8:00 PM ET, March 3, 2005
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- A pair of quick 3-pointers by Erin Higgins was all Oklahoma needed to get past a dreadful fit of shooting woes and beat Oklahoma State.Higgins hit 3-pointers on the Sooners' first two possessions and Oklahoma never trailed in a 69-58 win against Oklahoma State on Thursday night. It was just what the Sooners needed after shooting 13 percent and making only four shots in the second half of a 72-36 loss at Texas last time out."When I hit them early on, it kind of felt like we could all breathe again," Higgins said. "I felt like it kind of gave us a little bit of energy. We had a little spurt there."Higgins added a jumper from the left side for an early 17-7 Sooners lead, but Oklahoma State -- which had lost the last six Bedlam games by an average of 28.7 points -- weren't done. The Cowgirls (7-19, 2-14 Big 12) answered with eight straight points and pulled within two after a pair of free throws from Destanie Sykes.They responded again after trailing by 12 points at halftime and pulled within 43-39 on a free throw by Taleesha Conder.Then Higgins and the Sooners (16-11, 8-8) took control.Lauren Shoush scored off an offensive rebound and Dionnah Jackson hit four free throws to stretch the lead to 10, and Higgins drilled her fourth 3-pointer of the game to make it 52-41.Higgins, coming off a scoreless game at Texas, said she was able to get open because of better ball movement."We were moving pretty fast, but we had the ball slowed down enough to where it could find me," Higgins said. "That's always a plus. If I'm moving real fast and the ball's moving fast, we're not going to meet up."Leah Rush added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Sooners, Jackson scored 14 and Shoush finished with 10 points. Shoush also hit a 3-pointer from the left side to make it 67-54 and ice the game."I thought Shoush made a number of really good plays tonight," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "Offensive rebounds, assists, scrambles for the loose ball, backdoor cuts. She did a great job of moving without the basketball, and that's what put her in position to get those offensive boards. That 3 was big."Oklahoma, which shot 42 percent and outrebounded Oklahoma State 42-28, has won the last 13 games in the Bedlam rivalry and leads the all-time series 41-34.Senior Nina Stone, who scored nine of the Cowgirls' first 12 points after halftime to help close the gap, had 18 points to lead Oklahoma State in her final game at Gallagher-Iba Arena."Nina was in her offensive mode tonight really looking for scoring opportunities," Cowgirls coach Julie Goodenough said.
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