for this game

No. 15 Aggies roll past No. 17 Cowgirls 69-52

Feb 18, 2010 - 4:11 AM By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer

STILLWATER, Okla.(AP) -- Texas A&M built a big lead against Oklahoma State once this season, only to watch Andrea Riley pick it apart for a come-from-behind victory.

This time, the Cowgirls' leading scorer earned herself a spot on the bench and could only watch as her team suffered a fourth straight loss.

Tyra White scored 15 points, Tanisha Smith added 14 and No. 15 Texas A&M beat No. 17 Oklahoma State 69-52 on Wednesday night to pull even with the Cowgirls in the Big 12 standings.

The Aggies never trailed and led by as much as 28 before OSU cut into the deficit late, scoring the final eight points of the game.

"I was just trying to get out of here and stay healthy for next time," said coach Gary Blair, whose Aggies have won 12 of the last 14 games in the series and six straight in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

"Folks, we've played well against Oklahoma State the last four years. How many times are you going to win six times in a row in Stillwater? It doesn't happen. I'm going to enjoy each one of them, thank my kids for bringing me along. But next year, it might be a whole, complete different scenario."

Texas A&M (18-6, 6-5 Big 12) took control with a string of 12 straight points midway through the first half. Smith and Danielle Adams each had a pair of baskets during the stretch, and Adams' layup inside made it 28-12 with 8:05 left before halftime.

It only got worse for the Cowgirls (18-7, 6-5), who yielded a 12-2 run to close the half and fall behind by 18.

Riley, the nation's third-leading scorer with a 25.6-point average, was 0-for-10 from the field in the first half and was benched by coach Kurt Budke in the second half. She had only two points to snap a string of 82 games with double figure scoring, which had been the second-longest in the country behind Ohio State's Jantel Lavender.

Budke said Riley - like many of her teammates - had been sick, but that wasn't the reason she didn't return.

"That was a coach's decision," Budke said. "I did not like how Andrea Riley was playing, and I didn't like how she was leading this team. And I still have time to teach her how to become a better player. I didn't think she was helping the team tonight and I thought we'd be better off going with the young kids in the second half."

Nothing went right for the Cowgirls, who shot only 37.5 percent and committed a season-high 23 turnovers while losing a third straight home game after starting the season 12-0 at Gallagher-Iba. OSU even struggled at the line, making only 12 of 22 free throws.

Oklahoma State had a similar swoon with five straight losses late last season, including a 79-49 rout at Texas A&M. That team ended up missing the NCAA tournament.

"This really is a crucial time for our team," said OSU's Tegan Cunningham, who scored eight points but had been averaging 17.1. "Like coach said a million times, it's gut-check time. We really need to bounce off these losses and get the win on Saturday (at Baylor)."

Freshman Toni Young led Oklahoma State with a career-high 16 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing her second straight double-double.

"I'm not so sure Toni Young's not the leader of this team. This thing is a roller coaster all year long, and you're looking for those people that can stay right here all year long," Budke said, motioning with an even hand. "And that's been Toni. Toni is great with her teammates on and off the floor and she's going to be a leader, a captain and a star for years to come."

Adams added 13 points for the Aggies, who led by as many as 28 after White's jumper from the left baseline that made it 62-34 with 9:22 left. Texas A&M had lost four of five before winning back-to-back games to pull even with the Cowgirls for fifth place in the Big 12.

"It's more of a sense of urgency where we are on this team. ... We lost a couple games that I believe we helped give away," Blair said.

Riley had missed her first seven shots and Oklahoma State was 5-for-20 from the field by the time Texas A&M opened its 16-point lead in the first half. She scored her only points and had assists on a pair of 3-pointers by Lakyn Garrison as OSU got back within 30-22 but that was as close as it got.

Riley had scored 27 points in the second half to help OSU overcome a 14-point deficit in a win over the Aggies earlier this season in College Station, Texas, but she didn't even step onto the court after being late coming out of the locker room at halftime.

"The College Station game, we didn't get after it on defense in the second half," Smith said. "We were up 14 points and just thought we had the game won. This time, we stayed after it, no matter what we were up by."