Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big 12 women’s roundup: Oklahoma women survive Texas Tech scare

K-State, A&M advance in quarterfinals



Jeff Roberson/AP Photo

Oklahoma players, from left, Carlee Roethlisberger, Whitney Hand, Jasmine Hartman and Morgan Hook celebrate after defeating Texas Tech. OU won, 71-69, Wednesday in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

— Danielle Robinson scored 19 points, and Carlee Roethlisberger added 18 to lead No. 21 Oklahoma to a 71-69 victory over Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday night.

The Sooners (21-10) advanced to face Texas A&M; in Friday’s semifinals.

Casey Morris hit a three-pointer to pull the Lady Raiders (22-10) within two with 47.4 seconds left. Oklahoma could have sealed the game when Aaryn Ellenberg came up with a steal, but she missed an open layup.

Texas Tech called timeout with nine seconds left and put the ball in Chynna Brown’s hands for a drive, but she lost the ball on her way to the basket, and Oklahoma held on.

Monique Smalls led the Lady Raiders with 15 points.

Kansas State 56, Iowa State 53

Brittany Chambers scored 20 points, and Jalana Childs added 14 to lead fourth-seeded Kansas State to a victory over Iowa State, sending the Wildcats to the Big 12 women’s tournament semifinals against top-seeded Baylor.

Kansas State (21-9) was up by 13 when Hallie Christofferson hit back-to-back 3-pointers with 5:24 remaining. The Cyclones (22-10) closed within three before Chassidy Cole and Kelsey Bolte missed three-pointers in the final 18 seconds.

Christofferson led the Cyclones with 18 points.

The Wildcats took a 30-25 halftime lead thanks largely to a strong start from Childs, who contributed 10 points before the break. Chambers, an All-Big 12 selection, had nine, and Branshea Brown scored seven.

Iowa State stayed close throughout the half as Christofferson came off the bench to score six points. The Cyclones got a 12-rebound performance from Chelsea Poppens.

No. 8 Texas A&M; 77, Texas 50

Texas A&M; put the pressure on, and Texas couldn’t hold on to the ball.

Danielle Adams scored 23 points, and Sydney Colson and Tyra White each added 14 as Texas A&M; cruised past turnover-prone Texas to advance to the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.

Texas committed 31 turnovers, one shy of the tournament record, and was held to its lowest points total of the season.

“That was the best defensive game we’ve played in a long time,” Aggies coach Gary Blair said.

The Aggies (27-4) defeated Texas (19-13) for the third time this season and have an 11-game win streak over the Longhorns overall.

“I think we just let them get in our heads tonight,” Texas guard Yvonne Anderson said. “We didn’t execute the way we wanted.”

The Aggies seem to have been re-energized following a loss at Kansas State on March 2. Texas A&M; followed with an 84-49 win over Nebraska on Senior Night before blowing out the Longhorns.

“It had been coming for a while,” Colson said of the Kansas State loss. “We weren’t coming out with the intensity we had shown earlier in the season. It woke us up in a sense. It helped us get our minds on what matters. We need to come out and play hard every game.”

Texas coach Gail Goestenkors was at a loss to explain how her team could commit 31 turnovers, resulting in 37 Texas A&M; points. The Aggies had an 18-0 edge in fast-break points.

“I don’t know when I’ve ever had a team with 31 turnovers,” Goestenkors said. “Their defensive pressure is the best I’ve seen all year.”

Chelsea Bass came off the bench to lead Texas with 11 points. The Aggies shut down Chassidy Fussell (1 of 9) and Kathleen Nash (3 of 10).

“That is the key,” Blair said. “Fussell’s a very, very good player.”

Texas A&M;’s stifling perimeter pressure proved more than Texas, which beat Missouri in the previous round, could handle in a first half dominated by the Aggies. Texas A&M; scored 23 points off 17 turnovers over the first 20 minutes and never let the Longhorns guards get comfortable.

The Aggies had 11 steals in the first half, with Sydney Carter and Colson getting three apiece. With the transition points coming in abundance, Texas A&M; shot 53.3 percent in the first half and sprinted to a 41-24 lead.

Adams and White, both from Kansas City, had typically strong efforts in their homecoming. Colson also helped set the tone early with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half.


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