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Texas A&M rallies from 13-point deficit to top Oklahoma St.

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Texas A&M (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) is out for vengeance -- and a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament, too.

Danielle Gant scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half, and the Aggies rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Oklahoma State (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) 63-57 Wednesday night and pull even with the Cowgirls in the Big 12 standings.

"We're on our payback tour," point guard A'Quonesia Franklin said. "The teams that we have left are the teams that beat us earlier in the year."

After Gant fueled the Aggies' comeback to start the second half, it was up to her teammates to exact revenge for the Cowgirls' 61-58 upset in Texas earlier this season.

One possession after Gant fouled out in a tie game, Morenike Atunrase hit the tiebreaking free throw that gave Texas A&M (21-7, 9-5 Big 12) a 56-55 lead. Franklin added a 3-pointer from the right side, and Atunrase made it 61-55 with a jumper in the lane as the shot clock expired.

Danielle Green and Maria Cordero each missed a pair of free throws, and Taylor Hardeman's 3-pointer in the final minute was blocked as the Cowgirls (21-6, 9-5) fell into a tie for fourth place -- an important spot that gets the final first-round bye at the Big 12 tournament.

Standing in the way of the Aggies getting that bye are home games against No. 8 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma, two other teams that beat them earlier this season.

"This is just like Celine Dion," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "If she can have a farewell tour, well, we can have a payback tour."

Gant, an Oklahoma City native, scored Texas A&M's first 10 points of the second half as the Aggies finished erasing a 13-point deficit. Undeterred after picking up her third foul only 28 seconds after intermission, Gant stayed aggressive. She scored off an offensive rebound and a runner in the lane and her second three-point play got the Aggies within one point.

Franklin's 3-pointer from the left wing put Texas A&M ahead 42-40 with 14:45 remaining, and Gant and Takia Starks added baskets to stretch the lead to six.

"The first half I didn't help my team much on the offensive end," said Gant, who shot 6-for-8 and had six rebounds in the second half. "Coach told me to be a little selfish with the ball when I got the ball down low, so I just found myself getting open jump shots."

Riley hit a 3-pointer for her first points in more than 17 minutes, and the Cowgirls finished a 13-4 surge with five straight free throws to go up 53-50 on two foul shots by Shaunte Smith with 7:14 left.

Atunrase's 3-pointer evened the score at 53, and it was tied at 55 when Gant fouled out on the offensive end with 4:56 to play. Oklahoma State followed with back-to-back turnovers and missed its next five field goals before Riley cut the deficit to 62-57 with 11 seconds left.

The Cowgirls shot 21 percent from the field and 44 percent from the free-throw line while scoring only 20 points in the second half.

"I think it was just free throws. We got the shots that we wanted, and we just didn't take advantage at the free-throw line," said Riley, a 75 percent free-throw shooter who went 2-for-8 from the line.

Riley finished with 23 points, Green scored 16 and Smith pulled down 16 rebounds for Oklahoma State, which has lost three of its last four games.

Starks had 16 points and Franklin scored 14 in Texas A&M's fourth straight win. The defending Big 12 champions have eight wins in their last nine games.

Oklahoma State built its early lead with a 13-2 run started by seven straight points from Riley. Green's basket inside pushed the Cowgirls' lead to 27-14 with 8:15 left before halftime.

Atunrase and Franklin hit back-to-back baskets to spark Texas A&M, and the Aggies got within seven while Riley took a brief 2-minute rest on the bench. Oklahoma State led 37-29 at halftime.

"When you've got a chance to put a good team away like this, you better do it," Cowgirls coach Kurt Budke said.