DURHAM, N.C. — Toni Young gave Oklahoma State the fast start it needed in its return to the NCAA tournament. The rest of her team helped turn away DePaul's final charge.
Young scored 20 of her 25 points in the first half and Oklahoma State beat DePaul 73-56 on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament's Norfolk Region.
The 6-foot-2 senior went 12 for 17 from the field and had 13 rebounds and three blocks in 39 minutes for the seventh-seeded Cowgirls (22-10). She had a bucket during the 13-0 run that took back control after DePaul had cut a 16-point deficit to a point with about 14 minutes left.
''I had already made a plan to come out and work as hard as I can for my team in this tournament,'' Young said. ''It's my last chance to get as far as I can, and I'm not going to waste it.''
Liz Donohoe added 14 points for Oklahoma State in the program's first NCAA trip since reaching the second round in 2010. Now the Cowgirls can look ahead to Tuesday night's second-round game against No. 2 seed and site host Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Anna Martin scored 12 points for the 10th-seeded Blue Demons (21-12), who made it all the way back to 45-44 but didn't score again for 8 1/2 minutes.
That gave Oklahoma State an opening to take back momentum.
Tiffany Bias pushed the ball after a made basket for a quick score to start the run. Then Kendra Suttles scored on a stickback and added a pair of free throws, and Donohoe knocked down a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 54-44 near the 9-minute mark.
Young ended the run with a turnaround shot for her first basket since the 7:01 mark of the first half, making it 58-44 with 7:24 to play.
''I think every team gets momentum every now and then,'' said Bias, who scored 12. ''We got kind of lackadaisical and wasn't hustling for balls or rebounding. ... You can't get it all back at once. Bucket by bucket, we started pushing the lead. We had a couple of big steals and started finishing around the bucket.''