STILLWATER — Tiffany Bias insists the shot felt good as it left her hands.
With about two seconds left on the shot clock in Oklahoma State's win against Georgia Tech, Bias got the inbound pass near midcourt, took one dribble and sank the semi-desperation jumper from well beyond NBA 3-point range.
“You had to get a shot up either way, and they were denying everybody,” Bias recalled. “So I just came off of it and then I shot it and it went in. So it was fun.
"I needed that big break. That game wasn't going my way very well, so it was just a sigh, like, 'OK, let's just play.'"
That was the highlight play for Bias in the Puerto Rico Classic, where the senior point guard averaged 14 points, four rebounds, 5.5 assists and two steals over two Cowgirl wins to earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career.
Bias talked with The Oklahoman Saturday about that Puerto Rico trip, getting ready for Big 12 play and how she spent her Christmas.
You played two close games in Puerto Rico (a 63-57 win against Michigan State and a 68-60 victory over Georgia Tech). That's the first time you've been in that type of situation so far this season. What did you gain from that?
“We needed that challenge. We needed to play someone and face those athletic bodies from different conferences. They play different than us, so it's just always fun to play different people, different faces. But I think we did well. I think we battled through a lot of stuff we haven't in past years, like finishing games and pushing strong. I think we learned we need everybody on our team, and our bench helped us out a lot. They gave us a boost. I don't think we would have won those games if it wasn't for them. I'm very proud of my team that we went down there and got two wins.”
It sounds like you were welcomed back to Stillwater by a bunch of ice.
“Oh my gosh. We stepped off the bus and we're like, ‘Oh, it's not too bad, we have scrapers and stuff.' And then we walked up and I swear the ice was like (three inches) thick on our cars. It was me and Katelyn (Loecker) that were left and we were literally banging on our cars just to get the ice to crack a little bit. And it was ridiculous. I think it took us an hour to get our cars to even open to door. It was ridiculous, but what a bonding moment.”
How has the team responded after a few days off for Christmas?
“It's always good. We always need to see our family, get levelheaded and just relax for a second. And here's the big stuff coming up (Big 12 play). I think that it's good that we've gotten back in the gym, run a bit, get our shots back up and just get in the flow of things. That's just how it is with any break — two days, one day. It throws you off. It does. You get that one day off and you come back and you're like, ‘Was it just one day?' You have to get your breath back and your legs back under you.”
How did you spend your holiday?
“I did go back to Wichita. I love seeing my family, especially because I don't see them often. It was good.”
What's the best gift you got?
“I didn't ask for anything. I'm getting older, and they say that you don't really want anything after you get older. So the best thing was just seeing my family and my siblings and my parents.”
You've got one more nonconference game against Texas-Pan American. But are you all starting to get antsy for Big 12 play?
“We're just excited to see how we fare against everybody else. We're looking great and we can only get better from here. I think that everybody's anticipating it, all of our fans are ready. They've been pumping us up, so we're excited.”
What's the biggest thing you can work on in Sunday's game?
“Rebounding and blocking out. I think that's the biggest factor right now, what we're really focusing on. Even though it's not a conference game, we need to work on those little things, just to get ready and tune up for Big 12.”