appreciation throughout. The attendance total was some 6,000 more than had witnessed a women's game at Gallagher-Iba.

At the final buzzer, orange-clad fans spilled onto the court, forming a mob at midcourt hosting Riley, then Norman-product Taylor Hardeman upon their shoulders.

"Pretty special night,” said OSU coach Kurt Budke. "This is a night I'll never forget as a coach. It's a night our players will never forget as players. And it's a night our fans will never forget.

"This is the kind of win that has the chance to help a program take the next step.”

If so, Riley will lead the charge.

She did against the Sooners, producing the second-highest point total in Cowgirls history, behind only Donna Ridling's 51 scored in 1978.

"I was kind of in a zone,” Riley said.

Sharing the floor with Courtney Paris, the reigning Associated Press Player of the Year, Riley put on a show, even after missing eight of her 10 shots in the first half.

The sophomore from Dallas made 10 of 13 after intermission and almost single-handedly put OU's top three guards in foul trouble.

Riley drew a fifth foul on Jenna Plumley with 7:01 left to play, while Danielle Robinson and Nyeshia Stevenson finished with four fouls each, most called while chasing Riley.

"Oklahoma State was good,” said Sooners coach Sherri Coale. "They were good in every phase of the game. I thought they came out with more juice than we had.

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Oklahoma's Courtney Paris blocks the shot of OSU's Danielle Green during the Sooners' loss on Saturday night in Stillwater. Paris finished with 15 points and 19 rebounds. BY MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN

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