STILLWATER — Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell quickly turned to the positives of his team's performance against No. 1 and defending national champion Baylor.
The No. 19 Cowgirls grabbed 22 offensive rebounds against a team with 6-8 Brittney Griner in the post. They totaled 27 second-chance points. A higher intensity on the defensive end helped force 20 Baylor turnovers.
But OSU simply didn't hit enough shots to take advantage of some early Baylor miscues, and the Lady Bears pulled away to an 81-62 victory Saturday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“We missed point-blank shots right at the rim,” Littell said. “If you're going to compete against these people, you not only gotta hit open shots, you gotta hit some tough shots …
“They speed you up and their length causes problems, but that's what it takes to beat them is to hit tough shots. But you darn sure gotta hit the point-blank shots against them.”
Because of those forced turnovers and offensive rebounds, the Cowgirls (15-5, 4-5 Big 12) took 22 more shots than Baylor (20-1, 10-0) but made just 31.6 percent of their attempts. Leading scorer Toni Young particularly struggled, making just six of her 24 shots from the floor.
Those types of difficulties are common against Griner, who not only can affect the player she's guarding with her size and wing span, but the entire offense simply because of her presence in the post.
But OSU had problems hitting open looks, as well. On a possession in the first half that could have tied the game at 25, Lindsey Keller missed two uncontested layups. Baylor then scored 12 of the final 15 points of the half to take a 37-26 lead into the locker room.
A 21-point lead for Baylor early in the second half dwindled back to 11 on a layup by Young with 10:43 to play, but the Lady Bears responded with a mini 6-0 spurt that essentially put the game away.