2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship Coverage
Mechelle Voepel has covered every Big 12 women's basketball tournament since the league's inception, and every NCAA Women's Final Four since 1993. She has written about women's hoops for ESPN.com since 1996 and also has her own blog, www.voepel.wordpress.com, that focuses on women's sports. If you have any questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to answer them here.
TAMU's Gary Blair: "We have to have this tournament back in Dallas, somehow someday we need to be back in Dallas. If we want to grow our game, we need to spread it out."
TAMU's Gary Blair: "Look what Tyra White did in the first half. We will find your weakness and we will exploit it. Danielle Adams has basketball IQ."
TAMU's Gary Blair: "Danielle Adams - she made the hard decision to come to us, vs. going to Louisville, who wanted her badly. She has been everything that we've asked of her."
TAMU's Gary Blair: "Folks I'm going to lobby here a little bit. You just saw two No. 2 seeds play. Doggone it, we've earned the right not to be in Geno's region."
TAMU's Gary Blair: "You saw some great execution on the third day of this tournament. They took our transition game away. We played a lot of zone again. They're not a great outside shooting team, except for Stevenson. They got a lot of penetration and dipping it inside."
TAMU's Sydney Colson: "I think it's really important that we have such good depth this year. Giving it all you've got, and if you get tired, raise your hand, and we will sub you and not lose anything."
TAMU's Tyra White: "The feeling is unexplainable. I feel good."
TAMU's Sydney Colson: "When we run our high-low plays, they were funneling toward me. I found Tyra a few times on that. And Danielle, she's an excellent shooter. We did a good job with shot selection."
OU's Sherri Coale: "The No. 1 thing on everyone's scouting report is to keep Danielle Robinson
OU's Sherri Coale on Texas A&M: "They are harder to guard (than past TAMU teams). And I think their offense is more confident."
OU's Sherri Coale: "Amanda (Thompson) is an old soul, she wants to do special things."
OU's Sherri Coale on the top teams the Sooners have faced: "They're just so different. I really do think there will be some surprises. UConn in rarified air. A lot of what happens is going to be matchups."
OU's Sherri Coale: "If A&M plays like that, they'll be in San Antonio and so will we."
OU's Sherri Coale:"I think about a layup that Amanda missed, but then I look at her line and I'm like, 'Are you kidding me?' Who has a line like that. She's absolutely spent, playing 40 minutes."
OU's Danielle Robinson on playing UConn, Tenn, Neb. and TAMU this season: "This is why we come to Oklahoma to play teams like that. We're excited about the non-conference and conference schedule that we've played."
OU's Amanda Thompson on Joanna McFarland: "She was huge today. I'm really proud of her."
OU's Amanda Thompson: "It's hard (to play from behind). Today, we couldn't get that lead in the second half. It was just one of those days."
OU coach Sherri Coale: "I think this (game) showcased our league to the country in a magnificent way."
Big 12 all-tournament team: OSU's Andrea Riley, OU's Amanda Thompson, TAMU's Tyra White, OU's Danielle Robinson, TAMU's Danielle Adams. Adams is the most outstanding player. That was my ballot, and I have a feeling it was probably close to unanimous. This was pretty easy voting compared to some years.
Congratulations to Texas A&M, 2010 Big 12 women's tournament champions! 74-67 over a very hard-fighting Oklahoma team.
Tanisha Smith, the senior part of the Aggies' KC trio, makes one free throw and just grabs a rebound of a Thompson miss. That should do it for A&M, as she's headed back to the line.
If Aggies and Sooners play like this in the NCAA tournament, they will be trouble for a lot of teams. OU, of course, is at home for the first two rounds of NCAA tournament. We'll see where Aggies are sent.
Huge basket for Sydney Colson, now Aggies need one more defensive stop. They get it with Adaora Elonu steal. She's foulded and headed to the line.
Amanda Thompson has been working her tail off all tournament. She came up with the ball on A&M inbounds play and scored. TAMU clinging to 67-65 lead with a minute left.
Sooners shooting 38.6 percent from the field. Thompson and Robinson have 18 and 16 from the Sooners.
Oklahoma has had some layups missed and second-chance opportunities that just wouldn't fall. There is not much margin for error again this Texas A&M team.
Tyra White had 16 points in the first half, but has not scored in the second half for A&M. Danielle Adams is keeping the Aggies ahead 63-59.
Tell you what, when OU's Danielle Robinson picks you clean, you are picked clean. It's so fast you don't know it's happened until she's already headed in for the layup.
Amanda Thompson just missed a breakaway layup and had that look like, "Did I really just do that?"
Sorry for blog break ... Internet has been unexpectedly twitchy here. Luckily they just stopped the game until I got back on-line again. Uh, not really. TAMU up 58-54 with 8 minutes left, and A'Quonesia Franklin, next to me doing Aggies radio, has been telling the Aggies to box out.
TAMU has surged back ahead 50-44 after OU had tied game at 42-42.
Hope this is good news: A&M's Damitria Buchanan, who went to the floor after suffering an injury to her leg, perhaps knee, was running up an down the baseline and is now back on the bench.
Mentioned earlier this week watching OU coach Sherri Coale's' kids, now teens, watching from behind the bench. Recall back in 2002 when OU was in the regional final in Spokane, and Coale was talking about how her son, Colton, then 8 or 9 years old, begged her to be allowed to stay up late to watch game film with her, saying, "I promise I won't bug you." That was so cute. Since his mom and dad are both coaches, wonder if that's in Colton's future, too? He's and sis Chandler were cheering OU's 8-0 run that just tied game.
Just got the ballot for all-tournament team, which includes the MOP ... clearly, we know for sure Andrea Riley is on it ... let's see who else.
Danielle Adams' shot didn't count at the end of the first half, so what the heck? She hits the first one of the second half.
How many families have three daughters to play Division I basketball like the McFarlands of Derby, Kan., have? (Well, I can think of the Frazee triplets at Liberty, but not many others). Jessica (Kansas State), Jackie (Colorado) and now Joanna (Oklahoma.)
It didn't ... so the halftime score is TAMU 40, OU 34. Standouts for the first half: Tyra White with 16 points for A&M, Amanda Thompson with 13 for OU. Also big for the Sooners is Joanna McFarland, who had eight points off the bench.
Danielle Adams hit shot for TAMU at halftime buzzer, officials are checking to see if it counted.
OK, she walked off the court, and they seem to be looking at her calf, not the knee. She's already been through and ACL. She may have cramped up.
Uh-oh, Sydney Colson on the floor, not sure what happened. Seems to be a leg injury.
I first heard about Tyra White when she was a high school freshman here in KC at Hickman Mills. College scouts already projected her as a big-time scorer. She originally committed to LSU, but changed her mind after Pokey Chatman resigned as coach. White's overcome an ACL at TAMU and Gary Blair has said all along what a weapon she can be. She's hit 6 of 7 shots from the field and has 16 points in first half.
This is what is scary for opponents about A&M: The Aggies almost always have four really legitimate scoring threats on the floor, no matter what lineup they are using. Buchanan is not much of an offensive threat, but she does so much on defense and screening in offense (and rebounding) that she doesn't need to score.
So I have to bring up one of my all-time favorite hoops quotes from former Stanford player Kate Starbird, a scoring wizard who didn't necessarily love defense. Complimented after a game on a charge she took, she said, "Oh, I didn't mean to. I just couldn't get out of the way fast enough."
Wow, you have to be brave to play hoops. TAMU's Damitria Buchanan just held her ground to take a charge from hard-driving Amanda Thoompson. I think i'd just get outta the way.
Both Syds on the court now ... Colson just hit a 3-pointer. I'm overly fascinated by strange coincidences, such as the fact that A&M would have two point guards named Sydney ... seriously, how often do you see that name. And they both grew up to be point guards good enough to play in Division I and both went to A&M? It just amazes me. Maybe I'm easily amazed.
Sherri Coale has used the phrase "late to the party" the last two games for Nyeshia Stevenson because it's taken her into the second half to find her shot. But she just hit a 3-pointer with a little less than 13 minutes left, so that may be good news for the Sooners.
The Aggies' ball movement has been really impressive in this tournament, no matter if Sydney Colson or Sydney Carter is on the floor. They made some mistakes with turnovers yesterday where they were trying to push things just a little too much, but for coach Gary Blair those are forgivable errors because they are trying to do the right thing.
Offiicial Tina Napier told me she would try not to take out my computer today ... yesterday it had a small collision with her when she was following a play and came right over here practically onto press row. Neither my laptop nor me was prepared to take a charge ... but former A&M point guard A'Quonesia Franklin, who is sitting next to me doing Aggies radio, would have easily handled that task.
Oh, wait, I just dreamt I did that ... never mind. First timeout and nobody doing a lot of putting the ball in the basket just yet ... TAMU 4, OU 2 at 15:46 mark.
Conspiracy theorists alert: Technicians had to adjust the basket that Oklahoma was shooting on just before game because it was loose. We're pretty sure Baylor's Brittney Griner didn't come in here late last night to dunk on it ... she's back in Waco. So not sure why it was loose. I mean, OK, *I* dunked it a FEW times after I wrote my story last night but not monster slams or anything.
******Big 12 women's title game: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M *********
OSU's Kurt Budke on Andrea Riley, the Big 12's all-time leading scorer: "She's got to go down as one of the toughest kids in the history of the Big 12 for what she's meant to this program."
OSU's Kurt Budke on Riley not playing first game of Big 12 tournament: "You can't make up all her points with one player. I think (her teammates) are not excited about playing without Andrea. I saw the mood in the locker room of them looking her in the eye and saying, 'You're not done.' "
OSU's Kurt Budke: "OU has four legitimate threats out there."
OSU's Kurt Budke on Andrea Riley's records: "We just don't talk about those things at all. She's a great player and a great kid."
OSU's Kurt Budke: "OU has veterans who have been to the Final Four. They do the little things, right."
OSU's Andrea Riley: "I think my teammates have gained a lot of confidence. They found a way to do the little things. I think that's going to rub off going into the (NCAA) tournament."
OSU's Andrea Riley: "I think that we really played well today. They beat us really bad the last game. When they only play one game and we play two, sometimes have that freshness in your legs at the end."
OSU's Kurt Budke: "I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of my team and their effort. Think the only difference in the game was at the free-throw line. We might have taken another step as a team today."
OU's Sherri Coale: "When you play in a league like this, you can't be too affected ever by a loss. I think this is a year in women's basketball where a lot of things can happen. I think Nebraska will be just fine."
OU's Sherri Coale: "We teach our kids all the time. While you guys are writing about Courtney and Ashley and Whitney, we're teaching our other kids. We just got kids ready every single day."
OU's Sherri Coale on not meeting Nebraska in final: "I would have liked to have played someone different ... here, we've played South, South, South. This tournament has been such a reflection of the strength of this team."
OU's Sherri Coale on Danielle Robinson: "It's such a blessing to have a kid like her. The thing I love most about her is I can communicate with her constantly. She hears everything (out on court.)"
OU's Nyeshia Stevenson: "No matter what people say, we have to be the ones to believe. We have a bubble we stay in, and it's working pretty well."
OU's Amanda Thompson on Danielle Robinson: "She's a natural leader. She's a great point guard and wants the ball."
Some school spirit: OSU and OU cheerleaders just combined to do lifts with each other after the game.
Oklahoma State has to feel as frustrated playing OU as Vandy does playing Tennessee. Sooners triumph again over Cowgirls, 74-69. OSU has beaten OU just one time since 1999. Oklahoma faces Texas A&M for the title tomorrow. They split their regular-season meetings, both winning at home.
Tegan Cunningham gets stickback but then fouls out for OSU ... D-Rob to line for Oklahoma, and she can pretty much seal it here.
OSU's Tegan Cunningham continues her good play, hitting 3-pointer to make it 70-67 OU. How important will Cunningham be in OSU's NCAA first-round game since Andrea Riley must sit with an NCAA suspension? VERY important.
Oklahoma 18 of 22 from the line, while Oklahoma State is 7 of 10.
Danielle Robinson basket, free throws give OU 70-64 lead with 40 seconds left. OSU has to have a 3-pointer quickly.
OSU's Andrea Riley was 9 of 13 from the field in the first half, but is 3 of 13 in the second half.
No question about the top tumblers here: Oklahoma State's cheerleaders have done the best backflip show during timeouts every day. Even the Sooners fans were clapping for them.
Abi Olajuwon has 11 points, and her 3-point play gave OU 64-62 lead. She's had a very solid afternoon.
Big 12 flashback: Seeing Kendra Wecker doing radio for Oklahoma reminds me of her greatest Big 12 tournament game: leading K-State back from being down 17-0 to Texas and winning in the 2005 semifinals.
What a great defensive play by OSU's Carolyn Blair-Mobley ... dove to the ground to snare the ball and quickly passed it to a teammate while on the floor.
Amanda Thompson just "looks" more awesome pulling down rebounds than anybody in the Big 12.
Big afternoon for the Cowgirls' "Aus" .. Tegan Cunningham has 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Aquonesia Franklin, former point guard at A&M, said she thought OU's Danielle Robinson was going to be a success in the WNBA no matter what team she plays with. Of course, D-Rob still has another season at OU first.
Amanda Thompson has 11 rebounds. Getting a WNBA job is crazy tough with just 12 teams, but let's see if her rebounding prowess helps her in that regard.
Wonder how nice Jerry Jones' suite is at the Cowboys' new palace, huh?
Andrea Riley's dad is back in Dallas because he has to work at Cowboys Stadium for tonight's big welterweight boxing match, but he is watching on TV. "Mr. Jones will have the game on in the suite," Roosevelt Riley told me last night, referring to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, of course.
I have to make my once-a-tournament comment on how the Oklahoma horse is the cutest mascot in the country. Every time I see him, I think that. I once told the UNC Ram that he was cute, too, but to me nobody tops the blue-eyed Sooner horse.
Cowgirls are holding their own on the boards against Sooners; OU has 21-19 edge.
Oklahoma has really started the second half well, and has taken a 46-43 lead. The Sooners like seeing Nyeshia Stevenson get hot earlier in the 2nd half than she did last night.
The matchup that is really hurting the Cowgirls, though, is that they don't have a good counter to Amanda Thompson, who has 15 points.
Sorry, a few more technical difficulties, but we're back. For all the busting on Andrea Riley taking too many shots you hear, how about this: Thus far she is 8 of 9 from the field for 19 points as OSU leads OU 38-32.
Nebraska's Connie Yori: "Three-point shooting tends to be a little contagious. You start questioning yourself a little bit. Three-point shooting has tendency to be a little streaky."
Nebraska's Kelsey Griffin: "I'm kind of an aggressive player and it's hard to back down, it was frustrating to be in foul trouble. I'm a senior and I need to be a little smarter."
Nebraska's Kelsey Griffin: "We've got a few days to get back in the gym and make some improvements."
Nebraska's Connie Yori: "I think A&M is a great team, and I've said that all along. When they are on top of the game, they are about as good as anyone in the country. Offensively they had it going, and rebounding was a big factor in the game. They beat us in all facets of the game today."
TAMU's Gary Blair, comparing this team to 2008's Aggies: "Perhaps we're not as good man-to-man defensively ... we had to develop on defense."
TAMU's Gary Blair, on Nebraska: "I think it will be good because it will take the pressure off them; send them up to Minneapolis as a No. 1 seed. This showed them a chink in their armor. Connie has to develop some scoring options coming off that bench."
TAMU's Gary Blair: "I just don't think they found Griffin enough in the zone. I don't know that we really stopped Griffin. Four fouls stopped Griffin. Kelsey is by far the best player in this league and hope she gets State Farm All-American. Turner is the best defensive wing in this conference."
TAMU's Danielle Adams: "I did hurt my hamstring at the beginning of the season and I had to do some extra conditioning."
TAMU's Danielle Adams: "Not at all, I don't think nobody can stop me. I'm pretty aggressive."
TAMU's Sydney Carter: "We knew they were going to be pressuring us on the defensive end. Some of the sets were a little shaky, so we were trying to get transition. It's good to have me and Syd playing together and playing well. Us hitting shots is just a bonus."
TAMU's Adaora Elonu: "I think when the both of us step up (she and Danielle Adams), it's very hard to guard us."
TAMU coach Gary Blair: "We executed the heck out of our offense today. Who ever thought a Vic Shaefer-coached defense would play a matchup zone. But we did."
TAMU coach Gary Blair: "Transition basketball, tremendous guard play by my two Syds (Carter, Colson). What we did on the boards (45-32) was outstanding. Our shooting percentage was good. We went into halftime and told the KC kids, 'The second half is your time.' "
Now there is just one undefeated team left; UConn. Texas A&M wins 70-60 and moves on to the championship game. Remember, the Aggies won here in 2008.
Danielle Adams subbed out to big applause from Aggies fans, she leaves game with 22 points, 9 boards.
The South's dominance continues, as we will once again have South Division champion for the Big 12 tournament. No North team has won since 2001, when Iowa State did it. The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, Nebraska and Iowa State, are gone.
Kelsey Griffin just subbed out, that might be it for her today. She has 15 points, 7 rebounds. Aggies lead 75-57 with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Huge game for Danielle Adams, from the KC suburb of Lee's Summit. She has 20 points on 22 points on 10 of 14 shooting and 9 rebounds. What an addition she has been as juco transfer to this Aggies team.
Finally, a 3-pointer from Cory Montgomery ... her first make today from behind the arc after missing her first five. Huskers were 1 of 21 from 3-point range in quarterfinal and 5 of 18 today ... yes, that's 15.4 percent.
The Huskers have not helped themselves with a sub-par performance from the line today ... 14 of 26. In a game like this, Nebraska couldn't afford giving away points at the line.
Will this affect Nebraska as a No. 1 seed ... don't think it will change anything about the Huskers being the No. 1 here in Kansas City region. But any team watching this game wants no part of A&M in the NCAA tournament.
Cory Montgomery is really having a forgettable game this afternoon, or one she'd like to forget. Not making shots or the little plays that she's made all season. 3 of 14 from field, 0 of 5 from 3-point range.
Nebraska just not doing much of anything right offensively or on the defensive end. Texas A&M peaking at the right time. I don't think anyone who saw these teams play for the past couple of weeks - but especially yesterday - is really too surprised at how this is going.
Kelsey Griffin back in the game ... she has 11 points and four fouls, A&M will go right at her on defense.
Kelsey Griffin has four fouls, so Nebraska is going to have to try to slow down the Aggies without her. Not sure I like their chances with that.
That was the third-best first-half shooting percentage this season for Texas A&M.
Aggies shooing 51 percent in first half and lead 39-28. Huskers' woes from 3-point line continue ... 2 of 10.
Nebraska's Cat Redmon is almost supernaturally bad at the free-throw line ... came into this game at 11 of 41 ... 27 percent. She's 1 of 4 today.
Kelsey Griffin picks up second foul with 3:32 left in first half ... the Huskers are going to have to find some answers on defense ...Aggies shooting an absurd 60.9 (14 of 23) percent from the field. A&M up 37-27.
Not sure about moving screen calls, sometimes seems to me that you could almost call that on every possession. Think Tina Napier, who called the moving screen earlier, just made a make-up call against Nebraska. They all balance out ... usually.
It's instructive sitting near Aquonesia Franklin, the Aggies former point guard who is doing the radio color commentary for the Texas A&M broadcast. On recent trip down the court, she pointed out the mistake on the Aggies' matchup zone of leaving Danielle Adams on the wrong player.
Can the Aggies really keep shooting the ball this well? They are up 28-18 at the 7:42 mark, and it's not like they are getting a lot easier shots than the Huskers ... but they are making them. They are 12 of 21 (57.1 percent) from the field. Huskers haven't spent a lot of time this season trailing.
Story so far has been the Huskers missing looks ... they are 7 of 23 from the floor, but I think Connie Yori is not displeased so far with the looks at the basket they have gotten. Aggies lead 24-15 with 9:20 left.
So far, really entertaining game here ... Aggies up 18-15 with 12:00 left in first half.
Texas A&M coach Gary Blair talks all the time about how his assistant, Vic Shaefer, deserves a head-coaching job because he is a defensive guru. The Aggies would miss him if he left. But Blair would try to find someone else with those same strengths. He's good about really putting a lot of trust/responsibility in his assistants' hands.
Coming into this game, Nebraska had been to the line 724 times, A&M 584. A&M, of course, is a perimeter-oriented team.
Kelsey Griffin gets first 3-point play, and that's been bread-and-butter for the Huskers ... Griffin shooting 76 percent from the line for the season (167-221).
Texas A&M has been careless with the ball the past couple of possessions ... A&M can make a killing in transition but has to be more careful with controlling the urge to go TOO fast.
Kelsey Griffin looks for an early call but doesn't get it ... the more physical this game is allowed to be, the more it should work in A&M's advantage in terms of defense.
Here we are at Municipal Auditorium for today's first Big 12 tourney semifinal: Nebraska vs. Texas A&M ... as you might expect, Huskers have a little more support in stands. But Texas A&M does have three Kansas City kids on the roster, so Aggies are not lacking in fans.
BU's Kim Mulkey: "I've never been around a more gentle giant than Brittney Griner."
BU's Kim Mulkey: "I do like my chances of going into the NCAA tournament. We're a very good team when you don't have suspensions or injuries. It's going to be fun to coach this group in the NCAAs. They are so talented."
BU's Kim Mulkey: "They are playing hard off of energy and enthusiasm, but we're losing ballgames down the stretch. I want our kids to hurt, I want it to bother them in the locker room."
BU's Kim Mulkey on Griner: "I thought she was very tentative. She wasn't the presence in the paint that she can be. It's her first time back in two games, and it's not a team that isn't very good. They're good."
BU's Kim Mulkey: "I thought she did some good things out there. I wanted to get her back in the flow."
BU's Kim Mulkey on boos for Griner: "I did, I was disappointed. That's a teen-ager that's made a mistake. She's human."
BU's Brittney Griner: "I really just drowned it out (boos). All I heard was cheers."
BU's Brittney Griner: "I missed being out there with my team. It really felt good to be out there there with everybody. I'd say my first block, I felt back to normal."
OU's Sherri Coale: "There is not a phase of the game that Danielle doesn't excel at. If I have to go try to defend Andrea Riley, I'm glad I have Danielle Robinson to do it."
OU's Sherri Coale: "Danielle (Robinson) is a very clever finisher. When she's good, the rest of the team thinks we can do anything."
OU's Sherri Coale on Brittney Griner being back: "She looked exactly the same to me."
OU's Amanda Thompson: "It was just a night of toughness. Abl (Olajuwon) brought that, and so did Joanna McFarland. I'm just so proud of them."
OU's Danielle Robinson: "You have to enjoy yourself. Not every game is going to be a 20-point victory. Sometimes you have to grind it out."
OU coach Sherri Coale: "Thought Danielle Robinson was special all night - play 40 minute without a turnover. Nyeshia Stevenson was a little later to the party than I would have liked, but she did arrive, and that was the difference."
This is funny: Little kid in Oklahoma State T-shirt was cheering wildly for Oklahoma at game's end; either he likes any team from Oklahoma or he just REALLY wanted to see the Cowgirls get another rematch with the Sooners.
Melissa Jones misses 3-pointer; Danielle Robinson gets rebound, fouled and hits 2 free throws. Oklahoma survives, 59-54, for another Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma State in semifinals. OU won both regular-season games, including in a blowout at Norman in regular-season finale.
This game has been as good as advertised, which is not surprising with Baylor and Oklahoma involved. Sooners up 57-54 with 17.1 seconds left.
Nyeshia Stevenson hits big 3-pointer for Oklahoma; it's fun to watch OU coach Sherri Coale's son and daughter right behind the bench jumping up and down and cheering. Remember when they were just little kids.
Drives to the basket that usually result in a score for OU's Danielle Robinson are lot tougher going when Brittney Griner is inside to block it or even just get a little piece of it.
Not a lot of points in this game, but it's been really exciting to watch ... Baylor up 47-45 with 5 minutes left.
Two fabulous blocks by Brittney Griner; she is really affecting Oklahoma's offense, just as she did in the two regular-season meetings.
Baylor's Morghan Medlock has 16 points, her best scoring outing in Big 12 play this season. She last scored that many points Dec. 30 against Texas-Pan American. Baylor has 44-41 lead with 7:21 left.
Well, as a fan of basketball, I have to say I've missed seeing Baylor's Melissa Jones on the court. You could only imagine how high a quality games would be if everyone played as hard/smart as she does.
Oklahoma center Abi Olajuwon hasn't made a shot from the field, and you have to think Brittney Griner has had plenty to do with that.
Brittney Griner is asserting herself in a very necessary way, and it's helping Baylor. She just made a strong move to the basket on a 3-point play and may be getting her mojo back.
Roosevelt Riley said he would still be watching Saturday's Big 12 semifinal between Oklahoma State and the winner of the Oklahoma-Baylor game on TV. If OSU makes the final, he'll be back in KC to see it in person.
Andrea Riley's dad, Roosevelt, flew into Kansas City to see tonight's game, in which she finished with 43 points. But he was leaving right after the game ... he works for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and he has to back at Cowboys Stadium for tomorrow's boxing match there between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.
Baylor and Oklahoma tied 26-26 at halftime; Jones had played 6 minutes and made 1 of 3 shots. Brittney Griner has made 1 of 4 shots and has 5 points, 2 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Morghan Medlock, who came through with some big performances last season at the Big 12 tournament, has 10 points in the first half for Baylor.
Melissa Jones has gotten in for Baylor ... Kim Mulkey insisted that she would be "ready" for the NCAA tournament but that she might be able to get her some minutes if Baylor played in the championship game on Sunday. However, with her injury, it's probably more a day-to-day, how-does-she- feel thing. And Mulkey may have wanted to get rust off of Jones a little bit.
Continues to be a rough day with connection problems and the Internet her at ol' Municipal Auditorium .... we're in a tight final game with Oklahoma leading Baylor 20-19.
***********Baylor vs. Oklahoma**************
Iowa State misses desperation 3-pointer .. Cowgirls win 62-59 behind Andrea Riley's 43 points! That is two short of her career high of 45 against Oklahoma back in 2008. No. 7 seed Cowgirls get the upset over No. 2 seed Cyclones.
Cowgirls inbound the ball on baseball pass to Andrea Riley ... foul called on Danae Stuckey of Iowa State, but it was the right call. Riley to the foul line with 8.6 seconds left ... she makes first ... makes second.
Smart call from Kurt Budke! Coaches are usually reluctant to do this, but he had team foul Iowa State rather than let them shoot a 3 pointer. Danae Stuckey makes both free throws ... 60-59 with 9.6 seconds left ... OSU ball.
Andrea Riley hits two free throws, now has 41 points. Oklahoma State up 60-57 with 12.9 seconds left, but no team in the Big 12 - or the country, probably, has more 3-point shooters than Iowa State. The Cyclones have made 8 of 29 treys in the game so far. Need another now.
Andrea Riley just put up her 43rd shot, which breaks her own record of 42 attempts set against Michigan State earlier this season. 1 minute left, and Cowgirls lead 58-54 as Riley scores on a drive falling down. Her 44th shot attempt and 16th make. She has 39 points, breaking the Big 12 single-game record of 37 she set last night.
Iowa State has gone to the line 18 times, Oklahoma State has gone six times. But considering that most of Oklahoma State's offense has been Andrea Riley putting it up from the perimeter, that isn't really so surprising.
Seriously, you have to keep reminding yourself that Iowa State is playing without its best player ... as all senior Alison Lacey can do is watch.
Toni Young's 10 rebounds have been really important for Oklahoma State ... and Riley just make another basket ... 14 of 40 ... she's hit her last three. Iowa State takes timeout; Cowgirls lead 54-50.
Andrea Riley has made her last two shots; she's now 13 of 39 from the field. Seems certain to break her Big 12 record for attempts (42).
The Cowgirls won these teams' regular season matchup in Stillwater, Okla., 78-70 on March 3.
A few sloppy passes by both teams, and things are really getting intense. Unlike the two daytime games, which turned into blowouts in the second half, this game is like all four yesterday ... really intense and tight. The Cyclones are up 47-46 with 6:48 left.
We're tied at 42-42 with 9:48 left and you have to wonder if it's time for Andrea Riley to really break out. She's now 10 of 34 from the field, but coach Kurt Budke swears her shooting percentage improves as it gets later in the game.
The radio folks live and die with their teams ... I'm next to the guys from Oklahoma State, and they have endured a lot of crummy basketball ... which I am sure has really made them appreciate the 2008 season and this one.
Iowa State just got got the ball to Prins behind the line again, but this time she did not make it. Iowa State is starting its offense with Prins on the perimeter and rotating her inside, which really can cause some matchup problems.
Iowa State just ran a play to get center Anna Prins open at the top of the key for a 3-pointer, and she nailed it. That gives Iowa State a 28-26 lead. As all who've followed Iowa State over the years knows, every Cyclone shoots 3-pointers.
Iowa State always gets big lift from its fans, who come to KC in big numbers. They could make a big difference in this game.
Oklahoma State clings to 24-22 lead at halftime after going last 5 1/2 minutes of first half without scoring. Riley has 18 points; other scoring came from Lakyn Garrison and Tegan Cunningham (3 points each). Iowa State scoring spread out among six players. Cowgirls (mostly Riley) shot 24.3 percent from the field (9 of 37) in first half, while Cyclones shot 28 percent (7 of 25).
Oklahoma State's offense is ... you'll never guess ... pretty much stalled because Andrea Riley is missing shots. She finishes the first half 7 of 24 from the field. The Big 12 tournament record for field goals attempted is 25, by Kansas State's Angie Finkes (1998) and Texas' Edwina Brown (2000). Riley will tie that with her first shot attempt of the second half. The overall Big 12 record for field goals attempted already belongs to Riley: 42, which she had earlier this season against Michigan State.
Oklahoma State has run into a little offensive drought, and the Cyclones have cut the lead to 24-22. Getting really loud in here.
Bill Fennelly is doing his, "I'm so disgusted with you I'm just going to sit in the middle of the bench and watch," thing with his team. He seems to pick strategic times to do it. There's not that much to be mad about; the Cyclones trail 24-17, but they are going against an Oklahoma State team that had a game to warm up yesterday, plus Iowa State team leader Alison Lacey isn't playing.
Jessica Schroll just hit two free throws to bring the Cyclones to just five down, 22-17, and the Iowa State fans have made themselves heard, to say the least. Anna Prins just missed a chip shot that would have brought the roof down.
Oklahoma State has a heck of an athlete on its bench in Amber Metoyer. Big 12 fans may remember her for her days at Colorado, where she started her college hoops career. Then she transferred to Louisiana Tech, where she was a basketball and track and field standout. Now she's a graduate assistant for Kurt Budke, for whom she played basketball at Louisiana Tech. Metoyer looks like she's still in good enough shape to play Division I.
Megan Byford is out of the game for Oklahoma State, and the 6-1 senior is kind of an "enforcer" inside. Iowa State's Prins was able to get a rebound and stickback that Byford likely would have made more difficult.
Bill Fennelly really wanted to get across a point to freshman G/F Jessica Schroll ... he's really frustrated with some of the mistakes his team is making, but consider this is the first Big 12 tournament Schroll.
So far, the Cyclones are struggling defensively; the Cowgirls have made 5 of 7 3-pointers and are off to a 19-7 lead. Bill Fennelly just called a timeout to get a handle on it. Pretty obvious that Iowa State is missing point guard Alison Lacey, who is recovering from pneumonia.
The 6-6 freshman Anna Prins is in the game for Iowa State; she adds a dimension the Cyclones haven't had in a while by being such a big, true low-block post player.
Iowa State fans join Oklahoma State fans in cheering for the announcement that Andrea Riley is now the conference's top all-time scorer.
Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley has become the Big 12's all-time leading scorer with her first basket tonight. That puts her at 2,731 points, surpassing Oklahoma's Courtney Paris (2,729).
*******************************Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State******************
Texas A&M's Sydney Colson on sharing time at point guard with Sydney Carter: "I think it's fabulous that there's no drop-off; it's really good to have point guards who can think on the go."
Texas A&M's Sydney Colson, on Aggies' success against Texas: "The way they feel about playing us is probably the way we feel about playing Baylor."
Texas A&M's Tanisha Smith: "I probably had over 100 people in the stands."
Texas A&M's Danielle Adams: "I was really excited to play in the hometown in front of family and friends."
Texas A&M's Gary Blair: "We have outstanding guards and you win with guards. They make great decisions all night. The turnover battle, 26-14, was a huge key. We tried to stay even on the boards and their bigs did not hurt us as much as they could have. We did a good job against their press. And these Kansas City kids, it's very special to bring them back home. They are the most unselfish kids; they will pass the ball and defend."
Texas A&M wins 77-64, led by 21 points from Tanisha Smith, 18 from Danielle Adams and 18 from Tyra White. The KC Trio off to a great start in the Big 12 tournament. Texas will have to regroup and get ready for NCAA play.
Not to start any rumors, but as good a defensive mind as Texas A&M assistant coach Vic Shaefer is, you wonder if he will take a head coaching job at some point. No one should underestimate what he brings to A&M; Gary Blair never does.
Texas A&M coach Gary Blair, after the regular-season finale at Kansas, made a point of saying how much he liked the way the Aggies were playing at this time. You can trace some of their difficult times during the regular season to Sydney Colson belng limited with a stress reaction. A&M is always better when she's on the floor.
This play just wraps up the afternoon so far for Texas: Tyra White misses, Erika Arriaran gets the rebound and makes a quick outlet pass to Brittainey Ravel to start a transition but ... Raven doesn't see it coming, turnover, ball goes back to A&M. It's been like that; the Horns really just haven't seemed in sync today and while what they did was good enough against Missouri yesterday, it's not going to be against A&M today.
Ashleigh Fontenette hit a 3-pointer and was fouled, but missed free throw for 4-point play. Aggies up by 13 and seem able to do most of what they want against Texas defense.
Adaora Elonu is just 2 of 10 from the field for A&M but still keeps attacking the basket. And Sydney Colson's first basket of the afternoon - a 3-pointer with 9:30 left in the game - gave the Aggies a 56-42 lead and forced a Texas timeout.
The three Kansas City Aggies are doing very well in their hometown this afternoon:Tanisha Smith 17 points, Tyra White 14 and Danielle Adams 11. Of course A&M's only Big 12 tournament title came her in KC, in 2008.
Earnesia Williams and Kat Nash really struggling from the field for Texas; they are a combined 2 of 9.
Not a lot of good 3-point shooting on display today. Nebraska was 1 of 21 (yikes), K-State 5 of 15 (not too bad, but ...), Texas is 2 of 11 and TAMU 4 of 16. That's 12 of 63 for the four teams combined at this point ... 19 percent.
Speaking Duke, Texas A&M has a non-conference rematch with the Blue Devils next season; Duke visited College Station this past November and was beaten soundly. Duke and A&M should be very highly ranked teams next season.
Picking up this one at start of the second half, with Aggies up 36-34 over Longhorns. When Gail Goestenkors was in the ACC, there really was no team that just vexed her once she got her program up and running (by 3rd season). Sure, North Carolina had its runs against Duke in that series, but Duke had no team that it just couldn't beat. However, in her first three seasons at Texas, GG has not been able to beat A&M.
***** Texas A&M vs. Texas*****
Sorry about the break in the blog folks ... having some Internet connection problems here at Municipal. Will catch you up on Texas A&M and Texas ... we're at halftime, with Aggies leading 34-30.
Ashley Sweat just exited the game; she finishes with eight points and four rebounds on another tough shooting day (4 of 14).
Well, Kari Kincaid is back on the K-State bench, but it doesn't look like she is going back in the game. She is K-State's leading scorer today with 10 points.
Nebraska is getting a chance to rest its starters; Kelsey Griffin's day appears done with 24 points and 10 rebounds. She is 9 of 12 from field and 6 of 6 from the line. Huskers up 61-42 with 3:28 left.
Tough to see Kari Kincaid not be able to end her last Big 12 tournament on the floor ... this event has not been kind to K-State, especially here at Municipal. Megan Mahoney ruptured her Achilles' tendon in 2005 final and Kimberly Dietz tore her ACL in 2008 quarterfinals, both here.
Kincaid back in the game; she has been such a rock defensively for K-State. However, she just seemed to be in a lot of pain. It may be a sprain of some sort to her knee. Just speculating. OK ... now she just had to leave the court with some assistance from K-State trainers. K-State now has just six available players.
Kari Kincaid was injured as she had the ball; not sure what happened. She was trapped and had to throw up a desperation shot and then went to the bench. However, it seems like Kincaid has shaken it off and wants to get back in the game.
Just saw Tulsa Shock coach Nolan Richardson here at Municipal Auditorium. The Shock just signed Marion Jones, so we'll see if its possible for her to defy time and conventional wisdom and make the team. Richardson wants Andrea Riley from Oklahoma State but figures there's no way she'll still be available when the Shock picks.
Cory Montgomery's mom and dad both played college basketball in Minnesota and regularly make the drive to see her wherever the Huskers play. You gotta love all the road warrior parents in basketball.
Kelsey Griffin took over in the second half of last week's game with K-State, and she has 22 points and eight rebounds now, as Huskers lead 47-38. She just made a spin move and hit a left-handed shot in the lane.
Brittany Chambers and Taelor Karr have been so impressive for K-State this season, but the Wildcats will really need next season's freshmen to contribute immediately, too. Kincaid and Sweat have carried such a load as veteran leaders this season for the Wildcats.
It's been pretty impressive how well Kansas State has played Nebraska in the first half of all three of their games this season. The Huskers have owned the second half in both previous meetings, so we'll see if that trend holds for today, too. Huskers lead 27-26 at the break.
Just as expected, really, this came has stayed closed. Huskers actually trailed at K-State at halftime last Saturday in regular-season finale. Now, Nebraska leads 25-20 with 3:44 left in first half.
Sweat has a younger sister who just turned 8 years old; Ashley wants to spend as much time as possible with her this summer at home in McPherson, Kan., because she's been gone so much playing college basketball the past four years. Can't imagine a much better big sister a kid could have.
K-State's Kari Kincaid and Ashley Sweat are playing what could be their last game. They are both ready to move on past basketball as soon as this season is over. Kincaid is going to be a teacher. Sweat will finish her degree at K-State by December, then wants to go to school to be a physician's assistant, like her mother.
Big play from Nebraska's Vonnie Turner; steal in the backcourt and layup, but K-Stae still hanging in, trailing 15-11. In both of the regular-season meetings, the Wildcats hung with the Huskers.
A nice-sized crowd on hand today for Game 1 of the quarterfinals: Kansas State vs. Nebraska. Huskers off to a 7-4 lead and the red people in the stands outnumber the purple people.
CU's K-Mac: "It was a very different game (without Brittney Griner). She had a triple double on us (in the first game in Waco), and with the blocks really changed the mindset of our players. We felt like when she was off the floor we did good things at Baylor. She's a special player. She's exceptional. There are not many like her. Her improvement has come with passing out of the double teams."
CU's K-Mac: "When I got to the program, we had some strong bigs, and we had a really inexperienced backcourt. And it's sort of come full-circle, now the back court is experienced. So for us, the missing piece is that big. Particularly on the defensive end, we haven't had that interior presence."
CU's K-Mac on Baylor's Whitney Z: "When we were in the zone, the scoring had to come from somewhere, we were committed to making sure everything they got had to come from over the top. As soon as they realized we were staying in the zone, they brought her in fast. We tried to rely on our guards to guard that, but she got some looks."
CU's Alyssa Fressle: "I think the experience we have coming back - that's a good core. We have a lot of good things in store for the program. We're going to get better in the off-season."
CU's Alyssa Fressle: "Coach said, 'Expect pressure,' right before they started it. We just weren't in the right spots."
Colorado's Kathy McConnell-Miller: "I was very proud of our team's effort tonight. The difference is if it had stayed a half-court game, we could have made more shots. But as expected, the pressure came. Really, we got on our heels as a result of the defense."
BU's Kim Mulkey on matchup with Oklahoma: "I don't anticipate it will be any different than the first two meetings."
BU's Kim Mulkey: "Melissa Jones is the epitome of what a student-athlete can be. I want to get her leg another week's rest. If we're fortunate enough to get in the championship here, I might be able to get her some minutes on Sunday. But there's a bigger picture, which is the NCAA tournament."
BU's Kim Mulkey: "She did what she was recruited to do. I couldn't be happier for someone who was the last one to get in most games. The article needs to be about Whitney Zachariason."
BU's Kim Mulkey: "We were in a situation where we were down 8 and needed the momentum to swing in our favor. Just turn those athletes loose and that's what we did."
BU's Kelli Griffin: "We're not just a one-person team, but it's going to be great having Brittney (Griner) back tomorrow."
BU's Kelli Griffin: "Coach told us to get into the press, and we would have to gamble."
BU's Whitney Z: "I think our team did a really good job of rotating the ball around. I was really impressed with how our team came together. I think everybody on the bench did a great job tonight."
Baylor rallies and gets the 72-65 victory behind 17 points from Whitney Zachariason. Next up: Oklahoma, which is always an entertaining matchup. And we're just talking about what each coach will wear! No, seriously, it's a big rivalry between these two programs, and as far as we know, Brittney Griner will be back for that game.
Wow, big 3-pointer and visible sigh of relief from Baylor freshman Jordan Madden. That was her first make all night from the field, and gave Baylor a 71-65 lead with 35.2 seconds left.
The shot clock was just winding down for Baylor, and guess who stood up on the bench and shouted to count it down for her teammates: Melissa Jones, of course. The Bears' leader has been sidelined because of a stress fracture but she is still helping the team in every way she can.
Baylor has taken a 68-63 lead with 2:41 left ... the most recent foul on Baylor just made Kim Mulkey do that squat-down, hands-thrown-out expression of supreme displeasure with the officials.
You've got to like this about Baylor's Whitney Zachariason - her favorite television show is "I Love Lucy." The only other player I remember having that as her fave was Kansas State's Brie Madden, who was a true "Lucy" aficionado. Zachariason now has 17 points, which is by far her career high. Previously, it was seven.
Colorado freshman Chucky Jeffery has six rebounds but it seems like more; at 5-10 (yeah, right) she's been working pretty hard inside to grab boards for the Buffs.
Morghan Medlock has 11 points and seven rebounds; remember she had a very good Big 12 tournament last season when the Bears won the title.
Colorado really starting to wilt with this Baylor full-court pressure. Baylor has the athletes do do it, and Buffs need to adjust their press break.
Colorado sophomore Alyssa Fressle - who is from Highlands Ranch, Colol. _ has 16 points to lead Buffs. She came into this game averaging 7.6 ppg.
Baylor really putting on the pressure, but Bears have been called for three fouls and Kim Mulkey just did her angry walk down the sideline.
Don't look now, but Baylor's defense has really amped up the pressure in the last couple of minutes. Colorado still leads 43-39, but there has been a momentum shift.
Colorado has only won two games in the last eight Big 12 tournament: in 2007 and 2003.
Can Colorado hold onto 39-31 halftime lead? The Buffs have let some games slip away this season.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said that senior Morghan Medlock has played better this season than most have given her credit for; she's had to carry leadership role as Baylor's lone senior. Medlock averaging 9.4 ppg 7.3 rpg; she has six points in first half tonight.
By the way, a young coach to watch out for, according to Ceal Barry, is her former player, Linda Lappe. Linda was snake-bit with injuries during her Buffs career but played with incredible heart. She is currently head coach of Division II Metro State in Denver.
This game is just a bit different than when these teams met in Waco on Feb. 6. Baylor won that one 76-42, and Griner had a triple double in that game: 24 points, 10 rebounds, 11 blocked shots. Not that we didn't know this, but it's a really different team Baylor has on the floor now. Colorado leads 34-29 with 1:55 left in the first half.
Wow, the Buffs' senior Courtney Dunn just hit a 3-pointer at the shot clock, just her 10th in Big 12 play this season.
Former Colorado coach Ceal Barry was saying yesterday her life is a lot less stressful now that she's in administration. She doesn't seem like she misses the grind of coaching.
Tough season for Colorado fans ... the Buffs won just one Big 12 game at home, and that was the opener against Missouri. They also beat the Tigers and Kansas State on the road.
Well, we are 9 minutes into this game and there hasn't been a whole lot of offense. Baylor leads 13-10 and one gets the feeling this is not a game where Baylor can afford to let the Buffs build up any confidence.
*********************Baylor vs. Colorado***************
KU coach Bonnie Henrickson on Carolyn Davis: "The kid hasn't practiced in five days. Now, I'm going to have a team full of kids who'll think they need five days off to get 31 points."
KU coach Bonnie Henrickson on Andrea Riley: "She's got some moxie to her, she's the kid who is the glue that holds them together. She can take tough shots and hit tough shots."
KU coach Bonnie Henrickson: "You've got to be prepared to take a shot in order to make one. Shooting starts with your feet."
KU coach Bonnie Henrickson: "We are cautiously optimistic about playing at home (in the WNIT). We're disappointed the (Big 12 play) finished as it did ... but a lot of time it's your mindset in the WNIT."
KU's Sade Morris: "We feel like we'll play in the WNIT, we want to make the championship game and want to win it."
KU freshman Carolyn Davis: "I came out really excited to play, I came out willing to give my all."
Incidentally, KU's Carolyn Davis went 12 of 13 from the field, but teammates Aishah Sutherland, Monica Engelman and Sade Morris went a combined 4 of 33 from the floor.
OSU coach Kurt Budke on Riley: "I've said it a lot lately, her field goal percentage goes up in the last three minutes of the game. I'm not even sure what a bad shot is for her. Maybe halfcourt? To us, she's the MVP of this conference. There is nobody more valuable than she is to a team."
OSU coach Kurt Budke: "Kansas the last half of this year really adjusted to Danielle McCray being gone. We just happened to make a few more shots tonight."
OSU coach Kurt Budke on Carolyn Davis: "She's an incredible player. We tried four different looks, switched up zones. She's going to have a great career."
OSU coach Kurt Budke on using 12 players in the game: "Where we've gotten better in the last 10 games is the bench players are improved."
Andrea Riley on breaking the single-game scoring record for the Big 12 tournament: "What an honor - to pass a record like that. Courtney Paris is one of the best players ever."
Tegan Cunningham on KU's Carolyn Davis: "We tried to change up our defense as much as possible, but she played a great game."
Tegan Cunningham: "KU is a good team and we knew all their threats were going to step up. It was one of those close games, I'm glad we pulled away with a win."
Andrea Riley: "The biggest thing that was on my mind was going out and playing defense as hard as I can."
OSU coach Kurt Budke: "I don't think we played our best basketball game, but we found a way to get it done. We've got one of the best players in the country here."
Crazy sequence where KU has three shots at basket but misses them all. Andrea Riley at line ... makes both free throws and has 37 points! Riley sets record for single-game scoring, breaking Courtney Paris' mark from 2006. Oklahoma State wins 76-69.
Kansas junior Nicollette Smith has struggled with her confidence as a shooter, which has surprised me because I think she has great form. She just hit her first shot of the game - a 3-pointer - to cut OSU's lead to 72-69 with under a minute to go
Kansas just forced a shot clock violation, Oklahoma State leads 71-66 with 1:23 left. Timeout Kansas. Andrea Riley has 32 points, Carolyn Davis has 31. A really entertaining game. Wonder whom Iowa State would rather play tomorrow?
Oklahoma State has been so active on defense and able to disrupt KU in a lot of ways, but the Cowgirls have had no answer for Davis. She just made another basket ... missed the free throw on 3-point play, though. OSU up 69-63 with 3:22 left.
KU's Carolyn Davis just "missed" her first shot - it was blocked - but KU got the ball and fed Davis again. She made this one. So she's not "perfect" anymore - 11 of 12 - but what a show the freshman has put on tonight for the Jayhawks. She has tied her season high with 29 points and also has 11 rebounds. Her season rebounding high is 14, which she got in that double-overtime game with Texas on Feb. 13.
Kansas misses McCray not just in scoring but also her ability to rebound, especially late in the game when it's about being in good shape and having extra energy. McCray was very good with that.
Carolyn Davis said she took it very hard when teammate Danielle McCray tore her ACL and was out for the season. McCray is a very respected leader on the team and the freshmen appreciated all she did for them. Davis said she was determined to play especially hard for McCray's sake. Davis' season high is 29 points (Feb. 13 in double overtime against Texas) and tonight she has 27 on 10 of 10 shooting from field. But OSU leads 69-59 with 5:04 left.
Speaking of records, KU's Carolyn Davis is 9 of 9 from the field. The record for top field goal percentage (minimum 5 made) in the Big 12 tournament is 1.000. Sara Jackson of OSU went 8 of 8 in 1998, and K-State's Nicky Ramage (1997) and Nebraska's Monique Whitfield (1999) each went 5 of 5.
Big 12's tournament's single-game scoring record is 36 by Courtney Paris in 2006. Riley now has 30 points with 8:50 left in this game and the Cowgirls leading 61-55.
Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley has 28 points and Kansas' Carolyn Davis has 19. This is kind of reminding me of the duel these two teams had in January in Lawrence, when Riley had 30 points and Danielle McCray had 28.
Krysten Boogaard 3-point play was something that KU fans have been dying to see more of from her. She caught a tough pass, handled the contact and finished the shot. Then made the free throw. It fired up the Jayhawks, who now have a 49-47 lead.
Juco transfer Rhea Codio is getting a lot of time tonight for Kansas; she played 12 minutes in the first half and is in the game now. Her minutes have fluctuated a lot during February. She was in for just 11 minutes in the regular-season finale against Texas A&M. But before that played 27 minutes against Baylor and 22 against Nebraska. As if she knew i was writing about her, she just hit a 3-pointer.
Sade Morris was 2 of 10 from field in the first half ... she's just had a few too many of those games where she struggles a lot from the field this season for KU. Oklahoma State leads 44-37 3 minutes into the second half.
Carolyn Davis was 5 of 5 from the field in the first half ... just made another shot to start the second half for KU.
Some turnovers here at the end of the first half are hurting the Jayhawks, but Monica Engelman just nailed a shot ... followed by a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer by ... who else? Andrea Riley. Oklahoma State up 42-34. KU coach Bonnie Henrickson and assistant Katie O'Connor both had that, "Oh, for crying out loud, did we really give that up?" look as they left the court.
Kansas senior Sade Morris is used to taking the toughest defensive assignment every game. She is doing all she can against Andrea Riley tonight.
Oh my gosh, Oklahoma State's Toni Young - a 6-2 freshman - can really sky. It will interesting to watch her continued development through her career.
Barring some crazy run through the Big 12 tournament, Kansas will miss the NCAA tournament for the 10th season in a row. I never would have expected the Jayhawks' drought would be this long.
The WNBA has inquired about Oklahoma State senior Tegan Cunningham (from Australia) as well as, of course, Andrea Riley. The fact that the Aussies are known as such hard-working, good teammates in the WNBA may be part of why some teams have some interest in her.
WNBA scouts here that I've seen: Lin Dunn, Mike Thibault, Anne Donovan.
It was in the KU-OSU regular-season game on Jan. 12 that Angel Goodrich suffered her second ACL since being at Kansas. The Cowgirls won that game 70-68 in Lawrence on a big day for both Riley and McCray. Unfortunately, only Riley is still playing. McCray awaits her WNBA future; scouts definitely like her.
I sat down with Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley yesterday to chat ... one of the main forces in her life is how she wants to play well enough to please her dad. He should be pretty happy right now; Riley has 9 points as the Cowgirls lead 21-17 with 9:27 left in the first half.
That said, I have been really impressed with KU freshmen Carolyn Davis and Monica Engelman. Both are from Texas ... but Davis didn't actually move to Houston until she was in high school. She grew up in Indiana. That explains why she was not too bugged by the cold/snow of this past brutal winter. On the other hand, Engelman, who was born in California but moved to San Antonio as a kid, said she complained about the weather daily.
The Jayhawks have had perhaps the toughest luck of any of the Big 12 teams in terms of key injuries, having lost Angel Goodrich and Danielle McCray. You can't help but wonder what KU would look like now if both of those players were on the court.
**********Kansas vs. Oklahoma State********
MU's Cindy Stein: "Honestly, I don't know. I love coaching. Maybe it's time for administration. I have such a passion for athletics, and I don't know if I could ever get out of that. I'm going to listen, had some people make calls and I've told everybody I want to take time. I feel like I've been so focused on this year I need to take a step back and see where my next journey needs to be."
MU's Cindy Stein: "It's tough because everyone wants to know what to do, but you want to finish out the season. I'm sure this stuff is going to hit me sometime. I think the love that I have for the University of Missouri and those kids outweighs anything. I may not still have this job, but I still have that love."
MU's Cindy Stein: "Last couple of days have been tough days; it's easy to be down. But I think you had a group of people who were down, some were a mixture, there were a whole range of emotions. We've fought through that, didn't know how we'd respond as a unit. You've got to stay on the positive side. Sometimes life kicks you in the teeth, and you've got to keep standing up."
MU's Cindy Stein: "It's hard because I love them, but it's not like I won't have contact with them (players) again. It won't be the last time I talk to them. I feel like sometimes you have to go on a different journey. I don't look at it at all like this is ending and I won't have any contact. But I know the professional part of it is you have to let someone else have the team. I want them to succeed."
MU's Amanda Hanneman: "I'm looking forward to playing golf more ... probably with coach Stein."
MU's Raeshara Brown: "We thank Coach Stein for everything. She taught us a lot and got us through a lot of things. You never know what to expect of a new coach, but you'll have to embrace it."
MU's Amanda Hanneman: "You can't help but think, this is the last time I'll be walking off the basketball court."
MU's Amanda Hanneman: "When you're a shooter like me, when the first one goes down it's always a good thing."
MU's Raeshara Brown: "I hate it for our seniors. But I say to Amanda, she went out with a heck of a game."
MU coach Cindy Stein: "The physicality and size of Texas wore us down. Their second-chance points hurt us. Their size is a lot to handle."
GG on loss at College Station to Texas A&M, the Horns' next opponent: "They put a press on us and that really affected us."
GG: "We'll definitely have to be physical, but in the right way. We've got to be very smart, take the physical play and accept it."
Gail Goestenkors: "Earnie (Williams) is our warrior. I want her to end on a great note because she deserves that after everything she's given to this program."
Gail Goestenkors: I switched and put Yvonne Anderson on her (Hanneman). She let her get one three, but that was it. I think she did a good job."
Kat Nash: "We were very even in the box score, and it makes it hard for other teams to guard us when they can't key on one player."
Kat Nash: "When we played them at home, I don't think we handled them that easily. They've had some big wins."
Kathleen Nash: "We knew Missouri was going to play hard. We didn't come in here ready enough."
Texas coach Gail Goestenkors: "Today, we survived. It wasn't pretty. They did a tremendous job, Hanneman in particular. She had missed her last 25 3's in away games, so I hoped she would think of this as an away game. But she didn't. (Missouri) has lost a lot of tough, close games."
Missouri's season and Cindy Stein's coaching career at MU both come to a close, with 64-59 loss to Texas in the first round. Hanneman leads MU with 21 points, while Brittainey Raven leads Texas with 11 points. Three Horns - Earnesia Williams, Kat Nash and Yvonne Anderson, all have nine.
Last year at the Big 12 tournament, after Texas' first-round victory over Missouri, we heard about how Earnesia Williams survived scary car accident just the day before the tournament.
Jessra Johnson miss, Earnie Williams rebound. that might be it for the Tigers. Horns up 63-59 with 36.1 seconds left.
Shak Jones missed a shot but tied up the rebound ... Missouri ball with 1:04 left and Tigers trailing 63-59.
Texas has won its first game at the Big 12 tournament the past three seasons. Last time the Horns lost their league tourney opener was to Iowa State in the 8-9 game in 2006.
Big 3-pointer from Brittainey Raven, but Shak Jones answers with a layup. Might we yet again see the "almost" upset by the Tigers? Texas 61, MU 56 with 3:16 left.
Texas winning battle on the boards by eight; Tigers have closed to 56-54 with 4:34 left. Moving screen just called on Missouri trying to get Amanda Hanneman another look from behind the arc.
I'm telling you what: This has been some kind of back and forth action for the Tigers and Longhorns. Missouri not afraid to run with Texas; Horns lead 54-49 with 6:53 left. And this is the Big 12's last-place team.
Wow, Amanda Hanneman is feelin' it! Just hit her seventh 3-pointer of the game, 21 points.
Really balanced scoring from the Longhorns: All nine players who are available to play have scored, led by Brittainey Raven and Cokie Reed with eight points each.
If this is Amanda Hanneman's last game for Missouri, she will go out on a really good note: She has 18 points, her highest total since getting 19 at Oklahoma State on Jan. 26.
You watch Missouri in a game like this and wonder how the Tigers won just two Big 12 games all season. This is a team that has talent, no question.
Jessra Johnson and Amanda Hanneman, Missouri seniors, are both playing well so far. Hanneman has 12 points and Johnson has eight. They have had a difficult senior season.
The last time Missouri was a Big 12 tournament No. 12 seed was two years ago here in Kansas City, and the Tigers upset No. 5 Oklahoma then in the first round.
Holy moly! Missouri has fought back to take a 29-28 lead at halftime. I was giving the Tigers grief about lackluster play, and just like that (snap!) they seemed to click into gear. I have a feeling the Horns are going to get a good talking-to in the locker room.
Missouri just made the kind of lazy inbound-pass that cost the Tigers at the end of last season's game. Ashleigh Fontenette made a great hustle play to make them pay for it.
Gail Goestenkors has been really happy with how well Ashleigh Fontenette had played all this season. She's not a natural point guard but has played that role for the Horns.
Last year, Missouri looked like it had first-round game with Texas won, but Tigers had terrible time inbounding the ball in final minute. Texas capitalized on steals and won 62-59.
The Longhorns ended the regular season with a big win at Baylor. They are now up on Missouri 16-8 with 12 minutes left in the first half.
*********************TEXAS VS. MISSSOURI******************
Kristy Curry: "I try to take responsibility for everything. We've had some strange things happen to us the past couple days. It's not always how hard you fall, it's how you get up. The future is bright; we will definitely will accept a WNIT bid if they ask us."
Kristy Curry: "Obviously, I thought she didn't look herself today. Defensively, she was too passive. Once you fall off the horse, you've got to get back on. There's a lot to look forward to, she's a sophomore."
Kristy Curry: "It's amazing - when you can force Ashley Sweat to go 1 for 10, you think you've got a chance to win."
Ashlee Roberson on Barncastle-Griner incident: "We don't pay attention to the media much with that whole situation. It made us stronger and a better team as far as family-wise."
Kierra Mallard: "I give a hand to Kansas State for going in and rebounding."
Ashlee Roberson: "We needed to contain the shooters, and we didn't do a good job of containing the outside shooters."
Kristy Curry: "I think a day like today, you have to credit Kansas State. They made a lot of big plays."
Deb Patterson: "The positive for me is that we get to play again tomorrow. Nebraska is a tremendous team. For us, it's more about the challenge. Can't say I relish the opportunity to have that challenge be Nebraska."
Deb Patterson: "We played through mistakes. Our young people had a really gritty mentality today. It's the first time in a long time that we've competed that hard through the peaks and valleys of the game and found a way to get a big, big win. A season-extending win. I think we've played better basketball this season, but I don't know that we've competed with any better mentality than we did today."
Deb Patterson: "When Ashley wasn't scoring the ball, we committed to the nature of team and competing for one another."
Kari Kincaid: "Before her (basket) Ashley had a block and a rebound. Those were critical plays she made at the end."
Taelor Karr: "It was bouncing my way." She was speaking of the 12 rebounds she got
Kari Kincaid: "We've been a team of two halfs this year, we've learned you can't get too excited about the first half. I think we said, "Enough is enough.' We fought for what we wanted."
Here in K-State press conference: "I think we lined up against an NCAA tournament-calibre team in Texas Tech. ... It wasn't any one phase of the game we dominated but we had individual tough plays." - KSU's Deb Patterson.
Wildcats beat Texas Tech 59-51 behind freshman Taelor Karr's 16 points and 12 rebounds. Nebraska next for K-State.
Kari Kincaid, K-State senior near the end of her career, nails first free throw ... nails second. K-State 56-49.
Smalls scores again, then Kari Kincaid is fouled. K-State really has to nail its free throws here to seal the deal. Wildcats leading 54-49 with 14.7 seconds left.
Texas Tech's Monique Smalls goes to line for 3-point play ... misses ... Sweat rebound, and Sweat is fouled, headed to the line with KSU up 53-47 with 22.3 seconds left.
K-State's Ashley Sweat just made first field of the game with under a minute. This has been Sweat's worst offensive game of her career, but she came through at crunch time. She did not make the ensuing free throw on 3-point play, however. KSU up 52-45 with 37.1 seconds left.
Big steal and basket from Kierra Mallard as Tech closes to 47-45 with 3:12 left. Taelor Karr has just pulled down two amazing, "I refuse to let anyone else get this ball" rebounds for K-State. I mean, they were Shalee Lehning-like. Karr is only 5-8. 2:49 left KSU has 2-point lead.
Another Tech senior, Jordan Murphree, is having a tough day from the field - although not as tough as Sweat's. Murphree is 4 of 12 for 8 points.
Texas Tech Ashlee Roberson, by contrast, is having a very solid game. She has 13 points and nine rebounds. K-State up 45-41 with 4:32 left.
This has been a nightmare game thus far for K-State senior and all-conference first-team member Ashley Sweat. She is 0 of 9 from the field. Her only points have come on two free throws.
By the way, Jordan Barncastle has her mask back on ... perhaps felt wearing it was the lesser of two evils.
K-State is holding onto a 39-32 lead against Texas Tech with 9:32 left, but this is often about the time in games that the Wildcats' offense starts clogging up. Monique Smalls just scored to make it 39-34 and K-State called a needed timeout.
Taelor Karr and Brittany Chambers have logged a ton of minutes for K-State as freshmen, as has Monique Smalls for Texas Tech.
Last night, I was looking up some Texas Tech history as a comparison to MIddle Tennessee's Alysha Clark, who had 132 points in three Sun Belt tournament games. Wanted to check on Sheryl Swoopes' total in 1993 SWC tournament. She had 53 in the final against Texas, and her overall totla was 93.
Now we will see how well Kansas State holds up in the second half. The Wildcats have just seven players, and this season they've had several games - including against Oklahoma and Nebraska - where they build leads at halftime but fade in the second half. Players just get worn down.
Halftime at Municipal, Kansas State 26, Texas Tech 20.
The mask is off. Those things are annoying as heck, I've heard. As of yet, nobody has ever broken my nose for anything I wrote ... but I'm still a ways from retirement so ... we'll see if I get through my career intact.
Press-row wags are wondering if Tech got Barncastle the worst-looking mask the school could possibly find. Reporters, what a bunch of smart-alecks. Kansas Stat is leading 19-10 with just under 7 minutes left.
Texas Tech announced this morning that Barncastle, whose nose was broken when she tried to win the snowboard half-pipe competition at the recent Winter Olympics ... er, actually it was when she got popped in the face by Baylor's Brittney Griner after some very physical play in the lane, anyway, Tech said this morning that Barncastle would play. She looks like she's lovin' that mask ... not at all.
Kansas State, known for its 3-point shooting, has already burned Texas Tech from long range. The Wildcats are up 13-10 with 11:03 left in the first half here at Municipal Auditorium.
Good morning folks! Here at the Big 12 women's tournament opener, and Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle is wearing a face mask. Wonder what that's all about? .... JOKE!