Bedlam women's basketball: Cowgirls start fast, finish off Sooners
NORMAN — Natasha Mack put in a fastbreak layup, then scored from close range on each of Oklahoma State’s next two possessions.
Taylen Collins, Ja’Mee Asberry and Micah Dennis followed with buckets of their own, and the Cowgirls were off and running in the third quarter.
The big run sparked OSU to a 66-53 win over OU in the first Bedlam meeting of the season Tuesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.
OU had scored the first basket of the second half to cut OSU’s lead to 29-22, but the Cowgirls responded with 12 straight points for a 41-22 advantage.
“We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy and push the ball up and down the floor,” said the 6-foot-4 Mack, who had 16 points and seven rebounds. “We had more numbers than they did.
“We have to keep high energy the whole game. We can’t expect to be up by 20 and the other team not hustle back.”
OSU’s advantage peaked at 24 points, but in the fourth quarter, the Sooners chipped away at the lead behind the charge of Taylor Robertson and Gabby Gregory, getting as close as 10.
With only seven available players became of COVID-19 protocols, the Sooners had no answer for the Cowgirls’ depth or size inside. OU had only three forwards available, and all of them dealt with foul trouble. Liz Scott fouled out with 4:14 to play.
Still, the Cowgirls appeared dialed in from the start.
“With rivalry games, you always have to be on your ‘A’ game, you have to be playing your best,” said Collins, a freshman from Muldrow who had 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists in her first Bedlam game. “Everybody knew that. Everybody was thinking a lot differently and thinking about the best ways they could make an impact in this game.
“I feel like we came together and were all connected and playing on the same page.”
The Cowgirls were especially sharp early in the game and at the start of the third quarter, two areas where coach Jim Littell stresses performance.
“You can win games in the first five minutes of the game and the first five minutes of the second half,” Littell said. “We got a good lead in there. We didn’t finish the last five minutes like we would’ve liked to have done, but it’s important, especially on the road, that you win the first five minutes of the game, and I was proud of our kids for coming out and doing that.
“They did a good job locking down defensively. They didn’t miss any assignments and were pretty spot-on the way they defended to start the ballgame.”
Asberry, the Cowgirls' junior point guard, led all scorers with 19 points. OU got 18 from Robertson, including four 3-pointers, and 14 points from Gregory.
“I knew what our fans feel about the Bedlam situation in every sport,” Littell said. “We’ve stressed to our players that Bedlam is not one of 18 games, Bedlam is the most important game on the schedule. And we will always approach it that way. That’s why it’s good to come in here and get a win.”