Riley, No. 20 Cowgirls hold off Kansas 76-69

Published March 11, 2010

| AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Andrea Riley scored 37 points, Toni Young added 16 and No. 20 Oklahoma State put away Kansas 76-69 on Thursday in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

Carolyn Davis made a contested layup with 12:22 left that capped an 8-0 spurt and gave the Jayhawks a 49-47 lead, their first since early in the first half. Oklahoma State (22-9) quickly responded by scoring the next seven points and never trailed again.

Riley scored 20 of her points during the first half while setting a school record by playing in her 129th game. She can become the Big 12's career scoring leader against Iowa State in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Davis had 31 points for Kansas (15-15), which lost its final six games.

The Jayhawks managed to trim a double-figure lead to one possession in the closing minutes, but never could come all the way back. Marisha Brown's three-point play off a miss cut Oklahoma State's lead to 69-66, and Nicollette Smith buried a 3 with 56 seconds left to make it 72-69.

Riley scored Oklahoma State's final seven points to help the Cowgirls survive.

After missing Kansas' last game because of a concussion sustained in practice, Davis checked in with 17:46 left in the first half and quickly rattled off six straight points. It was a much-needed outburst for a team that hadn't scored more than 54 points in its last five games.

Riley wasn't exactly sitting around, either.

The two engaged in a back-and-forth scoring duel throughout the game. The only difference was that Riley scored from all over the court while Davis did most of her damage inside.

Riley could have scored more, but she tossed up two air balls and missed two layups. She finished the first half 5 of 18 from the field, while Davis scored 14 first-half points and made all five of her field goal attempts.

One of the highest-scoring pairs in the country, Riley and Tegan Cunningham came into the game averaging a combined 41.9 points — tied for most in the nation by a tandem.

They continued that trend by scoring 11 of the Cowgirls' first 13 points, along with their final nine before halftime. Cunningham finished with 14 in the game.

Picked before the season to finish second in the Big 12 and once nationally ranked, injuries and inconsistent play plagued Kansas down the stretch.

The Jayhawks played their 10th straight game without leading scorer Danielle McCray or starting point guard Angel Goodrich, both of whom suffered season-ending ACL injuries. Goodrich injured her knee in a 70-68 loss against Oklahoma State on Jan. 12.

(This version CORRECTS No. 20 Oklahoma State 76, Kansas 69. corrects to remove reference to Oklahoma State's Riley setting assist mark. RESTORES previous.)

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