No. 12 Oklahoma 74, No. 20 Oklahoma St. 69

Alone on the free-throw line, the game in the balance, it was a

good time for Amanda Thompson to steady her nerves.

Taking a deep breath, Oklahoma’s team captain made two free

throws with a few seconds left, and the No. 12 Sooners held on to

beat No. 20 Oklahoma State and record-breaking Andrea Riley 74-69

Saturday in a Big 12 semifinal.

Thompson’s two foul shots put the Sooners back on top 72-67,

making sure it was still a two-possession game with Riley ready to

fire away.

“They were huge,” Thompson said. “If I would have missed

those, they probably would have got another 3-point attempt. I’ve

been in that position before. So I just had to stay calm and knock

them down like I always do in the free throw line.”

Thompson had 17 points, 18 rebounds and five assists for the

Sooners (23-9), who made it a three-game season sweep of the

Cowgirls (23-10) and will meet No. 11 Texas A&M in the title

game on Sunday.

Riley, Oklahoma State’s streaky 5-foot-5 senior, made six of her

first seven shots but missed her last nine and wound up with 32

points – giving her a tournament-record 112 in just three

games.

It may also have been her last college game. The Cowgirls are

certain to get an NCAA bid. But, because of a fracas she got into

during an NCAA game two years ago, Riley will be suspended for

Oklahoma State’s first tournament outing.

“I have confidence in my teammates,” said Riley. “I’m going

to have so much faith and belief that they’re going to win the

game.”

Danielle Robinson had 19 points and also made big free throws

down the stretch and Nyeshia Stevenson had 15 points for the

Sooners.

In the regular season, Oklahoma split with Texas A&M, which

got 22 points from 6-1 Danielle Adams while handing No. 3 Nebraska

its first loss in the other semifinal.

“We have to guard them together,” said Thompson. “(Adams) is

real big down there, and she’s got some good hands.”

Robinson’s two free throws gave Oklahoma a 70-64 lead with 40

seconds to go in the back-and-forth affair between state rivals,

then Tegan Cunningham made a 3-pointer and Oklahoma State trailed

by three.

Thompson, fouled immediately, sank both her foul shots. After

Cunningham grabbed Riley’s missed 3-point attempt and put it in,

Robinson calmly sank two more foul shots with 7 seconds left.

The Cowgirls started the game on a 16-4 run but the Sooners

caught up right after the start of the second half when Stevenson

hit eight quick points, including two 3-pointers for a 46-43

Oklahoma lead.

“One of the differences between us and OU right now is that OU

has veterans that have been to the Final Four and they do the

little things right to win games like this,” said Oklahoma State

coach Kurt Budke.

In the first half, Riley canned two long jumpers and Cunningham

sank a pull-up jumper as Oklahoma State seized a 36-25 lead.

Robinson, after throwing up an air ball, hit a bucket and made two

foul shots to help cut the halftime lead to four points.

Riley, whose 43 points against Iowa State on Friday set the

single-game tourney record, was 12 for 30 from the floor and only

two of nine beyond the arc. Cunningham had 21 points for the

Cowgirls.

“You have to guard Andrea Riley as a team,” said Oklahoma

coach Sherri Coale. “On the offensive end, sharing the basketball

and a lot of guys getting involved was the difference.”

Abi Olajuwon’s three-point play put the Sooners on top 64-62

with 6:09 to play and the Cowgirls never caught up. A bucket by

Carolyn Blair-Mobley cut it to 66-64 but Robinson sank an

uncontested bucket a moment later.

The Sooners were 22 of 26 from the line.