STILLWATER — As Tiffany Bias checked out of the game for the final time, Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell waited for a hug.
Well, more than a hug. Littell lifted his 5-6 point guard off the ground as he embraced her.
Bias deserved that praise, as her 14 second-half points keyed the No. 23 Cowgirls’ dominance after the break in an 83-62 Bedlam rout of Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“(Bias) was very special today,” said Littell, nudging the junior sitting to his left in at the postgame news conference.
Ten of Bias’ second-half points came from the free-throw line after consistently and relentlessly driving to the hoop, despite 6-6 Nicole Griffin and 6-3 Joanna McFarland often lurking in the paint for the Sooners. Overall, she tallied 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals while playing all 40 minutes.
“She ran the show and distributed the basketball and played with great energy and great speed,” Littell said. “She was just tough to guard, and when she gets rolling like that, our other kids feed off of her.
“When she’s that good, our team takes it to a new level.”
The victory was OSU’s third over OU since 2008, and the most lopsided Cowgirl win since a 76-54 decision in Norman in 1998. It’s the second consecutive season with a Bedlam split, with both teams winning on their home floor in decisive fashion.
Following a topsy-turvy first half, which featured a 23-4 OSU run to start the game and a 25-3 spurt by OU to take a three-point lead near the four-minute mark, the Cowgirls (18-7, 8-7 Big 12) scored 49 points after intermission and blew past the Sooners (19-8, 9-6) in virtually every statistical category.
OSU out-rebounded OU 49-36, including 19 offensive boards. The Cowgirls shot 50 percent in the second half. They had more combined blocks (six) and steals (three) than turnovers (eight). They outscored OU 34-18 in the paint and 13-2 in transition.
So much of that flow starts with Bias. She is always a sparkplug at point guard, but on Saturday she matched that energy with efficiency. With her directing the OSU offense, four players — Bias, Toni Young, Liz Donohoe and Kendra Suttles — finished with at least 17 points.
That came less than two weeks after Bias struggled mightily in the first Bedlam meeting in Norman. In that game, she shot just 2-of-14 from the floor — including many missed opportunities at the rim — and finished with six points and six turnovers.
“Coach really told me to push the ball (in the second half),” Bias said. “Look for gaps and see if you have anyone else open or get to the hole if you need to. Especially on those fast breaks, when they’re still trying to transition and get back, it’s always good to attack them.”
The victory caps an odd week for the Cowgirls, who lost to a TCU team that was previously winless in conference play Wednesday night before Saturday’s blowout. That’s been the story all season for OSU, which heads into its final three conference games with eight double-digit league victories but seven losses.
Littell hopes, however, that Saturday’s big win will turn the tide in a positive way for good.
“I told them I never know which team’s gonna show up,” Littell said, “but the good one showed up, and they were pretty good today …
“I think we grew up a little bit tonight in the fact that we could have said, ‘Here it goes again. We’ve blown a lead (in the first half).’ But our kids responded and did a great job, and I’m proud of them for that.”