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Bedlam Recap: Cowgirls Drop Season Finale to Sooners 80-71

The Cowgirls’ dug a third-quarter hole they couldn’t climb out of.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowgirls got hot in the second but went ice cold for the third and weren’t quite ever able to recover.

Oklahoma State fell to No. 16 Oklahoma 80-71 in Stillwater. The Cowgirls finish their regular season on a three-game skid but there’s still work left to be done.

The Sooners struck first, namely All-Big 12 guard Madi Williams, who knocked down 3-pointers on OU’s first two possessions. Unfortunately for Williams and OU, she knocked knees with another player and left the game for good in the first quarter. Meanwhile. Skylar Vanns picked up the scoring slack with 11 of her 13 in the first quarter.

After falling down 8-2 early, the Cowgirls stormed back quickly when Naomie Alnatas and Lexi Keys knocked down consecutive deep balls. They would be the Cowgirls’ two leading scorers on the day. Alnatas scored 15 on 6-of-16 shooting, making three 3s, and added three assists and a steal. Keys scored 14, and grabbed five rebounds and two steals.

After trailing for most of the first, OSU took control in the second, taking advantage of Williams’ absence. OSU shot 7-of-15 (47%) in the second including 5-of-11 from 3 (46%). The Cowgirls built a 43-36 lead in the final minute of the second quarter and took a 45-39 lead into the half. The Cowgirls scored 22 points off of the Sooners’ 16 first-half turnovers.

Over the intermission, the Sooners made adjustments and the Cowgirls went cold. Minus Williams, OU elected to play with through their three bigs (Vann, Liz Scott and Beatrice Culliton) and it worked. The trio accounted for 37 of Oklahoma’s 80 points. OSU was outscored by 14 in the third and fell behind as much as 10. The Cowgirls made just one of their first 10 shots in the third quarter, going 0-for-5 from 3. Alnatas did make shot No. 11, a buzzer-beater jumper to pull OSU within 63-55 to head into the fourth.

The Cowgirls’ offense found some traction in the fourth, but it was an uphill battle and they just couldn’t do enough to steal momentum back from the Sooners. OSU used a 6-0 run to pull within 67-62 with five minutes to go but that was a close as they got the rest of the way.

With the loss, Oklahoma State finishes its regular season 20-10, and 10-8 in the Big 12. Next up, the Cowgirls head to Kansas City for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament March 9-12. The Cowgirls came into the game tied for third in the Big 12 so they will be watching the rest of the league’s games play out to see which seed they get next weekend.

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