Less than four minutes into Saturday’s Big 12 quarterfinal, Iowa State had connected on two 3-pointers, seemingly picking up right where it left off the last time it faced Oklahoma State.
“We gave up three open threes in the first three or four minutes of the game, and you can't do that against Iowa State,” said Cowgirls coach Jim Littell.
OSU fixed that problem, though, allowing the Cyclones only five 3-pointers the rest of the game and winning 67-57 to advance to the Big 12 Tournament semifinals Sunday.
OSU sophomore guard Brittney Martin led her team with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and guards Brittany Atkins and Tiffany Bias added 14 points apiece for the Cowgirls (23-7 overall, 11-7 Big 12).
Oklahoma State lost its last meeting with Iowa State on Feb. 26 in Stillwater, where the Cyclones knocked down 15 of 36 attempts from beyond the arc.
Saturday, Iowa State hit just 7 of its 25 3-point tries.
Senior center Hallie Christofferson led Iowa State (10-10, 9-9 Big 12) with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
“Defense,” Bias responded when asked what the difference was between Saturday and the Feb. 26 loss. “I think that's the main thing. I think when we were at home our defense was slacking a lot, and I think tonight we came out and we played the best defense we have all year.”
The Cowgirls also got tremendous production out of its five players (Martin, Bias, Atkins, LaShawn Jones and Kendra Suttles) who scored in double figures. Those five accounted for 66 of Oklahoma State’s 67 points Saturday.
Suttles scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds off the bench.
“I thought Tiffany Bias was exceptional running the offense tonight and controlling the tempo of the game, and Brittney Martin by far her best game of the year on both ends of the floor,” Littell said.