No. 23 Georgia 74, No. 20 Oklahoma St. 71

BY foxsports • March 23, 2010

Andrea Riley was the game's biggest shooter. Jasmine James made the biggest shots.

James, a freshman, scored 14 of her career-high 27 points in overtime to lead fifth-seeded Georgia to a 74-71 victory over No. 4 seed Oklahoma State on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA women's tournament.

Riley, the nation's No. 3 scorer at 26.6 points per game, returned from a one-game suspension to score 31 for Oklahoma State, 12 in overtime. Her attempt for a long tying 3-pointer banked off the rim at the buzzer.

``You always think you have a chance when you're throwing up something from almost half-court,'' she said. ``I thought it was going in, but everything happens for a reason. I guess it just wasn't our time to prosper.''

Angel Robinson had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs (25-8), who advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals for the 18th time under coach Andy Landers, who earned his 750th career victory in 31 seasons at Georgia. The Lady Bulldogs play No. 1 seed Stanford, the nation's No. 2-ranked team, Saturday in Sacramento.

James made her only two 3-pointers of the night, after going 0-for-7 in regulation.

``She's not a freshman anymore. She has a whole season under her belt,'' Robinson said. ``... She has no fear.''

James was 8 of 8 on free throws in the overtime, drawing fouls repeatedly on drives to the hoop.

``I just looked to shoot and take opportunities whenever I was open,'' she said.

Australian Tegan Cunningham scored 25 for the Cowgirls (24-11) before fouling out in overtime.

Ashley Houts, Georgia's senior point guard and an 82 percent free throw shooter this season, missed two from the line with 11.2 seconds left to give Oklahoma State a shot at tying the game. Of course, Riley would be the one to shoot. With two defenders hounding her, she let fly from a few steps beyond midcourt and the ball bounced off the glass and the front of the rim.

``I heard her yell that it was going in,'' James said, ``so I turned because my back was to the goal, and she was running off like she thought it was going in. But it didn't, so we're going to California.''

Riley was 9 of 31 shooting, including 2 of 10 on 3-pointers, in her final collegiate game. She was suspended from Oklahoma State's first-round game against Chattanooga for slapping an opponent in the back of the head in the NCAA tournament two years ago.

``I was very proud of her and how she came back and how she played,'' Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said.

Only one field goal was made by either team in the final 7 1/2 minutes of regulation, Riley's 15-footer that tied it at 55 with 1:20 to play for Oklahoma State.

James missed a 15-footer with 15 seconds left, and Riley got the last shot. But her open 16-foot attempt bounced off the rim - her 20th miss in 26 tries - and the game went to overtime.

There were 12 ties and 13 lead changes in the second half and overtime.

James was 7 of 21 from the field, but 2 of 2 in the overtime, both of them 3s. Just 5-foot-9, she also grabbed 10 rebounds, three in overtime.

``That's huge,'' Landers said. ``Those are toughness and hustle plays when you're someone her size.''

Her first 3-pointer put Georgia up 58-57 and her second, nothing but net from the top of the key, gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead for good 63-61 with 2:08 to play. After a miss by Oklahoma State, James got the rebound and was fouled, beginning her parade to the foul line. By the time she had made her eighth straight, Georgia led 71-64 with 25.1 seconds to play.

But Riley scored on a drive, then made a 3-pointer to cut it to 72-69 with 11.3 seconds remaining. Meredith Mitchell and Robinson each made one of two free throws to make it 74-69, then Riley wrapped up her scoring with two free throws that cut the lead to 74-71 with 6.6 seconds left.

Georgia shot 33 percent for the game, while Oklahoma State was at 30 percent.

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