8:00 PM ET, January 19, 2005
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- If it was supposed to be a birthday party for Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale, she thought her players seemed a little bored.Erin Higgins scored 14 points and Dionnah Jackson added 13 as Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 70-43 Wednesday night for its 12th straight win in the Bedlam rivalry game, but Coale wasn't thrilled with the lack of revelry on her 40th birthday.The Sooners, who built a 20-point halftime lead, were unable to pull away from the Cowgirls (5-10, 0-5 Big 12) in the second half."I thought somewhere in the middle we played bored," Coale said. "I didn't think our attention to detail was good. I thought there were times when we did not continue to get better."To fight for conference championships, you absolutely have to get better every single second you're on the floor."Erin Andrews had 10 points for the Sooners (10-5, 2-2), who scored the final nine points of the game.The Cowgirls committed 13 turnovers and shot only 17 percent in the first half, but were less error-prone after halftime to keep from falling farther behind."I thought the second half was better offensively," Oklahoma State coach Julie Goodenough said. "We set better screens and knocked down some open shots in the second half. The defensive effort I thought was really good in the second half."I was disappointed with the way we finished."Higgins was 4-for-9 from 3-point range and Oklahoma hit 44 percent of its shots while holding Oklahoma State to 29 percent shooting.The Cowgirls were within 54-35 when Nina Stone hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cap a run of six straight points for the Cowgirls, but they couldn't get significantly closer.Destanie Sykes scored 12 points -- all in the second half -- to lead Oklahoma State."I thought she was really sticking with the offense and making hard cuts," Goodenough said. "She was exactly where she needed to be for kickouts."I thought she did a great job of just wanting the ball, being offensive-minded and ready to score."Sykes, who hit 5 of 9 shots, was the only Oklahoma State player in double figures and the only one to hit more than half of her shots. The Cowgirls were 2-for-15 from 3-point range."Every time we set a good screen, we got an open look at the basket," Goodenough said. "We were trying to create too many shots individually in the first half. We don't have the personnel that can create shots. We've got to get open off of screens ..."I felt like we had people trying to create shots on their own and we're just not able to do that."Jackson hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to cap a 14-1 run and give the Sooners a 19-8 lead early in the first half. They would never trail again.Higgins started an 11-2 surge with a 3-pointer from the right wing and Oklahoma led 34-14 at halftime.After that, the Sooners had little to celebrate -- except for Coale's birthday.
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