High-scoring Riley out for NCAA opener

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) is bracing for life without Riley.

Andrea Riley, the nation's third-leading scorer, will serve a one-game suspension during the Cowgirls' first-round game against Chattanooga (24-8) on Saturday night in the NCAA tournament.

Riley averages 26.6 points and she's also seventh in the nation with 6.5 assists. The school calculated that she had a hand in 57 percent of the Cowgirls' scoring during the regular season.

The NCAA issued the suspension after Riley took a swipe at LSU's Erica White during a regional semifinal game two years ago to be served during her next NCAA tournament game. The team missed the tournament last year, so she will watch from the stands as Oklahoma State plays its tournament opener in Tempe, Ariz.

"It'll be different, definitely," center Megan Byford said. "But it's a true test to us that we're a good group of basketball players. We all do little things that help make Andrea better, and she makes us better. I think we've done a lot of work outside of this week, because we knew it was coming, to get prepared."

Many times, Riley is where the Cowgirls (23-10) begin and end. The ball starts out in the speedy point guard's hands almost every possession and winds up there, too. She attempts 24 shots per game, 38 percent of her team's total.

"We've got to find a way to win one game," coach Kurt Budke said. "Obviously, you're talking about someone that is in control of 80 percent of our offense most of the time. But the girls have known this was coming for a long time."