Weary, ailing Cowgirls knock off Missouri
BY LYNN JACOBSEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
1/27/10 at 11:23 AM
STILLWATER — It was gut check time for 15th-ranked Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.
Tired from playing three games in six days, including a quick turnaround following Sunday's game at Colorado, the Cowgirls passed with flying colors, turning back a scrappy Missouri team 75-60 in front of 2,431 fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
"We knew Missouri was a dangerous team," OSU head coach Kurt Budke said. "I stayed on them pretty hard. I wanted to bring them home. Missouri played two great games against Oklahoma and Baylor."
Andrea Riley and Tegan Cunningham finished with 29 and 24 points, battling fatigue all the while.
"We just had to dig really deep," Riley said. "We were all tired."
Apparently the team is also battling sickness. Budke received a sick list Tuesday morning that included seven players and two coaches.
"Megan (Byford) had three IVs just to get ready for tonight's game," said the OSU coach. "I think you saw Andrea run off the court at one point. But we found a way. Every team has sickness, bumps and bruises. I told them the good ones find a way to fight through."
Precious Robinson registered her seventh game with double-digit rebounds and fourth in Big 12 play when she grabbed 10, eight on the defensive end.
"She's very athletic and very long," Cunningham said of Robinson. "One thing she does well is rebound. She likes to go get it."
Oklahoma State improved to 17-3 on the season and 5-1 in Big 12 play.
"I didn't dream we'd be 5-1 (to start league play)," Budke said. "This league is too good. But I'm very, very happy. Nobody has two tougher games in America with No. 6 (Nebraska) and No. 8 (Texas A&M). So, I'm proud of where we're at."
Missouri cut the deficit to single digits on a couple of occasions but never got any closer than nine down the stretch.
The Tigers (11-8, 1-5) had three players in double figures, led by Amanda Hanneman with 19, while Jessra Johnson and Christine Flores chipped in 13 apiece. Johnson also grabbed 10 rebounds.
OSU did a good job defensively on Shakara Jones, limiting the Missouri forward to two points. She entered the game averaging 10.4.
"I guess we did a decent job on her." Budke said.
Cunningham's 3-pointer at the 8:45 mark keyed a 19-7 Cowgirl run to give OSU a commanding 36-20 halftime lead.
Lynn Jacobsen 581-8461
OSU's Andrea Riley drives to the basket against MU on Tuesday. Riley had 29 points and eight assists. ZACH GRAY/For the Tulsa World