OSU's Jordan Schultz (12) dribbles past Missouri's Sydney Crafton (21) during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowgirls and the University of Missouri Tigers at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Mizzou won, 72-68. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Check that. Those last eight minutes, the Cowgirls showed explosive offense. Starting with Toni Young’s putback basket with 7:37 left, the Cowgirls scored 27 points and made 10 of 20 shots, including seven of 12 on 3-pointers.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been in position to have such a big lead,” said Mizzou coach Robin Pingeton. “I think they started celebrating a little bit early. It was uncharted territory for us.”
Liz Donohoe’s 3-pointer brought OSU within 63-54 with 3:11 left. Then Lindsey Keller’s 3-pointer made it 65-57 with 2:31 to go.
Bias’ 3-pointer with 47.6 seconds to go brought the Cowgirls within 70-65. Finally, Keller’s trey made it 71-68 with 21.2 seconds left.
When Eye missed the first of two foul shots with 13.3 seconds left, a miracle comeback seemed possible. But Eye made the second foul shot, and Bias missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
“We played with just more of a sense of urgency, and we played a lot harder the last eight to 10 minutes of the game than we did the first 30,” Littell said.
“I’m proud of what we did the last six or seven minutes, but you can’t fall that far behind … and expect to win. We dug ourselves too big a hole.”
OSU, 16-12, got 24 points from Bias, 13 points and 11 rebounds from Young, and 11 points from Keller.
Mizzou, 13-17, advances to a quarterfinal game against Oklahoma at 5 p.m. Thursday.