Manning, No. 20 Oklahoma women rally past Oklahoma State (Jan 22, 2017)
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Maddie Manning sat on Oklahoma's bench for the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first half, one of a multitude of Sooners who were struggling with their shots. Then, in the locker room at halftime, coach Sherri Coale called her out, challenging her to ''own the game as a scorer.''
Manning received the message. The senior guard scored 11 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter and No. 20 Oklahoma rallied for a 68-62 win over Oklahoma State on Sunday in the 100th women's basketball game between the Bedlam rivals.
''I heard from coach Coale and my teammates,'' Manning said. ''Anytime they're challenging you like that, you want to step up and do good.''
Oklahoma (15-5, 6-2 Big 12 Conference) moved to 10-1 this season at home and prevented Oklahoma State (12-6, 2-5) from winning in Norman for the second straight season. The Sooners overcame their second-worst shooting outing (35-percent) of the season.
Oklahoma hadn't led since the first two minutes of the game before Manning put the Sooners ahead 62-60 with a 3-pointer with 2:44 left. Gabbi Ortiz followed with another 3-pointer for Oklahoma with 1:10 left to make it 65-60, capping a 5-of-6 fourth-quarter effort from behind the arc by the Sooners.
After a layup by Oklahoma State's Katelyn Loecker, Ortiz hit two free throws with 27.9 seconds left. Kaylee Jensen missed a 3-point attempt for Oklahoma State and Chelsea Dungee went 1-of-2 from the line with 6.9 seconds left to seal the win for the Sooners.
''I thought in the second half, we were really focused and showed great belief in one another - personal belief, and we did it together,'' Coale said. ''It started with defense. We knew if we defended with enough integrity for long enough, that the ball would begin to go in at the other end, and that's exactly what happened.''
Jensen, the Big 12's leading scorer and rebounder, overcame foul trouble to finish with 18 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma State (12-6, 2-5). Sophomore Jentry Holt posted career highs with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Cowgirls, who blew a 12-point second-half lead and have lost four straight for the first time since January 2015 - albeit all against ranked foes.
''Credit them,'' Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. ''They have some seniors. They're a good team. They're very experienced and they have played a lot together and they made plays with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.''
Oklahoma State made its first seven shots, led for much of the first half and was up 31-22 at halftime, taking advantage of the Sooners' 23.1-percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. Oklahoma was within 21-19 after Ortiz's basket with 8:42 left in the second quarter, but missed its final 13 shots of the half and went scoreless for more than 7 1/2 minutes.
The Cowgirls pushed their lead to 44-32 after a short jumper by Karli Wheeler with 4:12 left in the third quarter, but Oklahoma switched to a full-court press on defense and scored the next 10 points, pulling within 44-42 on an 18-foot jumper by Manning at the 2:10 mark.
''I thought we came in and competed very hard,'' Littell said. ''To hold them to 22 in the first half is pretty amazing. Our foul-trouble issues were a big factor as the game progressed.''
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls missed a rare chance to score consecutive road wins over the Sooners and will try to regroup after a difficult stretch during which they lost to Baylor, Texas, Kansas State and Oklahoma.
Oklahoma: The Sooners have dominated the Bedlam series for most of Coale's tenure and managed to avoid what would have been a second head-scratching home loss to an in-state rival this season, having earlier fallen to Oral Roberts. The win kept the Sooners in third place in the Big 12.
Oklahoma: A loss might have dropped the Sooners out of the Top 25, but they likely will stay in the poll, although perhaps a couple of spots lower following a midweek loss to No. 12 Texas.
Oklahoma leads the Bedlam series 60-40 and has won 17 of the last 23 meetings . Oklahoma State hasn't won consecutive games in Norman since winning three straight from 1996-1998 . The Sooners' 22-point first half was their second-lowest total in a half this season . Country music star Toby Keith, fresh off his performance during a Thursday concert preceding President Donald Trump's inauguration, watched from courtside.
Oklahoma State: After four straight games against ranked foes, the Cowgirls figure to get a bit of a breather, hosting Big 12 cellar-dweller Kansas on Wednesday.
Oklahoma: Hosts Iowa State on Wednesday in what could be a classic trap game before visiting No. 2 Baylor next Sunday.