Oklahoma State fought valiantly against Big 12 power Baylor in Sunday’s conference basketball tournament semifinal, but lots of little things ended up haunting the Cowgirls in a 65-61 defeat at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“I'm really proud of our team,” said OSU coach Jim Littell. “I thought they competed very hard. Also disappointed because I felt like we had a chance to win the basketball game.”
The Cowgirls (23-8, 11-7 Big 12) held Baylor superstar Odyssey Sims to 17 points — about 12 below her season average — but could never recover from their 26.7 percent shooting in the first half a poor shooting performance in the first half.
“In the first half, we had a lot of empty possessions where we didn't run very good offense, and those are just possessions that you can't get back,” Littell said.
And although Sims was held in check, Baylor found production from a couple other sources, including freshman forward Nina Davis, who scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds — six of which were on the offensive side.
Davis has averaged 20.8 points and 11 rebounds over the Bears’ past five contests.
“She's just one of those players that when the game is over, you don't realize she had another double-double,” said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey. “She just does her job in there, and she also had to guard (Brittney) Martin, so she wasn't just doing it on the offensive end, she had to guard Martin, and Martin is playing very well right now.”
Martin, a sophomore guard, turned in another double-double performance Sunday with her 11 points and game-high 15 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop Baylor from advancing to yet another Big 12 tournament championship game.
The Bears led 31-22 at halftime, and although the Cowgirls pulled within two points on a Kendra Suttles lay-up wth eight minutes to play and hung around until the final buzzer, it was never enough.
“As you play, you don't really worry about that,” senior guard Tiffany Bias said when asked about the frustration of getting close but being unable to get over the hump. “I think when we have the momentum on our side, we need to slow down and keep that momentum on our side. I think we learned from it today that slow the ball up when we don't have something and get a good shot on our offense.”