Oklahoma defeats Oklahoma State 66-56
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Kaylon Williams put it all together during a spectacular second-half performance that gave Oklahoma bragging rights over its in-state rival and momentum heading into the Big 12 tournament.
The junior forward scored 18 of her 20 points after the break to help the Sooners defeat Oklahoma State 66-56 on Monday night. She made 7 of 10 shots in the second half.
''I'm at the point in my career where I have to grow up,'' Williams said. ''I'm in the end of my growing stage, so taking responsibility to be a presence in the post was the biggest thing in the second half I decided to do.''
Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said Williams' game has reached a new level.
''She was poised, even when she missed a couple of shots early,'' Coale said. ''Last month, that wouldn't have been the case. She wouldn't have called for the ball as aggressively. She wouldn't have made herself as available as she did. She wanted the ball, she wanted to be the difference tonight, and she was fantastic.''
The Sooners (19-10, 13-5 Big 12) bounced back from a surprising loss to last-place Kansas on Senior Night last Saturday.
''The night was big for us because we didn't feel like we took care of our seniors in the right way on Senior Night in Norman,'' Coale said. ''If there's nothing else at all, it was big for us because of that. Once you get past that, it's big because the committee is making decisions about seeding, and every single performance matters.''
Peyton Little added 16 points for Oklahoma, which swept the regular-season series. The Sooners already were locked into the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Senior Liz Donohoe scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out in her final home game, and Roshunda Johnson added 14 points for Oklahoma State (19-10, 9-9).
Brittney Martin, the team's scoring leader with 14 points per game, finished with 2 points on 0-of-11 shooting. The Cowgirls had won six of seven, and five of six since point guard Roddricka Patton moved into the starting lineup.
The Cowgirls continued their offensive struggles. They scored just 42 points in a loss to Texas, and then shot 26 percent in a 47-44 win over Texas Tech before shooting just 26 percent against the Sooners.
''Our margin for error is not very high, and it's very important that we have everybody play well,'' Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said.
Still, powered by one of the Big 12's best defensive squads, Oklahoma State led 20-19 at halftime. The Cowgirls shot 18 percent before the break for its worst shooting half of the season.
Oklahoma shot just 22 percent in the first half and posted its lowest-scoring half of the season.
''Everybody was playing like you just had three Red Bulls before you ran out on the floor,'' Coale said. ''We were wound up.''
Two 3-pointers by Little and two layups by Williams powered a 10-2 run as the Sooners took a 36-30 lead early in the second half and led the rest of the way.
''I give Oklahoma credit, but I thought we played horrible,'' Littell said.
Oklahoma: The team's leading scorers at halftime each had four points. ... Oklahoma had one offensive rebound before the break. ... Guard Gioya Carter fouled out with 12 points.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls outrebounded the Sooners 30-15 before the break and 52-35 overall. ... The Cowgirls committed 17 turnovers. ... Oklahoma State made 20 of 31 free throws.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Coale, on what the late legendary Oklahoma State coach Henry Iba might have thought about the first half: ''I thought in the first half, Mr. Iba was watching and he was just so disappointed. But then I thought, `He really liked defense, so maybe he was super-excited about what was occurring.' I didn't think either team was ever going to be able to put the ball in the basket.''
Donohoe made 8 of 20 shots, but the rest of the Cowgirls made 8 of 42. ... Oklahoma State finished with just five assists. Patton alone had averaged 7.2 assists in her previous six games.
Oklahoma: Big 12 Tournament.
Oklahoma State: Big 12 Tournament.