By Clay Horning

Transcript Sports Editor

STILLWATER — Perhaps not since Sherri Coale was losing more games than she won her first two years at the helm of Oklahoma women’s program had a team of hers looked so bad for so long coming into the final 20 minutes Monday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Good for the Sooners, their futility ended.

It was nothing earth-shattering, but OU finally hit some shots, even a couple from 3-point land and better than doubled its first-half production to escape the second round of Bedlam with a 66-56 victory.

Until the Sooners erupted for 47 second-half points against the Cowgirls, they had scored just 77 points on 29.1 percent (25 of 86) field-goal shooting, hitting only 2 of 22 from beyond the 3-point arc in their previous 60 minutes of court time.

“I didn’t think either team was ever going to be able to put the ball in the basket,” Coale said, referencing a 20-19 halftime score in Oklahoma State’s favor. “Fortunately, the second half was better basketball and we got a few more shots to go in than they did, but it wasn’t really a very pretty 40 minutes from either of us.”

Still, it was a positive step with the OU’s run at the Big 12 tournament beginning Saturday in Dallas. After the half, OU hit 56.7 percent (17 of 30) from the floor. The 47 points was OU’s most productive half since scoring 47 in the second half at TCU Jan. 17.

Junior center Kaylon Williams was the prime mover, making 8 of 12 from the field and netting 18 of her team-high 20 points after intermission.

“She was very solid and under control at the post,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “I thought that she was the difference in the ball game.”

Also, though Peyton Little and Gioya Carter, OU’s two leading scorers through the conference season, only combined to make 11 of 27 shots, they still offered a fresh assertiveness that led to a combined 28 points, 21 after the half on 8 of 15 post-intermission shooting.

“Gioya’s light went on and then (Little’s) light went on and I don’t think either of them went away,” Coale said. “We got to ride that for 7 or 8 minutes … I think they feel that right now and I think that’s their last sensation and I think that’s a good thing.”

As bad as OU was early, OSU was arguably worse even as it managed a one-point edge at the half. Over the first 20 minutes, the Cowgirls shot a horrid 17.9 percent (5 of 28) from the field. Despite scoring 36 second-half points, OSU still finished the game shooting 25.8 (16 of 62) percent.

“I give Oklahoma credit,” Little said, “but I thought we played horribly.”

The length of the first half, OU scored on back-to-back possessions only once. But after scoring on 2 of 4 trips down the court to begin the second half, the Sooners reeled off five straight points-bearing possessions. At the end of that, they led 36-30.

Though OU’s edge was whittled down to a point two different times, it eventually reached 11 and was never closer than six over the final two minutes.

The Cowgirls were led by Liz Donohoe's 23 points. Roshunda Johnson added 14 and eight rebounds.

The Sooners closed the regular season 19-10 overall and 13-5 in the conference and will carry the No. 2 seed into the conference tournament. The Cowgirls fell to 19-10 and 9-9.

Now, March Madness begins.

Need to know

The Oklahoma women finished the regular season 19-10 overall and 13-5 in the Big 12 Conference via Monday night’s 66-56 victory over Bedlam rival Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls fell to 19-10 and 9-9. Both teams now move on to the Big 12 tournament which begins Friday inside American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Cowgirls’ position remains unclear with two more conference games to be played tonight. The Sooners, as the No. 2 seed, won’t play until 6 p.m. Saturday when they take on the winner of Friday’s game between the Nos. 7 and 10 seeds.

Rebounding issue: Two days earlier, against Kansas, OU allowed 15 offensive rebounds and it was a major factor in the Sooners’ loss to the conference’s last-place team. Still, the Sooners had 19 offensive boards of their own, alleviating some of the issue. Monday was different. The Cowgirls had 20 offensive rebounds and OU only seven. Overall, OU was outboarded 52-35, their largest negative margin in 18 conference games. The Sooners can’t keep that up and expect to go anywhere in the postseason.

Carter sighting: Gioya Carter only made 5 of 14 shots on the way to 12 points. Still, hitting 4 of 9 and scoring 11 after the half was a great leap forward for the player who led OU to its 7-0 start to the conference season. It was only Carter’s second game of her last eight in which she finished in double figures.

Tip-ins

The Sooners closed the season 5-4 in conference road games. They were 3-6 last season … Peyton Little played 40 minutes for the fourth time in five games … Kaylon Williams’ 20 points game in just 25 minutes of court time … OU is 4 of 29 from 3-point land over its last two games … Liz Donohoe led OSU with 23 points. She was held scoreless in Norman on Jan. 19.

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