Robinson scores 36 as Oklahoma beats Okla. St.Feb 6, 2010 - 11:44 PM By MURRAY EVANS Associated Press Writer
STILLWATER, Okla.(AP) -- Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale isn't one to mince words and she couldn't let her post-game news conference end Saturday without what, for her, is a major proclamation.
"I don't know that I've seen a finer individual performance from a point guard than what you saw from Danielle (Robinson) today," Coale said.
In leading No. 13 Oklahoma past No. 10 Oklahoma State 77-66, Robinson played her best game as a Sooner, posting career highs in points (36), rebounds (9), free throws (a Big 12-record 16-of-16) and adding six assists with only one turnover.
In a showdown of two of the Big 12's - and nation's - top point guards, Robinson outdueled Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley, the conference's leading scorer, who led the Cowgirls with 30 points.
"They outworked us, they outplayed us and that's why they won," Riley said.
Oklahoma won for the 21st time in the last 22 meetings with its Bedlam rival. And despite coach Kurt Budke breaking out his rarely seen orange blazer as a motivational ploy, Oklahoma State (18-5, 6-3 Big 12) lost its first home game ever as a top-10 team.
Oklahoma State remained tied with the Sooners for second place in the Big 12 behind undefeated No. 4 Nebraska. The Cowgirls lost by 21 at Nebraska on Wednesday. Budke declared the regular-season conference race all but over and said the Cowgirls now must focus on earning a high NCAA tournament seed.
"It's not the end of the world," he said. "We're still in second place and we've got a couple of home games coming up. I got on the girls pretty hard right there, but we'll pull our heads back up. We'll come back to practice next week and we'll figure out a way to do it better than we did."
Oklahoma (16-6, 6-3), which lost by 18 at home to Texas on Wednesday, avoided what would have been its first losing streak of the season.
"As disappointed as I was with our basketball team Wednesday night, I was as proud of them, and then some, for their effort this afternoon," Coale said. "I thought they were just fantastic together. I'm proud to be their coach."
The lead changed hands 11 times and neither team led by more than seven points until the final two minutes. The Sooners won because of a lopsided 49-31 rebounding advantage and because Robinson made big plays down the stretch while Riley mostly misfired.
Riley's medium-range jumper with 3:41 left pulled Oklahoma State within 63-61, but the Cowgirls didn't score again until her long 3-pointer with 26 seconds left. In the interim, Oklahoma scored 10 straight points - eight by Robinson - to blow the game open.
"She gets in gaps, she finds the open person and she continues to do whatever she does," Riley said of Robinson. "She just plays the game of basketball very well. ... She's a dangerous person in the open court."
Indeed, Robinson rebounded and went the length of the court for layups three times in the second half. The final time came after Riley missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity with 3:04 left. Robinson's basket put the Sooners up 67-61 and the Cowgirls didn't make a serious run after that.
"It's just about making good decisions in transition," Robinson said. "They could be back but they're not guarding, so that's why I took it in."
Robinson has made 35 straight free throws, a school record, and her 16-of-16 outing from the line matched the best single-game free-throw shooting performance by percentage in Big 12 history. No one else on the conference list had done better than 14-of-14.
"I know the numbers were gaudy, but it was her leadership," Coale said. "It was the way she ran our team. It was the decisions that she made throughout the game. It was her cool head. That's what great point guards do. So when you want to talk about who's the best in the country, I think you've got to include her because today she was just phenomenal."
Riley went 11-of-34 from the field with six rebounds and five assists.
The Cowgirls led by as many as seven points in the early minutes was up 33-31 at halftime. Abi Olajuwon, Oklahoma's starting center, didn't attempt a shot in the first half but scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the second half as the Sooners went up 45-42, their biggest lead to that point. Oklahoma led 57-52 with 7:09 left.
Riley's double-figure scoring outing was her 81st in a row, the second-longest streak in NCAA Division I. She passed the 2,500-point career mark during the game, finishing with 2,523, the second-best in Big 12 history behind Courtney Paris of Oklahoma, who scored 2,729 points from 2005 to 2009.
Tegan Cunningham scored 16 points for Oklahoma State, while Olajuwon finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Sooners. Nyeshia Stevenson added 12 points for Oklahoma, which went 2-of-18 from 3-point range.
- NCAA WOMENS BB
OKLAHOMA (13) 77
OKLAHOMA ST (10) 66 FINAL
Feb 6 5:07 PM
- NCAA WOMENS BB
OKLAHOMA (13) 31
OKLAHOMA ST (10) 33 HALFTIME
Feb 6 4:01 PM
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