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March 4, 2013

BIG 12 WOMEN'S BB: OSU claims Senior Day win over Texas

STILLWATER — On a day typically reserved for seniors, it was a pair of juniors that helped the Oklahoma State women overcome a slow start to beat Texas 64-58 during Senior Day on Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Tiffany Bias scored 13 points — all in the second half — and Kendra Suttles led the Cowgirls (20-8, 9-8 in Big 12) with 18 as Oklahoma State kept its hopes for a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament and an NCAA berth alive.

“It wasn’t pretty but I thought we continued to fight, claw, scratch and stay in the basketball game,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “We didn’t play very well for 32 minutes but the last eight minutes I thought we played extremely hard and competed. People stepped up and made key plays with the game on the line and this is a big, big win for our team.”

Suttles scored 11 of her 18 points in the span of about five minutes, capped off by going right at Texas’ 6-foot-7 center Imani McGee-Stafford to provide a much-needed spark for an Oklahoma State offense that was rather pedestrian in the first half.

“Kendra Suttles just kind of put us on her back and willed us to win,” Littell said. “She hit a 3. She had a nice drive to the lane. I was waiting for her to give it back up and she kept going and had a nice take to the hole. I thought she played extremely well and stepped up with the game on the line.”

Even when Texas (11-17, 4-13 in Big 12) turned what was a five-point lead into a two-point game on Chassidy Fussell’s 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, the Cowgirls didn’t panic. Bias knocked down two free throws before getting a steal and layup to end the game.

“I knew that they were going to go back to Fussell,” Bias said of the steal. “She’s a great player and a great shooter. It’s just one of those things that you have to read and know that they’re coming back to their best player.”

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