No. 12 Oklahoma St. 74, Colorado 63

BY foxsports • January 26, 2010

Losses have been far between for No. 12 Oklahoma State, which shrugged off its first defeat in two months by getting right back into the win column.

Andrea Riley had 26 points and 11 assists, Tegan Cunningham added 21 points and Oklahoma State fended off Colorado 74-63 on Sunday.

Precious Robinson added 11 points for Oklahoma State (16-3, 4-1 Big 12), winners of 11 straight before losing last Wednesday to No. 20 Texas.

``It was huge, because coming into this environment - they just beat K-State at home and they had a lot of confidence - we had to come and bounce back because we really wanted that road win at Texas,'' Riley said. ``But at the same time you can't dwell on that. You have to learn your lesson and bounce back.''

Brittany Spears scored 18 points and Courtney Dunn added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Buffaloes (12-6, 2-3), who haven't defeated a ranked opponent in nearly three years.

Leading by two at halftime, Oklahoma State leaned on Riley to extend its lead to 54-44 with 14:30 remaining. Riley scored on consecutive fastbreak layups to ignite a 10-2 surge in the opening minutes of the second half.

``You hope your senior leadership leads you after a loss,'' Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said. ``You hope those young people understand how important it is to not go back-to-back with losses in the league.''

Still, the Cowgirls struggled to gain a decisive advantage.

When Kelly Jo Mullaney connected on a 3-pointer and Chucky Jeffery made one of two free throws, Colorado pulled to 55-52 with 9:46 remaining.

But from there, Colorado seemed to lose its shooting touch. The Buffaloes shot 24.1 percent in the second half, missing 22 of 29 shots and finished a season-low 30.6 percent.

They also became overly aggressive on the defensive end, giving Oklahoma State the chance to rebuild its lead at the line, where the Cowgirls scored six points in a 10-2 burst that put them in front 65-54 with 5:25 left to play.

``I think that their defense was pretty good but we missed a lot of open looks,'' Colorado coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. ``The shooting was our biggest concern, and that is something we have to get better at.''

The Cowgirls would have had an even bigger cushion had they made more of their free throws, finishing 14 of 23 the line. That was the lone aspect of Riley's game in which she struggled, making just 6 of 13 from the line.

Oklahoma State led by as many as 13 points early on but settled for a 37-35 halftime lead.

Colorado got back into it by scoring 13 of 19 points in the final five minutes of the opening period, including a 7-0 burst highlighted by Bianca Smith's third 3-pointer. Smith remains one point shy of 1,000 in her career at Colorado.

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