Cowgirls Earn Sweet 16

The Oklahoma State Cowgirls used a steady first half, a 9-1 run to start the second half, and a spectacular performance by Brittney Martin to ride past the Purdue Lady Boilermakers into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women's Tournament in the Notre Dame Region. OSU upset the fourth seed and home standing Purdue women 73-66 on their home court in Mackey Arena on the campus in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Cowgirls will move down the road to South Bend, Ind., for the next round where they will meet the top seed and host Notre Dame. The Lady Irish stayed unbeaten at 34-0 beating Arizona State 84-67 earlier on Monday night.

The Cowgirls combined an early three-pointer or two with Martin's tough points underneath, Kendra Suttles effective offensive post play, and drives to the basket with kick outs from point guard and senior Tiffany Bias for small early leads.

Martin, who finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds after having 11 points and 13 rebounds in the first half, got stronger at the end of the half and her influence helped Oklahoma State grab a 38-31 halftime lead. The last three points came from backup point guard Roshunda Johnson, who would come up big in the second half.

Oklahoma State came out to start the second half stronger than they finished the first half and the 9-1 run put them out in front 47-32. It was a lead that would get shorter but would never evaporate.

Johnson had to come on and guide the Cowgirls offensively in the second half when Bias rolled her left ankle and had to leave the floor in tears. That came at the 14:05 mark, but the Cowgirls slowed the offense down and started chewing up clock.

Bias returned to the floor and to the game despite a pronounced limp at the three-minute mark. She would finish the game with 7 points and 7 assists. Johnson had a career-high 16 points, and of course, Martin had the 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Defensively, the Cowgirls held Purdue's leading scorer Courtney Moses to 11 points as she settled too often for three-point attempts. Whitney Bays led Purdue in scoring with 21 points off the bench.

The Cowgirls shot 43 percent from the field, 30 percent from three-point range, and 69 percent from the free throw line. They out-rebounded the taller Purdue team 41-40 and also won the turnover battle.

Oklahoma State is now 25-8 and in the Sweet 16 for the third time in school history. The previous trips this deep in the tournament came in 1991 and in 2008 when they moved on to play LSU in New Orleans. The trip to South Bend for unbeaten Notre Dame promises to be even more daunting.

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